West Yorkshire Combined Authority, representing the five West Yorkshire Local Authorities (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield) have made a bid to the Government for funds to carry out a range of measures aimed at increasing the popularity of cycling in our area.
At the end of 2014 the Government announced that it was making available £118m to the so-called “Cycling Cities” (Leeds City Region is one) over a 3 year period to increase the number of people on bikes. It was subsequently learned that this would be allocated on a population basis, meaning that our area could potentially receive over £20m. The money was principally intended for infrastructure projects.
This is the second round of funding. All the money in the first round went to Leeds and Bradford to help meet the cost of the Leeds / Bradford Superhighway (construction started in February 2015) and upgrading the canal towpath between Leeds and Shipley. It was therefore a concern that Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, who did not benefit directly from this expenditure, had priority when any future fundig opportunities arose.
The latest bid includes proposals to upgrade the Calder Valley Greenway / Cycleway between Hollas Bridge (Copley) and Todmorden. The Cycleway currently has a good surface from Anchor Pit (the Kirklees boundary near the M62 Bridge) through Brighouse and Elland, but west of Sowerby Bridge the surface is somewhere between poor and dreadful. The bid also includes for the creation of a new traffic free link between the Calder Valley Greenway at Anchor Pit (above) and Cooper Bridge, where it will link with the Kirklees Cycleways. The estimated cost of the work is in excess of £6m.
Both these improvements have been the subject of discussions at CTC meetings over the years, including resolutions at Calderdale CTC AGMs. and there is now a real chance that the patient lobbying of both Calderdale Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will have a positive outcome.
A link to the Funding bid can be found here:-
A copy of a letter sent by the Calderdale Right to Ride Representative to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in support of the bid can be found here:- 150127ccag2letterofsupport
An announcement by the Government on the outcome of the Funding Bid will probably be made in April (as you may have noticed, there is a General Election in May 2015)