Local authorities from across West Yorkshire have signed an agreement that will see them work together even more closely to improve journey times and reduce congestion on the county’s key roads.

Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield Councils have all agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that will see them increase their partnership working and collaboration on routes within the West Yorkshire Key Route Network.

This network is made up of more than 410 miles of mainly A-roads in West Yorkshire that are among the most important – and most congested – in the county. Representing just 7% of local authority roads in the county, they nevertheless carry 60% of all vehicles.

The aim of the Understanding is to adopt a consistent, collaborative and strategic approach to improve road network management and performance. This will boost economic growth in the long term and help support the county’s low emissions strategy as well as getting travel information to road users as quickly as possible.

Behind this is a Key Network Group, made up of representatives from all five councils and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which will develop investment and priorities across the road network. This will include making use of smart technology to more proactively manage traffic; providing improved up-to-date traffic information to road users and making improvements to congestion hotspots.

The Memorandum of Understanding has been created by the local authorities in partnership with the Combined Authority. It was approved at its Transport Committee in September and signed by individual council representatives.

Cllr Keith Wakefield, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“By signing up to this Understanding, West Yorkshire’s local authorities are committing to work together to manage the county’s key roads with even greater efficiency and irrespective of district boundaries.

“Congestion costs the local economy an estimated £600m a year and also makes it more difficult for local people to access jobs, training and leisure opportunities.

“This Understanding is about making the region’s key roads the very best they can be. Greater collaboration between districts will help us improve journey times, increase reliability and build capacity, which will help us reach our ambitious economic growth targets for the Leeds City Region.”

Roads included in the West Yorkshire Key Route Network carry more than 20,000 vehicles a day and have a ‘strategic’ function such as connecting the key towns and cities in the county, linking to the motorway network or to Leeds Bradford Airport.

Local authorities will continue to manage their full highway network, in addition to committing to greater joint working through this agreement.

Many of the roads within the Key Route Network mirror those on the Major Road Network identified as important for connecting northern economies by Transport for the North (TfN).

For more information on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, visit www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk

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