West Yorkshire Combined Authority secures funding to make cycling and walking plans a reality

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has been awarded £2.5 million from the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to deliver the first phase of proposals to create more space for cycling and walking, while easing the pressure on public transport and relieving congestion.

In partnership with local authorities, the Combined Authority will deliver a wide-ranging programme of trial cycling and walking measures, with schemes starting in the coming weeks.

Trial, protected cycle lanes will be created along key routes into city and town centres, including:

– Reallocating road space to create temporary cycle lanes along main routes into Bradford city centre
– New mandatory cycle lanes with light segregation on Roseville Road, and widening and segregating existing cycle lanes on the A660 in Leeds
– Protected cycle facilities with trial cycle lanes in Huddersfield town centre
– New protected cycle lane long Southgate in Pontefract

This will be supported by the creation of walking and cycling zones in towns, including Brighouse, Elland, Halifax, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden in Calderdale, as well as restricting traffic in Dewsbury and Huddersfield in Kirklees, with access by public transport and disabled parking spaces retained. Pavements will be widened and crossings improved to make it easier for people to access shops and services on foot, while maintaining social distancing.

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.

“The plan for future investment in cycling and walking, announced yesterday, will help us build on the significant progress we’ve already made to enable more people to travel by bike and on foot – and, indeed, strengthens our future plans for the £317 million Transforming Cities Fund announced earlier this year.

“New research is showing we need to increase cycling and walking trips by at least 2,000% and 78% 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.”

New secure bike parking will be introduced in town and city centres, as well as at rail stations and other destinations, including the creation of a pop-up hub on St George’s Square, Huddersfield.

Plans also include new low traffic neighbourhoods, with through-traffic restricted on residential streets in Beeston, Hyde Park, Kirkstall and Chapeltown in Leeds. Measures to reduce traffic around 58 schools across West Yorkshire will be introducing, enabling more children to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

The Combined Authority, through its CityConnect programme, will provide increased support to help people travel by bike, including support for businesses and community groups, free adult cycle training and e-cargo bike loans in Leeds and Bradford.

The Combined Authority has been provisionally allocated £12.5 million from the Emergency Active Travel Fund. Following confirmation of this first phase of funding of £2.5 million, the Combined Authority is working with partner councils on a second submission to Government to access the remainder of the funding.

The full list of schemes can be found at westyorks-ca.gov.uk.

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