West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee progresses £19.4 million of walking and cycling schemes

Members approve recommendations to progress three walking and cycling schemes to the next stage of development

Walking and cycling schemes totalling more than £19.4 million have moved a step closer, following a meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee.

Members approved recommendations to progress three walking and cycling schemes to the next stage of development at the meeting on Tuesday (8 June).

This included a £7.831 million (including £7.361 million of Combined Authority funding) scheme to boost cycling and walking access between Skipton Rail Station, the bus station and the town centre.

Members also heard details of a £10.938 million (including £10.638 million of Combined Authority funding) scheme to boost cycling and walking access to Harrogate Rail Station. 

A further £700,000 of Combined Authority funding was approved to develop a business case to consider a foot and cycle bridge over the A629 between Steeton and Silsden.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“In my manifesto, I committed to hitting our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038. 

“This is why I’m delighted the Investment Committee has agreed to progress schemes to increase walking and cycling. 

“This is not only good for our air quality, it is also a fundamental part of my commitment to improving health and wellbeing.”

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee, and Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the NP11 group of Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships, said:

“Building the future we want with a transport system fit for the 21st century is more important than ever, helping lead the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic and 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 this ambitious target in this timeframe.  These schemes will help us do that.”

Members also approved recommendations to progress the following schemes at the Investment Committee meeting:

  • A £4.646 million scheme (including £3.285 million of Combined Authority funding) to deliver a business support service for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as part of the Leeds City Region Growth Service.
  • A £3.2 million scheme to work up housing schemes across West Yorkshire.
  • A package of three schemes aimed at creating new jobs as part of the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic, including:
    • A £6 million scheme to support people to start their own businesses.
    • £800,000 to fund up to four new jobs at the Combined Authority to deliver a programme of work aimed at helping the region become a net zero carbon economy by 2038.  
    • £200,000 to fund a new post at the Combined Authority to improve collaboration across the health innovation sector.

Both the Skipton and Harrogate Rail Station schemes will be delivered in partnership with local authorities through the Transforming Cities Fund programme, which will see more than £450 million invested in making it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport across the region.