A £2.5 million improvement scheme for a busy Wharfedale crossroads is set to start next Spring.

Leeds City Council has been consulting over plans to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion at the Dyneley Arms junction, where the A660 meets the A658.

Its plans involve changing the layout of the crossroads and adding new traffic light technology to help it cope better with right turning-traffic.

A number of criticisms have been levelled at the scheme, not least over its cost - with Otley Town Council Chair Councillor Ray Georgeson recently branding it 'ridiculously expensive'.

The city council has responded to some of the points raised in many of the 227 completed consultation surveys by making a number of changes. The project will now also include:

* A right turn lane for traffic heading from Otley (A660) towards Leeds Bradford Airport (A658)

*A change to the traffic signalling to ensure that traffic turning right from the A660 onto the A658 to Pool-in-Wharfedale can do so 'without impediment'

*A layout change to increase the length of the right-turn lane for traffic heading up Pool Bank New Road to the crossroads, to prevent problems with HGVs

The local authority gives a breakdown of the feedback it has received, and its responses, in a statement that concludes: "The scheme will now progress towards detail design and preparation of the full business case. The construction work is expected to start in April, 2020."

Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) said: "I am really pleased at the number of people who have taken time to respond, it is clear how important this is to people.

"I don’t think the scheme was ever going to satisfy in relation to the somewhat temporary nature of the changes in that they are a 'quick fix' for problems now - there is nothing for future challenges due to airport expansion and the number of housing developments on the A660 corridor.

"And the cost of the scheme has been commented on by a lot of residents, including me, however the proof of the investment will be when the changes are operational and until then it is difficult to say whether this will provide value for money.

"In terms of changes that have been made as a result of the feedback, residents will be pleased that the design now accommodates a right-turn movement from Otley towards the airport, and amended signal phasing for the right turn from Bramhope down to Pool.

"I am pleased they have listened. The left turn from Bramhope to the airport is also now to be signalised and this should be a positive step. In addition pedestrians crossing the A658 when alighting the 747 to the airport, and wanting to connect with the X84 to go onward to Otley or Ilkley, need to be able to cross safely and this is being looked at with the potential for a pedestrian crossing."

Sixty eight per cent of those who responded to the consultation were either positive or neutral towards the scheme. The negative comments included scepticism about the estimated cost and concerns that the planned work was not broad enough in scope.