Smooth progress in Leeds for £29m cycling scheme

Tour de France fever grips Leeds city centre last summer.

Tour de France fever grips Leeds city centre last summer.

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A multi-million pound scheme has passed a key early milestone as it seeks to get more people cycling in Leeds.

The £29m CityConnect project’s stand-out aim is the creation of a new cycle ‘superhighway’ running between the east of the city and Bradford.

But there are a number of other elements to CityConnect, including improvements to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath between Kirkstall and Shipley.

And a 1.25-mile section of the towpath between Kirkstall and Pollard Lane in Bramley has now reopened following resurfacing work.

Work on the remainder of the 10-mile canal route is due to be done and dusted by early summer.

Canal and River Trust manager Nick Smith said: “This is a fantastic project which will improve links between these two great cities.

“The new towpath surfacing is an integral part of this work and it’s great to see good progress being made with the first section of the towpath being reopened.

“Not only will the new towpath surfacing benefit the CityConnect project, but also the everyday user of the towpath including walkers, joggers, fishermen and boaters.”

The Leeds-Bradford cycle superhighway is seen as a vital way of creating a permanent legacy from the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire last year.

Ginny Leonard, communications manager for CityConnect, said: “The canal towpath resurface was a natural choice of route to complement the cycle superhighway and extends the corridor to more leisure users.

“We hope having a choice of safe cycle routes linking communities will encourage more and more people to choose cycling as their mode of travel for shorter journeys.”

CityConnect is a partnership between Leeds and Bradford councils and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

For more details, visit the www.cyclecityconnect.co.uk website.

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More projects are in the pipeline

THE Department for Transport handed civic leaders in Yorkshire £22m earlier this month for a series of initiatives designed to tie in with previously-approved CityConnect schemes such as the Leeds-Bradford cycle superhighway.

Wakefield will get segregated cycling and walking routes between the city centre and both the City Fields development and Kirkgate train station.

A 12km off-highway towpath scheme will provide a new link between Normanton Industrial Estate and the centres of Castleford and Wakefield as well as access to green space along the way.

The Peloton passes through Burnsall in the Yorkshire Dales on the last leg of the race from Bradford to Sheffield. Picture: Tony Johnson

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