WORK is set to begin soon on a major review which could one day provide some much-needed relief for Colne’s congested roads.

Air quality zones have been declared along some of the town’s busiest roads due to the heavy traffic flows along the likes of Vivary Way, North Valley Road and Windsor Street.

Now county councillor George Askew has received confirmation that the M65 to Yorkshire Corridor Study is set to commence in the next few weeks. Plans for the already-approved A56 villages bypass, affecting Colne and West Craven, will be scrutinised by roads experts.

The £36.7million road, running for seven-and-a-half miles, if progressed would run along part of the former Colne to Skipton rail line route.

And the possiblity of smaller-scale interventions, will also be investigated as part of the nine-month long £100,000 study process.

The review will study both the town’s links through to West Craven and, North Yorkshire beyond, but connections with West Yorkshire, through to Cowling, Crosshills and Steeton.

Coun Askew said: “The purpose of this study is to identify and assess whether there are smaller-scale interventions that could be introduced to reduce traffic through Colne that are affordable and deliverable in advance of any bypass.

“But we’ll also review the approved A56 Villages Bypass scheme and potential alternatives.” In the 1980s a concerted campaign was mounted in opposition to proposals to extend the M65 through South Valley, which led to the clearance of much of Waterside.

In a letter to Coun Askew, County Coun Tim Ashton, highways cabinet member, said: “It is anticipated that work on the study will commence within the next few weeks and take approximately nine months to complete.”