More than £127 million of sustainable transport and regeneration schemes to go before the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee

More than £127 million of sustainable transport and regeneration schemes are among the items to be considered by members of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee on Thursday 5 November.

More than £127 million of sustainable transport and regeneration schemes, 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 Thursday 5 November.

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

This includes a £13.6 million scheme in Wakefield city centre to deliver segregated cycling and walking infrastructure, as well as improvements to public spaces in the Civic and Northern Quarter, and better bus reliability and journey times through key junction and route upgrades.

A £14.47 million package of improvements in and around York Rail Station, which will complement the York Central development, will also be presented to members. 

Plans for this scheme include cycle routes between the rail station and new cycle lanes at Queen Street and Leeman Road, better cycle parking at the station, improved journey times between the station and Askham Bar Park and Ride, and new public spaces at Station and Tea Room Squares and the Portico.

The £47.84 million A629 Halifax Town Centre scheme, which is being funded through the West Yorkshire Transport plus Fund, is also on the agenda. 

Among the plans for this scheme are better walking and cycling facilities and connections into the town centre, and improving bus reliability and the interchange between bus and rail services by re-routing existing services and introducing new stops at the Southgate / Wards End Link and Alfred Street East / Horton Street.

The meeting will hear details of a £10.053 million package of Emergency Active Travel Fund measures, which include trial walking and cycling infrastructure and behaviour change initiatives to help people move around the region safely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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 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.

“Building the future we want with a transport system fit for the 21st century is more important than ever, not only as we look to address the health and economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

“We need to reduce car trips by 21% and increase cycling trips by 2,000%, walking trips by 78%, bus strips by 39% and rail trips by 53% if we are to achieve our ambitious net zero targets in this time frame.”

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

“We want to make it easier for people to travel on foot, by bike and by public transport.

“Our TCF programme is focused on connecting people in the communities of greatest economic need with job and training opportunities through accessible, attractive and cleaner transport. 

“This will help boost productivity, living standards and air quality, helping to create happier healthier communities for the future.”     

Members will be asked to consider two regeneration schemes in Wakefield: a £3.435 million scheme to enable 60 affordable housing units to be built on the Chantry House site at Kirkgate and a £20.911 million scheme to redevelop Rutland Mills into a creative industries jobs hub with 6909 square metres of commercial floor space.

A £9.432 million scheme to redevelop High Point, a 13-storey former office block in Bradford centre, providing 87 new apartments with 422 square metres of commercial space on the ground floor will also feature.

Both the Rutland Mills and High Point schemes are being funded through 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.

Members will be asked to approve the release of a further £1.206 million towards Rail Park and Ride schemes at Steeton and Silsden, Moorthorpe and Normanton, bringing the total funding for these projects to £7.851 million.