Many of you will be aware about the Park Road saga.
In February 2020, flooding from Storm Ciara caused a landslip which made Park Road unsafe. The Council closed the road to make repairs.
Now, we all know how long it can take local authorities to construct or build anything. But on this one, the Council really have taken the biscuit.
The Council have to date, said that Park Road would re-open in:
- Spring 2021
- August 2021
- October 2021
- December 2021
- January 2022
So far, all of these re-opening dates have been missed!
There is a huge issue with communication here. The Council must determine achievable completion dates at the outset and communicate these effectively to the public. Managing expectations is key, and with the Council missing 5 completion dates, it is no wonder that people have lost faith in the Council’s promises.
I completely understand frustrations. With Park Road closed, many motorists must go through Rastrick and other communities to reach their destinations. This is lengthening journey times, causing congestion, and increasing pollution through unnecessary extended journeys.
What about the effect on the local economy? This is not the first time the Elland high street has been impacted by closed infrastructure, I am sure you will recall the Elland Bridge closure. It was vital that Park Road was re-opened following the easing of lockdown restrictions to stimulate our local economy.
The Council have said Park Road will re-open in the first week in February. The Council blamed this delay on some unexpected boulders within the road, which were not discovered during the due diligence exercise.
I really do hope this will be the final proposed re-opening date, because local commuters are getting to the end of their tether.
This project has also highlighted serious Council failures, and I hope lessons are learnt.