Green light given to multi million-pound investment in cycling and walking across Leeds City Region

Package of schemes will transform the way people travel for work and leisure across region

Councillors have approved a package of schemes set to transform the way people can travel across the region, as well as support the region’s long-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee heard how the schemes will help more people walk and cycle, as well as support reliable and fit for purpose public transport services across the Leeds City Region, at their virtual meeting on Tuesday, June 9. 

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Chair of the Investment Committee and Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “Helping more people to walk or cycle both in the short and long term will be vital our region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as helping us reach our ambitions of being a net zero carbon city region by 2038. 

“The schemes that have been approved today will build on previous investment across the city region and will be the catalyst for further regeneration of our town centres and cities.” 

Members of the Investment Committee also discussed the Government’s new Emergency Active Travel Fund which has given an indicative allocation of £12.5 million for West Yorkshire. 

The Combined Authority has submitted plans for the Safe Streets for Walking and Cycling programme to the Department for Transport. If approved, they would deliver a range of measures to enable more people to make journeys that are safe and socially distant, by creating more space for people to walk and cycle and to support easing the pressure on the public transport system. 

The schemes approved by the Investment Committee from existing programmes are: 

 

  • Connecting Leeds from South Leeds and through Wakefield (A61 South) - A £7 million package of improvements to help improve reliability of bus services and improve facilities for passengers as well as providing new cycle and walking lanes.   

 

  • Active and Sustainable Interchange for Harrogate – An £8.4 million scheme to improve the area surrounding the town’s railway station and improving cycling and walking access in Harrogate and nearby Knaresborough.The Combined Authority will contribute £7.8 million from the Transforming Cities Fund.  

 

  • Active and Sustainable Travel across Skipton Town Centre – A £5.8 million package of improvements to access to the town’s railway station and the surrounding area as well as better connectivity between the station, the bus station and the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists. 

 

  • Active and sustainable travel to Selby Gateway – A £19.5 million package of improvements to Selby Railway Station including providing better access to the town centre and bus, walking and cycling routes. 

 

  • 'Connecting Leeds’ towards Castleford and the Five Towns (A639) - A £10.9 million package of measures to meet the growing demand from rail, bus and bicycle users and improve access for pedestrians.  

 

  • Halifax Station Gateway - A scheme to build a new railway station and pedestrian bridge to the town centre as well as improving connections to the station and other pedestrian and cycling routes. In total, the Combined Authority will contribute £27.1 million, with £10.6 million from West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund and £16.5 million from the Transforming Cities Fund. 

 

  • A641 Bradford-Brighouse-Huddersfield Corridor – A scheme creating better walking and cycling facilities and bus priority measures in Brighouse town centre and along the A641 to improve connections to Bradford and Huddersfield. The Combined Authority will contribute £75.54 million from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund. 

 

  • The Safety, Accessibility and Efficiency Programme: Investing in Bus Stations, Shelters and Clean Growth – A £1.9 million scheme to repair and improve bus stations and shelters around the region designed to encourage more people to use public transport and reduce future maintenance costs. 

 

  • Leeds City Centre Package: Armley Gyratory – A package of improvements to reduce traffic going through the city centre, create better walking and cycling facilities and improve public transport reliability. The Combined Authority will contribute £40.5 million from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund. 

 

  • Holmfirth Town Centre – A £3.97 million scheme to reduce congestion and improve accessibility to and from the town centre for people travelling by foot, bicycle and bus. 

 

  • CityConnect: Cross Church Street, Huddersfield – A £2.09 million scheme to improve facilities for people to walk and cycle and provide a reduction of traffic by 90%. It will also support better access to the train and bus stations and places of employment and education. 

 

  • Monitoring, Evaluation and Bid Development – A £700,000 scheme to support delivery of the West Yorkshire Transport Strategy 2040 which will also play an important role in the Combined Authority’s response to COVID-19.