Ambitious plans to create a £30m ‘super cycleway’ across Leeds have got the green light from the Government.
The segregated 14-mile route will run from east Leeds right over to the western edge of the city before continuing into the centre of Bradford.
The Department for Transport today agreed to pump £18m into the scheme, with a further £11.2m coming from local sources.
It is hoped the cycleway will be up and running as early as March 2015.
Civic leaders today hailed the go-ahead for the project as a significant boost for Yorkshire’s efforts to make the most of its role staging the opening of next year’s Tour de France cycle race.
Leeds City Council leader Coun Keith Wakefield said: “With the worldwide focus which will come from hosting the Grand Depart, these plans will help ensure a lasting legacy for many years to come.”
Coun James Lewis, chairman of West Yorkshire passenger transport authority Metro, called the scheme “exciting and ambitious” and predicted it would be a “highway to success”. The east Leeds section will start at Swarcliffe before following the route of the A64 York Road into the city centre.
Heading west, the route will follow the A647 past Stanningley before heading into Bradford via Thornbury and Bradford Moor. Plans also include the construction of a cycle ‘loop’ in Leeds city centre.
Leeds and Bradford councils and Metro will supply the local chunk of the funding.
Announcing support for the scheme, Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “We want to turn Britain into a cycling nation to rival countries like the Netherlands and Germany.”
Mr Baker also revealed details of a study that will explore the potential for a cycleway broadly following the route of the country’s proposed high-speed rail line.