New walking infrastructure plans for Keighley, Halifax, Dewsbury, and Wakefield and at Harehills in Leeds, and new cycling network plans in south Bradford, Brighouse, east Huddersfield, north east Leeds, and the north and south of Wakefield are being created.
National and European experts are helping to develop the plans to improve conditions for people travelling by bike or on foot at key locations across the region, building on the work already underway through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60m CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to cycle and walk.
Friday’s meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee is being asked to back the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan approach, which is the government’s long-term approach to boosting the numbers of people travelling by bike or on foot.
West Yorkshire’s five districts are leading work to identify standalone plans in their areas.
The report to tomorrow’s Transport Committee proposes endorsing the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan approach to support the region’s 20-year Transport Strategy with a target of increasing the number of trips made by cycling by 300% over the next 10 years. It also recommends resources be identified to deliver the work.
Schemes identified in the first phase are being developed with Netherlands-based mobility specialists Mobycon, UK walking charity Living Streets, and consultants Steer.
Current infrastructure, planned housing and employment sites, health inequalities, people’s propensity to cycle and opportunities to deliver improvements through existing projects such as the CityConnect programme, the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and Connecting Leeds, are being taken into account.
Stakeholders from local community groups, councillors and officers are involved in developing plans including at workshops led by Mobycon and walking street audits led by Living Streets, with further engagement planned in the future.
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said;“We know encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot boosts people’s health and saves individuals money, as well as bringing wider economic and environmental benefits.
“Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans will build upon the work currently underway through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60m CityConnect programme.
“Adopting this approach will enable us to create new plans for infrastructure to help us achieve our ambition of making cycling and walking the natural choice for short, everyday journeys throughout West Yorkshire.”
Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said; “Encouraging people to walk and cycle more across the district is important to help improve people’s health and saves people money. It also brings wider economic and environmental benefits to the district.
“We chose Keighley for a Key Walking Zone due to the number of nearby houses and employment areas and the access to the stunning countryside nearby.
“In South Bradford, the potential to develop better cycling links with the existing Spen Valley Greenway, providing a link into neighbouring Kirklees, Calderdale and the new railway station at Low Moor represents a great opportunity to promote active travel with people from across the district.”