Work starts on £30m Leeds-Bradford cycle ‘superhighway’

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Work is starting on a cycling superhighway that will help to boost connectivity between Leeds and Bradford.

The £30million “cycle superhighway” between Leeds and Bradford is expected to be fully opened by September 2015.

Phased opening will occur as sections of the routes are complete prior to full route opening when the last section is complete.

The cycling scheme, which extends from east Leeds to Bradford, includes the creation of 20mph zones alongside the route.

There will be improved cycling routes in Leeds City Centre as well as increased cycle parking in both Leeds and Bradford.

Towpath surfaces will also be upgraded between Kirkstall and Shipley.

The project is being delivered by West Yorkshire Combined Authority in partnership with Leeds City Council and Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

Work is due to begin in Armley this week following an extensive period of consultation over the first six months of last year.

The “cycle superway” also hopes to build on the success of the Tour de France’s Grand Depart which set off from Leeds Town Hall last year.

And it aims to encourage more people to take up cycling and make it a popular alternative for commuters.

It is hoped that one of the legacies of the Tour de France for Leeds will be the increased take-up of cycling as a commuter option.

Plans to further build on the success of Le Tour’s first visit to Yorkshire include setting up a Cycling Starts Here Programme Board, which will put together a three-year cycling action plan and longer term cycling strategy for Leeds.

A £50,000 cash injection will help finalise the members of the soon-to-be-set-up board, bring in a “specialist cycling consultant” and conduct a “city debate”.

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The aims of the multi-million pound connectivity scheme include:

Making cycling a natural and popular choice for short journeys for commuters;

Enabling cycling to become accessible to all low income, ‘hard-to-reach’ and vulnerable groups;

Improve access to employment, skills and education across the city with the additional boost in connectivity;

Reducing the CO2 emissions and improve local air quality by encouraging people to take to their bikes rather than their cars;

Creating a safe environment for walking and cycling.

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