Work on a proposed cycle superhighway between Bradford and Leeds could start very soon, it has been announced.

The creation of the cycle superhighway is part of a major programme to boost cycling in the area.

It was announced last summer that the Government was giving the go-ahead for the 23 km cycle route to improve the environment, road safety, the economy and people’s health.

And now Bradford Council, along with Leeds Council, Metro, and the Canal & River Trust are looking in detail at how the £29m Cycle City Ambition Grant Programme is to be delivered.

Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council’s Executive member for transport, said: “This is a great boost for us to create a high-quality cycle route between Leeds and Bradford. Because it connects key employment sites in the area, people will be able to look at cycling to work instead of driving or getting on a bus or train. This in turn will reduce CO2 emissions, resulting in improved air quality.

“It should also give children more confidence to cycle and improve their physical activity. It really is an exciting initiative that will create safer cycling journeys for both work and leisure.”

Councillor James Lewis, Metro Chairman, said: “This is good news for cyclists and allows us to take a step forward to making our region a cleaner, greener and healthier area to live and work.”

The cycle superhighway stretches between Seacroft in Leeds, through Leeds city centre to Bradford city centre, linking up residential and business areas.

The route leading out of Bradford city centre will include Leeds Road and Leeds Old Road, Dick Lane and Gain Lane.
Many of the roads leading off Leeds Road and Leeds Old Road have 20mph zones and it is proposed to refresh those zones and add any further necessary limits within that area. This does not include Leeds Road and Leeds Old Road.

Similar zones are being looked at by Leeds Council in those areas through which the Leeds section of the route would travel.
In addition the Programme includes the Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways) shortly starting to upgrade the Leeds-Liverpool canal towpath between Armley and Shipley to enable cyclists to use the path all year round.

The scheme has been developed in conjunction with the proposals for Westfield’s public realm works to integrate cycle access to Bradford’s flagship shopping centre destination.

Up to £18m will come from the DfT for the programme, with around £7.5m being funded by Metro, and the rest, £3.7m, by Leeds and Bradford Councils.

Bradford’s contribution amounts to £208,000 but this money is coming from the Leeds Transport Plan and from Public Health which was handed over to the Council a year ago. Bradford Council have confirmed this is not from their mainstream budget.
Bradford Council’s Executive will consider the report on how the Cycle City Ambition Grant Programme will be delivered on January 14.

If they support the report’s recommendations, the project is expected to be completed by June 2015.