Boost for commuters in region unveiled

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THE first schemes expected to be backed by a new £1bn transport fund in West Yorkshire can be revealed today.

A park and ride scheme in Leeds, a new road in Wakefield and a package of measures to improve the A653 between Leeds and Dewsbury are among the first projects expected to go-ahead.

Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield said: “This is good news for people who travel to work and are looking for faster and more efficient connectivity in the region.

“It is also good news because it shows how we are now linking transport better with the creation of jobs and stronger economic performance.

“These projects have been chosen because they will have the most impact for all of us and will produce the most jobs.”

The list of “early delivery schemes” has been unveiled as the five councils in West Yorkshire, along with York, prepare to submit their final plans to the Government to create a new “combined authority”. Overseeing the transport fund will be one of its main jobs which, if Ministers agree, is due to start work next year.

It is estimated the transport fund alone could help create 20,000 jobs and grow the West Yorkshire and York economy by up to £1bn per year.

Coun Wakefield added: “The West Yorkshire authorities and York are now working very closely together as an economic unit to be a powerhouse for the regional economy.”

Other projects on the list include the proposed East Leeds orbital road and extensions to station car parks across West Yorkshire.