Further new sustainable travel schemes worth up to £141.3 million to go before the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee

Further new sustainable travel schemes worth up to £141.3 million are among the items to be considered by members of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee.

Further new sustainable travel schemes worth up to £141.3 million, which will help bolster the economic recovery following the pandemic, are among the items to be considered by members of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee on Wednesday 7 October.

Three of the schemes members will be asked to progress are being delivered through Leeds City Region’s £317 million Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) - a major new programme of investment aimed at providing an accessible, affordable and attractive alternative to car journeys.

This includes a package worth up to £71.8 million to improve transport facilities in and around Halifax, as well as access to the town from areas to the north and west.

More reliable bus services with faster journey times, better walking and cycling infrastructure, and improvements to public spaces feature alongside plans for a new bus station and transforming the rail station to enable people to easily switch between journeys by rail, bus, bike and on foot.   

A package of schemes worth up to £37 million to improve transport links in and around Huddersfield town centre will also be presented to members. 

Plans include improved access at the town’s bus and rail stations, as well as measures to make it easier for people to travel between them, a cycle hub with changing and locker facilities at Huddersfield Rail Station and a foot and cycle bridge over the inner ring road at Trinity Street.

Also on the agenda is a scheme worth up to £32.5 million to transform Leeds Rail Station, making it easier for people to combine different travel options.

Plans include segregated cycle lanes through Neville Street, Dark Neville Street and Victoria Road; a 700-space cycle hub; and changes to the area at the front of the station to better connect it with the city centre, including Bishopsgate Street and New Station Street.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee and Leader of Wakefield Council, said:

“The Combined Authority is committed to leading the economic recovery from the pandemic and it is crucial that we accelerate schemes to help create new employment opportunities and support supply industries – vital work, which will help pave a way forward for our region.

“Providing a viable alternative to car journeys is more important than ever, not only as we look to address the health and economic challenges created by the pandemic, but also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

“We need to increase both cycling and walking trips by at least 2,000% and 78% respectively to achieve our ambitious net zero targets in this time frame – these important schemes will help us do that.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said:

“It is estimated that TCF schemes will improve journeys by bus, rail, bike and on foot for up to 1.5 million people and take up to 12 million car trips per year off our roads by 2036. 

“From connecting people to job and education opportunities, to reducing congestion, and improving our physical and mental health, enabling more of us to travel on foot, by bike and by public transport has a vital role to play in making Leeds City Region a great place to live, work and play.”

Members will also be asked to approve the release of a further £797,000 towards the redevelopment of the Beech Hill area of Halifax. The project, which will transform the area creating new, affordable housing, has been allocated a total of £2.2million from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal - a £1billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

The meeting will also hear details of a number of changes to the Leeds City Centre Package project, which is being funded through the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund. The scheme will improve public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure on a number of key routes, including Infirmary Street, Armley Gyratory, Meadow Lane and City Square. Overall costs are set to increase from £66 million to £77.8 million.