Bingley Relief Road

In the late 1970s, the Department of Transport proposed a motorway (perhaps the M65) between Lancashire and Yorkshire. The first section of this was to relieve the A650 in the Aire Valley north of Bradford. It was a landmark moment for anti-roads lobbyists, because to the surprise of the DTp, it was thrown out in the public enquiry and the plan had to be scrapped. It is the first real instance of the public demanding a road plan be cancelled.

Skip forward twenty years, and the residents of Bingley have now tired of the A650 choking up their town centre — the road is under construction, in a toned down dual carriageway form. So why was it held back twenty years ago?

Most bypasses for towns take a new road around the outside of the town. But Bingley is in a steep valley, so the only place for the road is right through the town centre, in a narrow corridor of land between the railway and canal. This page contains two sets of photos taken in different stages of construction — the July photos taken by myself, and the September ones by Ant Butterfield.

July 2003

September 2003


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Sir James Drake

County Surveyor and Bridgemaster for Lancashire in the 1950s and 60s, Drake was instrumental in the motorway revolution.

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