By Chris Young, LDRS
A local campaign group has called for a number of road schemes in Bradford to be scrapped.
Clean Air Bradford are using World Car Free Day (today) to ask Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority to abandon several new road building plans.
These include the £64.2m South East Bradford Link Road, proposed to relieve congestion on Tong Street and Holme Wood, and the £42m Bradford/Shipley Route Improvement Scheme.
That scheme would see Valley Road/Canal Road widened between Shipley and Bradford, the uncovering of areas of Bradford Beck and the introduction of a cycle way on Manningham Lane.
The schemes, along with junction improvement projects in Greengates and along the city’s ring road, are among the biggest investment projects in West Yorkshire.
Much of the funding is coming from West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Clean Air Bradford was set up in response to the District’s high pollution levels, and campaigns for greener and sustainable travel in the District,
Clean Air Bradford Campaigner David Robison says “World Car Free Day is Bradford Council’s opportunity to show it is committed to reducing car use by ditching its polluting and climate-wrecking road building plans.
“At a time when we know that air pollution is likely to worsen Covid-19 Symptoms and when we should be doing everything we can to tackle the climate crisis, it is time for Bradford Council to end its addiction to new roads and invest instead in healthier and non-pollution forms of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport.”
In response, Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, the Council’s Executive for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We need to improve our infrastructure to support our economy in a balanced and sustainable way and I believe over the next few years we will oversee the most extensive investment in sustainable transport in Bradford’s history.
“Our investment through the Active Travel fund includes a huge increase in cycle storage facilities, pop-up cycle lanes, wider pedestrian crossings and free cycle training for adults.
“The Transforming Cities project is looking at major pedestrianisation in the city centre, a dedicated cycleway to Thornton and a Park and Ride facility from South Bradford.
“Our biggest transport priorities remain joining up into the Northern Powerhouse Rail network and the West Yorkshire Mass Transit project linking Dewsbury, Bradford and Leeds.
“Our investment in roads is focused on strengthening key arterial corridors into the district to reduce congestion and helping facilitate building the homes our families need for the future.
“Bradford’s Clean Air Plan will ensure that all areas of the district achieve improvements in air quality and compliance with legal levels of air quality.
“All of these measures help us achieve our commitments to improve air quality and will improve the quality of life for everyone in the district.”