A SCHEME to improve traffic flow at the Dyneley Arms crossroads now looks set to start in 2021.

Leeds City Council has announced that the detailed design process for the project, which was originally due to cost £2.5 million, has been completed.

The scheme, which was amended after a public consultation attracted a number of criticisms, had initially been scheduled to begin in April this year.

The pandemic, however, put paid to that timetable and in June the local authority said it was aiming for a late summer start date.

Now the council has confirmed that a full business case has been approved by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and work is set to start in ‘early 2021’.

An update to local councillors said: “The detailed design process is now complete. This includes the scheme changes that we summarised in our June update. We have also formalised the temporary and permanent land purchases required in order to deliver the scheme and accommodate the construction site compound.

“This scheme is part of the Corridor Improvement Programme. This is a West Yorkshire Combined Authority funded programme of highway improvements on strategic routes which aims to improve connectivity and accessibility.”

The improvements will see:

*A right turn lane on the approach to the signals from Pool towards Otley

*A right turn lane introduced on the A660 from Otley towards Leeds Bradford Airport

*A shared foot / cycle way created on the A658 on the approach to the junction from Pool-in-Wharfedale

*Controlled pedestrian crossings on the A660 Leeds Road and A658 Pool Bank to help bus passengers / improve pedestrian safety

Signal phasing will also be updated to allow traffic from Leeds to make a right hand turn, towards Pool, without problems. Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) said: "I am disappointed it is taking so long as the danger at the junction is not going to decrease as a result of the amount of development and construction traffic in the area.

"The number of HGVs that will need to use the junction also makes it dangerous and nothing is being done to minimise the impact they will have, and there are also queries that need to be resolved when turning right coming from Otley towards the airport.

"Whilst welcoming this overall despite the concerns above I do think it would have been far better to have spent more money getting it right first time rather than getting this scheme and having to introduce a further scheme in the future, particularly if the City Plans Panel approve the current planning application - as this will have an effect on how passengers are going to access the airport via road, whether by car or taxi, or by bus.

"If this is to be approved are the council expecting and asking the airport for a contribution towards a further upgraded scheme that will be needed?”

Colas have been appointed as contractors and are expected ‘to start construction in early 2021 with the possibility of some enabling works in late 2020’. The scheme is expected to be completed in mid to late 2021.