by Chris Young LDRS
AN extra £10.5 million of Government funding will be allocated to improve walking and cycling links in West Yorkshire, including numerous projects in Bradford.
A new pop up cycle lane on Thornton Road, the closure of part of Kirkgate in Shipley to cars and cycle routes around Holme Wood are among the schemes that will be funded under the second wave of the Government’s Active Travel Fund, which has been announced today.
It is on top of the £2.5 million funding provided to the region earlier this Summer – which led to new cycle routes on key Bradford routes such as Wakefield Road and the closure of Shay Lane in Heaton to traffic.
The money was granted to West Yorkshire Combined Authority, in partnership with local authorities across West Yorkshire, to support more people to travel by bike or on foot, as well as create more capacity on the public transport network.
These measures will focus on improving routes into town and city centres, as well as reducing traffic around schools and in residential areas.
The money can only be spent on active travel projects.
Schemes planned for the second wave of funding in Bradford include;
– South Bradford cycle routes, linking Holme Wood, Dudley Hill and Bowling with Thornbury through a connection to the existing Leeds Bradford Cycle Superhighway, and to the city centre
– A segregated cycle route along Thornton Road – connecting Crossley Hall and Girlington to the city centre
– ‘Expansion and enhancement’ of the pop up/cycle route programme introduced in the first wave of funding
– The creation of a “bus gate” on Kirkgate, Shipley, restricting traffic whilst allowing bus and cycle access on Kirkgate, supporting wider plans to make Shipley Market Place a healthier, people-friendly area
– Introduction of ‘schools streets’ which would see roads around schools closed to traffic at drop off and pick up times.
– Improved cycle parking at sites throughout the district
– The creation of ‘active travel neighbourhoods’
– Smaller scale improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes.
Other projects across the region will include
Protected cycle lanes on Leeds Road (A62) in Huddersfield, and roads in Otley and Garforth.
These new routes will be enhanced by new secure bike parking, including a trial of app-operated cycle storage lockers in Calderdale to be delivered as a pilot for the region. In Wakefield, the focus will be on making it easier for people to walk more, with several new or improved crossing facilities are proposed across district, to improve access to employment sites and schools.
Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “We are pleased that the Government has recognised our ambition to put cycling and walking at the centre of our response to the transport challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This funding will support us to provide local solutions to local needs and make cycling and walking a viable option for short, everyday trips – particularly while social distancing remains in force.
“However, we want to go much further. Emerging work is showing that we need to increase cycling and walking trips by at least 2,000 per cent and 78 per cent respectively to achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038. Long-term, sustainable and flexible Government funding is absolutely vital in helping us meet these ambitions.”
As part of the creation of low traffic neighbourhoods across West Yorkshire, further measures will be introduced to create areas where residential parking and access to streets are prioritised and better environments to enable more people to cycle and walk more often, including creating active travel neighbourhoods to improve accessibility east of Huddersfield, and across Leeds including Middleton, Armley and Wortley and Chapeltown and Chapel Allerton.