ONLY time will determine whether the so-called ‘cycle superhighway’ being built from east Leeds to Bradford is a success story – or a ‘white elephant’.
Its critics say it has been poorly planned from the outset.
They suggest it’s a waste of public money which could have been better spent on maximising the legacy of the Tour de France which brought such good publicity to Yorkshire and gave cycling a welcome boost.
Ominously, regular cyclists are still to be convinced about the scheme’s merits.
Leeds Council blames “austerity cuts” for puncturing its laudable ambitions when it comes to cycling.
However shouldn’t councillors and officials be thinking outside the box and looking at what more they can do to create a safer environment for bicycle riders of all ages and abilities.
One way forward is for cycling to be made a key component of all future planning applications – and developers asked to make provision for bike lanes and facilities on all schemes over a designated size.
Leeds Council has the power to impose such conditions.
It should not hesitate to do so if it harbours genuine hopes of becoming the UK’s number one cycling city.
It’s called political pedal power.