Bradford Council project wins top highways award

September 21, 2021

A major highways project to improve the A650 Hard Ings through Keighley has won the John Smeaton Award for the Best Large Highways and Transportation Project 2021 for the Yorkshire and Humber at the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation Awards.

The John Smeaton CIHT Yorkshire & Humber Award for the Best Large Highways and Transportation Project is an award that recognises the best project, study or scheme valued over £1million completed in the last 18 months within the Yorkshire & Humber Region.

It illustrates best practice across a range of criteria and is awarded to groups or teams that demonstrate excellence in the planning or engineering within the highways and transport industry.

It’s designed to highlight best practice across a range of criteria including quality of delivery, how problems and/or constraints were overcome, benefits to society, contributions towards sustainability, value for money and significance for the region.

The judges were particularly impressed with the wide ranging scope of the scheme which took into consideration the areas surrounding the highway, and its benefits to the community and the region.

The A650 Hard Ings Road is a strategically important route inking Bradford to Keighley extending onwards to Skipton via the A629 and the Pendle area of Lancashire via the A6088.

The scheme started in 2019 and overcame the challenges associated with working during the Covid-19 pandemic to successfully complete and open within budget in October 2020.

The route had been a key pinch point causing significant congestion along the A650 and in Keighley Town centre.

The £9.33m scheme included widening the existing carriageway to provide two lanes in each direction for the full extent of the section of Hard Ings Road Keighley.

The scheme increased the number of lanes from 2 to 4 along a 0.7km stretch of road to provide the “missing link” along the A650.

It added traffic signals on the roundabout to increase safety and efficiency and a signalized junction with pedestrian and cycle crossing (toucan crossing) at the junction with Lawkholme Lane.

A shared, two-way cycle and pedestrian footway was added to the southern side of Hard Ings road and green spaces were created to improve aesthetics, air quality and noise pollution.

New energy efficient LED street lighting was installed along the length of the highway.

The scheme was judged to be Very High Value for Money, with cost benefit ratio of £6.24 to every pound spent.

The Hall Ings scheme was designed and delivered by Bradford Council‘s Planning, Transportation and Highways Services Teams with West Yorkshire Combined Authority as the funding body.

Work was undertaken by Howard Civil Engineering.

"This is fantastic news and we are delighted to be recognised for all the hard work and diligence that went into upgrading one of the districts’ most important routes. We’ve had fantastic feedback locally and I’d like to congratulate and thank our council officers for all their hard work delivering this scheme. While it is too early to fully judge the performance of this project, schemes like this deliver significant benefits to local people including reduced travel times, and improved road safety."

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport