WYCA welcomes further £22m government funding for city region cycling schemes
PRESS RELEASE ISSUED ON BEHALF OF WEST YORKSHIRE COMBINED AUTHORITY
West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Department for Transport (DfT) that its applications for £22.1million for Leeds City Region cycling schemes has been successful. The amount will also be matched through local funding sources taking the total allocation to £30m in the next three years for CityConnect2.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair Cllr Peter Box said:
“Cycling and walking are important elements of the transport network and are key to providing people with links to employment and training opportunities.
“CityConnect2 will enable WYCA to deliver transformational cycle infrastructure schemes in Bradford, Calderdale, Huddersfield, Leeds, Wakefield and York, connecting to key employment and regeneration sites.
“The CityConnect1 and 2 programmes are evidence of the heightened interest in cycling generated by last year’s Tour de France Grand Départ and the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in May.”
WYCA Transport Committee Chair Cllr James Lewis said:
“Work on the CityConnect1 Cycle Superhighway between Bradford and Leeds, which resulted from our successful £18m bid to the government’s Cycle City Ambition Grant funding in 2013 is already underway.
“Securing a further £20m plus from the Department for Transport (DfT) means we can build on the success CityConnect1 and our vision to get more people cycling more often.
“CityConnect2 will deliver similarly ambitious schemes in the Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield and York districts, providing people with safe and convenient links to areas where we are supporting investment and job growth.”
Cllr Lewis said widespread consultation will be carried out in the development of CityConnect2.
“We have spoken to many local residents and businesses along the route of CityConnect1 to ensure we are getting the project right and we will carry out a similar programme, including local events, in the development of CityConnect2 to ensure it we develop routes with the greatest potential to generate growth in cycling,” he said.
In Bradford, a 2.5km extension to the cycle superhighway from Forster Square Rail Station along Canal Road will provide a strategic link from deprived areas and new residential areas to jobs and training opportunities in the city centre. The new link will also provide a connection from the city centre to the Airedale Greenway on the National Cycle Network.
Also in the Bradford district an extension of the canal towpath upgrades in CityConnect1 towards Skipton in Craven will mean new links with a number of communities and provide a continuous off-highway cycleway between Skipton and Keighley, Bingley, Shipley as well as the city centres of Bradford and Leeds.
In Kirklees, high quality segregated cycle routes in Huddersfield Town Centre, a key centre for employment and training opportunities, will be connected to the Strategic Employment Area of Cooper Bridge and on the Upper Calder Valley towpath to Calderdale towns and communities such as Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Elland, Brighouse and Todmorden.
Supported by additional cycle parking, the new cycle infrastructure will also be connected to Golcar on the Huddersfield to Marsden towpath providing a continuous 35km segregated cycle route which can be used for commuting and leisure journeys.
In Leeds city centre, CityConnect2 will provide a 5km extension of high-quality, segregated links connecting the City Centre Loop and the 23km City Connect1 cycle super highway between Leeds and Bradford.
Wakefield city centre is a key location for employment and training and a high-quality segregated cycle and walking links in the city centre to both the City Fields development and Kirkgate Train Station with cycle parking facilities will improve access to these opportunities. A new 12km off-highway towpath scheme will also provide a new link between the centres of Castleford and Wakefield as well as Normanton Industrial Estate plus access to green space along the way.
In York, a wheelchair- accessible Scarborough Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists will provide better links between York Rail Station and areas north of the City Centre enabling users to avoid the city’s busy Inner Ring Road.
CityConnect2 initiatives will be complemented by a comprehensive behavioural change programme and improvements to neighbourhoods to make local streets safe and attractive for walking and cycling.
WYCA submitted the application in partnership with the five West Yorkshire district councils and York. Up to £30.2 million will be spent on the schemes, with £22.1m of the funding required coming from central government.
More details including a link to the bid documents can be found on the WYCA website at www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk .
Issued by West Yorkshire Combined Authority PR Office. Tel: 0113 251 7214.
Notes to editors:
CityConnect1 is a joint West Yorkshire Combined Authority Leeds City Council and Bradford Metropolitan District Council project. It will deliver canal towpath upgrades between Kirkstall and Shipley better cycle routes in Leeds city centre, more cycle parking in Leeds and Bradford and series of 20mph connecting zones in addition to the 23km cycle-way. It is a £29.2 million scheme with £18.05m funding from DfT funds, £10.89m in Local Authority contributions and the remainder coming from third party contributions.
WYCA’s objectives for CityConnect2 are to:
• increase walking and cycling so that it becomes part of residents’ healthy living plan;
• make cycling a natural and popular choice for short journeys;
• make cycling accessible to all low income and vulnerable groups;
• improve access to employment, skills and education;
• reduce CO2 and improve local air quality;
• create a safe environment for active modes.
CityConnect2 design will means significant increases in both cycling and walking through a long term strategy that focuses on:
• Environment - creating a cycle and pedestrian friendly environment, with a high quality physically segregated network into the main centres (hub and spoke provision);
• Encouragement - delivering a wide range of activities, both across the region and within local communities, to initially build a strong intention to start cycling and walking amongst inactive people and to facilitate that intention into action, encouraging people to try cycling and walking, and then to cycle and walk more often;
• Engagement - establishing a framework for working with a wide range of third sector organisations and communities, utilising their local expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm.
The high-quality infrastructure of CityConnect1 will play a valuable role in addressing the health and well-being of local residents, including 150,000 people living in the most deprived areas of Leeds and Bradford. To ensure local people get the most out of the new cycle superhighway, the CityConnect team will be running an extensive range of cycle-based activities for all levels of cyclists over the next two years. This will include cycle training and making more bikes available to job seekers.
The aims will be to make create a safe environment for walking and cycling making them a natural and popular choice for short journeys, which will, in turn, reduce CO2 emissions and improve local air quality. The project will also improve access to employment, skills and education by making cycling accessible to all low income, ‘hard-to-reach’ and vulnerable groups.