Under 20s will be 'target audience' for new £9m cycleway

The start point of the planned £9m cycle lane <i>(Image: newsquest)</i>
The start point of the planned £9m cycle lane (Image: newsquest)

BRADFORD’S large population of young people will be the “target audience” for a multi-million-pound cycle route from the city centre to the West of Bradford.

The £9.19m West Bradford Cycle Superhighway will see new segregated cycle lanes starting on Sunbridge Road, and extending 2.5km to the West of Bradford, along Thornton Road and to Cemetery Road.

The initial plan was that the route – funded by the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund - would extend to Thornton Village.

However, inflation and cost pressures on this and other city centre transport schemes led to the scope of the cycle lane being reduced.

At the last meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee of 2022, members were told that the route would now be completed in phases.

The first phase, from the city centre to Cemetery Road, would be funded by the £9.19m in allocated TCF funding.

Work is expected to start in November and be completed by February 2025.

Other sources of funding would need to be identified before phase two could begin.

The meeting was told that Bradford’s under 20s are expected to be the most likely to use the route.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sunbridge Road
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sunbridge Road

Sunbridge Road (Image: newsquest)

Simon Linley, project manager, said 30 per cent of people living within a kilometre of the planned cycle route are 20 or under.

He said: “It will create high quality cycling infrastructure from the city centre, West to the ring road.”

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There would be single lane segregated cycle routes on Sunbridge Road, with two way routes along Thornton Road.

Mr Linley added: “There will also be walking improvements, with nine new pedestrian crossings.”

Cyclists will be given priority over cars at some of the junctions along the route.

Over 23,000 cars travelled along this route each day, and the meeting was told one aim of the cycle route was to reduce the number of people using cars on that stretch.

A report to members said aims of the scheme were to increase participation in cycling by 10 per cent by 2036, encourage a reduction of car trips by 10 per cent by 2036 along the corridor and increase the number of people who access the city centre by bike or on foot within 30 mins by 25 per cent by 2025.

It would also improve air quality in densely populated areas of the city.

There would be work with local schools and colleges to encourage pupils and staff to use the cycleway.

Members were told that despite the expected reduction in car use, building the cycle lane could actually lead to more carbon being released than if the lane was not built.

Mr Linley said this was due to the carbon generated by the construction vehicles and tonnes of materials needed for the work.

Bradford Council Leader and chair of the Committee Susan Hinchcliffe said: “We have to get more people out of cars.”

The committee approved the next stage of the work – to develop a full business case for the project.