MT 152/83

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Liverpool-Leeds-Hull Trunk Road: diversion at West Garforth and widening eastward to Peckfield Bar; drafting of side road orders under s 9(1) of Highways Act 1959 (2 parts)

Date rangeNone listed
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 152

Context

A file relating to a never-built realignment of a trunk road around the town where this wiki's proprietor grew up, and which is therefore of mainly private interest to him and limited use to wider research. The aforementioned (handsome and intelligent) proprietor had thought this might be the often-discussed but little-seen proposals for an A63 Garforth Bypass, but was actually in for something of a surprise.

It turns out that in the late 1950s, as the Ministry of Transport was improving the A1 to dual carriageway standard, the way from Leeds to the north and south was increasingly becoming the A63, and improvement works on what was considered a narrow and, at one point, steeply sloping section of the road were in the offing. What this wiki's charming, self-effacing and witty proprietor was not expecting (aside from the early date of these proposals, given that the file itself is undated) was that the town had not, at this time, developed far enough south to trouble the A63 greatly, and so the improved line recommended in these papers actually runs through what is now the built up area of Garforth.

The road proposed by West Yorkshire's County Surveyor, S. Maynard Lovell (last seen discussing roads over railways), was a single carriageway with improved junctions and a gentler ascent up the hill known locally as Garforth Cliff.

The scheme appears to have been all but built, with papers from the early 1960s indicating that trunk road and side road orders were actually published by the Minister in order to enable the scheme, but the paper trail dries up before our intrepid, dashing and boyishly athletic proprietor can find out why it didn't happen. The most obvious explanation would be that, from the mid-1960s, the Ministry of Transport and West Yorkshire County Council were jointly pursuing the design of the M62 across the county (and in early stages, the M19) which would have rendered this improvement obsolete.

Intriguingly, the orders for this scheme seem to have been published under the Special Roads Act (1949), though no part of it seems to have been intended as motorway.

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy, and is modest, too.