A629 phase 1b frequently asked questions (FAQ)

If you have a question we have not answered please email us.

Why are we spending money on this work?

The West Yorkshire Plus Transport fund provides financial support for projects to improve connectivity, journey time reliability, travel choice, and local economic growth. We secured funds for projects to upgrade the A629 between Halifax and Huddersfield following an application to regional and central government.

The funding was granted to improve the flow of traffic and to make improvements for walking, cycling and buses.

If we hadn’t bid for this money for Calderdale, it would have been a lost opportunity, which may well have benefitted another authority.

Why aren't we spending the money for this project on potholes (or something else)?

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority fund this project through the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund. We can only use the money for this project, and it is attached to specific spending criteria set out by the Combined Authority.

You can report a road or pavement defect.

What work is being done?

We are widening the twin lanes in both directions from Elland bypass to Salterhebble Hill and building a new bridge and link road from the A629 to Wakefield Road. There’ll be a new roundabout on Stainland Road which we are widening to include a new bus lane. We’re adding new traffic signals at Jubilee Road and improving infrastructure for cycling and walking. There will also be new tree planting and wetland to contribute to the local natural habitat.

When will the work be complete?

The full phase 1b project is due to be completed by summer 2024. Some elements will be open earlier, such as the new link bridge and most of the road network which are due to open in spring 2024.

Why is the traffic filtered to one lane a long way before where the work is being carried out?

The layout gives drivers plenty of time to merge in to one lane and reduce their speed from 50mph to 30mph before they enter any areas of work. This safety measure helps to keep drivers and our workforce safe in accordance with national standards.

Why can’t we turn right into or out of Jubilee Road and Rookery Lane?

Our main aim during the work is to make sure that people working on the project and using the road are safe. Additionally, we want to make sure that traffic can flow freely along the A629 at all times. By restricting these right turns we can help to keep traffic flowing and prevent traffic from waiting in the live lane to cross the carriageways. This measure should reduce the likelihood of accidents. Diversions are in place to direct traffic along sensible and safe alternative routes.

Why is Exley Bank closed? Can residents still access?

We have closed Exley Bank to allow for the safe demolition of the former Punchbowl pub, reinforcement of the road, widening of the A629, and construction of new parking. Residents can access from the Backhold Lane, and signs will be in place to highlight that access is for residents only. We plan to open Exley Bank in spring 2024.

Why is nobody working when I drive past?

Normal working hours are weekdays 8am to 5pm, with the exception of Friday. Finishing work just after 3pm is usual practice on a Friday afternoon to enable time to travel home as we want our colleagues to be able to rest with their families at the weekends.

Our workforce are multi-skilled and work on different tasks throughout the project. Sometimes our team may be working on different parts of the project, sometimes preparing for work in other areas.

There are times when staff may be away collecting materials or waiting for work to be signed off. We use a robust planning system to make sure that we complete work efficiently and safely. Our aim is to minimise project duration and disruption to the public.

Working outdoors in all weathers is physically demanding and we encourage our workforce to take regular breaks.

Why isn’t the work carried out at weekends or at the night when there is less traffic?

While we appreciate that working through the day may cause disruption, it is the safest time work on the highways.

There are practical issues with working at night, and implications for lighting levels and emergencies. Weekend working presents challenges as many suppliers don’t work weekends.

We consider work life balance. Like everyone, our staff have commitments outside of work, and weekends offer important family and down time. While some night shifts will be unavoidable, we tend not to schedule work during the night. This is to avoid causing unnecessary disruption to residents. When we do need to work at night, we will give as much notice as possible to residents.

Will utilities or other services be disrupted because of the work?

Underneath and alongside the A629 there are many cables and pipes that are the responsibility of various utility companies (gas, electric, water, cable, broadband fibre etc). Some of these cables will need to be diverted or protected. It is the responsibility of the utility companies to carry out this work, and to communicate with any customers who it may affect.

Will any bus stops close during the work?

We have removed the bus stop near to the old Punch Bowl pub and one on Stainland Road while work is in progress. A temporary bus stop nearby is clearly visible. We work with local bus operators to make sure that bus drivers are aware of any changes in advance.  

Will footways and crossings be open during the work?

Most footways will remain open during the work. There will be times when we need to close them for safety reasons. When we need to close footpaths, we provide suitable pedestrian diversions. Diversions are signposted.

Will the canal towpath be affected during the work? Can I still access the canal?

As we build the new bridge across the canal there will be times when sections of the canal towpath will need to be closed. Suitable pedestrian and cycle diversions are in place and signposted. We aim to reopen this section of the towpath in spring 2024.

The Canal and River Trust publicise these closures.

I’ve seen bad driving and illegal manoeuvres due to the road works. What is being done to address this?

We have put traffic management measures in place after discussion and agreement with the relevant authorities. This process identifies a traffic management system that is safe and proportionate for the planned construction activities. Regardless of any disruption road users are still expected to abide by the rules of the road. The police are aware of the construction work. Any illegal manoeuvres or bad driving are a matter for the police.

Drivers are using shortcuts and ‘rat runs’ to avoid traffic hotspots. What are you doing to address this?

Road users are free to choose which roads and routes they take so long as there are no access restrictions. We have put in place diversions to route traffic along safe and sensible alternative routes. We have no powers to prevent road users finding different routes. If rat running becomes dangerous or problematic, please report it to the Calderdale Community Protection Team.

What are you doing to support the local community during the disruption?

John Sisk & Son Ltd are delivering this scheme. They were appointed after a rigorous tender process. Potential contractors were required to explain how they would support communities and add social value as part of their bid.

Since Sisk started work, they have

  • helped schools to build community gardens,
  • held community fun days,
  • planted 250 trees in North Dean Woods.
  • worked with local schools on ideas for the name of the new bridge
  • employed several people from the Halifax area
  • donated materials to families for art projects and planters for school community projects
  • taken part in a mentoring circle and lead a mock interview exercise at Halifax job centre
  • been confirmed as the employer link for Brooksbank High School’s £16000 greener jobs project.

Sisk scored 45 out of 45 on the latest Considerate Constructors audit

Sisk will continue to offer opportunities for employment, including apprenticeships and permanent roles. They continue to work with local schools and colleges, and they will support local charities by raising funds through local initiatives.

Where possible, Sisk will continue to use local suppliers for materials and labour (such as purchasing building materials, scaffolding, cleaning, and security services) and encourage staff to spend locally.

How are you managing wildlife on the scheme and ensuring that any effect on biodiversity is minimised?

We’ve conducted in-depth surveys in any areas of wildlife to ensure that we don’t disturb any protected species. We have robust processes in place for disposal of any hazardous materials from site so that we do not harm the environment. We work with environmental specialists to ensure wildlife is protected and we comply with the law. We obtain any permits that we need to work in relation to protected species before work start.

The project includes landscaping and investment at the Stainland Road site to include a new wetland and coppice, and at the nearby ancient woodland at North Dean.

How can I get updates about the roadworks?

For the most up to date information about the project roadworks, contact John Sisk & Son Ltd:

  • Email hebblecomms@sisk.co.uk to sign up for the e-bulletin quoting "sign up" in the subject heading.
  • Telephone 07467 735969 to speak to Amber Hendy, Stakeholder Adviser at John Sisk and Son Ltd. 

You can also find real-time traffic information, including roadworks and road closures, online at one.network . 

Will the roadworks cause delays?

There may be slight delays during roadworks. We monitor traffic on the A629. If the work starts to cause significant delays, this will be looked at. The A629 from Ainley Top roundabout is a key route into Halifax so keeping the traffic flowing is a priority. This is one reason why we have restricted right hand turns into and out of some roads/businesses in Salterhebble while work is underway.

Once the project is complete how will I get from a to b?

We have produced some videos that we hope will help road users to understand the new routes through the area:

If you’d like to see a more detailed view, we have made drawings of the layout [PDF] available.

Once complete, road users travelling though the area from Halifax and Salterhebble towards Copley and Sowerby Bridge will take a left on to Stainland Road, and then at the roundabout take the 3rd exit to return up Stainland Road towards Copley.

Why is the Council removing healthy trees?

We’re removing 30 trees from along the roadside to make it easier for people to walk, cycle or drive safely. We’re creating new shared footways and cycleways along the A6206 and A629 south of Halifax. To do this we need a little more space than the old layout could provide. By removing these trees and roots, we can build smoother surfaces and make paths accessible for everyone. Some of these trees are diseased and some are non-native species.

We’re making sure that we have infrastructure in place to support low emission travel choices and active travel. We’re making choosing to walk or cycle an easy and safe option for people who might otherwise drive and those who are less confident cycling with traffic.

How does the removal of trees contribute to the Council’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2038 or sooner?

Travel is the second biggest source of carbon emissions. 41% of these emissions come from cars, lorries, buses, and vans using our roads. Transforming transport and getting around is one of the key themes of our climate action plan. Removal of some trees as part of this project means that we can support more people to get to where they need to go without the need of a car.

An estimated 376 grams of carbon dioxide emissions are saved per mile when people cycle instead of drive to their destination. This means that more than 21 tonnes of carbon dioxide could be kept out of the atmosphere each year based on an average two mile journey.

Why is the Council removing trees when it has declared a climate emergency?

The removal of some trees is a small part of a much larger project: A629 Calder and Hebble Junction (Phase 1b). The project has been designed to address the climate emergency. The project also includes the planting of over 350 new and semi-mature trees, a new wildflower meadow and a native scrub and willow habitat.

We’ve kept as many trees as possible and protected the neighbouring ancient woodland at Exley Bank which has around since 1854.

The project will help to tackle climate change, improve air quality and opportunities for active travel, and encourage biodiversity.

Why can’t the trees be moved instead of cut down?

There are utilities: cables and pipes buried under the pavement, that make it impossible to dig out and move the trees.