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Road Congestion (Shipley)

Volume 547: debated on Thursday 28 June 2012

11. If she will make an assessment of the level of congestion on roads in Shipley constituency. (114050)

The Department for Transport purchases journey time data from the Trafficmaster satellite navigation fleet tracking and traffic information service, and provides it, free, to west Yorkshire’s local authorities. The data can be used to make assessments of road congestion in their areas. It is for the local highway authority—in this case, the city of Bradford metropolitan district council—to make any such assessment.

Shipley constituency has some of the most congested roads not only in the Bradford district, but across west Yorkshire. Not least among those is the road between Baildon and Shipley. A Shipley eastern relief road would not only help local residents with that congestion but give a stimulus to economic growth across the Bradford district. What can the Minister do to ensure that that kind of scheme gets a share of the funding that his Department is giving out?

My hon. Friend is assiduous in making the case for his constituents, and I understand why he puts the case for the road he mentioned. As part of the localism agenda, we consulted earlier this year on proposals to devolve funding for major local authority schemes for the period after 2015, so it will be for the new local transport body covering west Yorkshire to decide the priorities for available funding, and of course to involve the local enterprise partnership—Leeds city region LEP. That is the direction of travel that I recommend to my hon. Friend.

The area north of Leeds and Bradford does indeed have some of the most congested roads in the country; that is a problem that is shared cross-constituency. When will we get a decision on the Leeds trolley bus scheme, which will help in that corridor?

The Secretary of State and I are actively considering that matter at the moment. My hon. Friend the Member for Leeds North West (Greg Mulholland) will understand that we are talking about cutting-edge technology, as there is no such scheme already in this country, so we have to be very careful in our assessment of the proposal, but we hope to make a decision very shortly.