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Last Updated: Monday, 22 December, 2003, 15:26 GMT
Relief as road opens
Long-suffering commuters were given an early Christmas present on Monday as the 47.9m Bingley relief road opened.

The unveiling of the three-mile route marked the completion of one of the most ambitious road projects in West Yorkshire.

The new A650, which has opened three months ahead of schedule, will divert traffic away from the congested Bingley town centre.

Motorists can now expect to complete the normally congested half-hour journey between Cottingley to Crossflatts in about four minutes.

Roads minister David Jamieson said: "Delivering it [the A650] three months ahead of the contractual completion date is a tribute for all those involved in the project.

"For the people of Bingley, it's an early Christmas present which will remove 60% of the traffic from their town centre."

Shipley MP Chris Leslie says the investment in the scheme will encourage the regeneration of Bingley town centre.

An official opening ceremony involving the local community will take place in January.

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