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Councillor raises concerns about Shipley highway consultation

Kevin Warnes at the junction of Otley Road and Bradford Road before the demolition of the Branch Pub.

A Green Party councillor has urged Shipley residents to have their say on the future of roads between Bradford and Shipley whilst raising concerns that the Council has “jumped the gun” starting the consultation before important information has been provided.

Bradford Council’s Shipley Highways Consultation is asking for input from members of the public about the planned upgrades to the two main roads between Bradford and Shipley (Canal Road and Bradford Road).

Councillor Kevin Warnes has welcomed the improved provision for pedestrians, cyclists and buses on Manningham Lane.

“These are vital changes that will help alleviate congestion through Shipley and encourage more of us to leave our cars at home.

“It will also help tackle the air pollution crisis in Shipley. Bradford Council has allowed pollution along some of the main roads between Bradford and Shipley to exceed legal limits for too long.”

As part of the consultation, Councillor Warnes has requested traffic calming measures on Manor Lane and nearby roads in central Shipley ahead of any works on Otley Road/Bradford Road junction in order to reduce the impact of rat-running through the town as drivers’ use side streets to bypass the roadworks.

He says that “creating a safer, quieter Home Zone in this part of Shipley must be an essential feature of the whole project and I hope that the Council will act to protect residents from selfish rat-running.”

However, Councillor Warnes has raised concerns that the public was being asked for input on the proposals before all the necessary information was ready.

“Bradford Council has not provided enough detailed design details about what is actually being proposed.

“More seriously, officers have not yet completed the in-depth modelling that would have given us all a clearer picture of the impact of these proposed changes on traffic flows, congestion and air pollution.

Councillor Warnes and fellow Shipley councillor, Martin Love, have insisted that officers provide in-depth community consultation on the future of the Otley Road/Bradford Road junction since the premature demolition of The Branch Hotel earlier this year.

“Full evaluation work should have been provided before the consultation opened. Without that information, unfortunately, the consultation is of limited value to residents, officers and councillors.”

Highways officers want to finalise the design of the scheme by mid-2019, with the first phase of highways works starting in 2020. The consultation closes on 8 February.