The missing link between Shipley and Bradford is finally happening. Diggers were spotted on Hillam Road!
A Cycle City Ambition Grant is funding the works to improve and complete the Canal Road Greenway (“Northway”) into the city centre. There are some real opportunities with respect to this strategic corridor but, as we’ve seen in the last couple of months, challenges too. The Bradford Cycle Campaign was closely involved with the fight to get this built and it’s a real victory that spades are now in the ground.
Objections have included businesses concerned about loss of trade due to the re-routing of traffic but other objections and spanners in the works have been rather more bizarre. Cllr Ross-Shaw is quoted as saying in the T&A,”We are always willing to speak to businesses to see what we can do to address their concerns.”
The Campaign sincerely hopes the connection will be a success and we look forward to the new capacity of Bradfordians to be able to cycle safely, and with children if they like, between Shipley and the centre of Bradford.
Strategically this route will connect the very well used Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Shipley with Bradford centre and to the City Connect Bradford-Leeds route (CC1) as well. This will enable significant flows of cyclists between destinations and other segregated routes. Usage of CC1 by cyclists, although significant, has not been immediately as high as many had hoped – and sometimes unfair criticisms of this route have had the potential to undermine future cycling infrastructure projects. It is strongly hoped, and the colloquial evidence suggests it will, that this new route will indeed be well used, especially with the addition of proper signage once the route is complete, something that has been noted as lacking by Campaign members.
Hats must be raised to John Dennis of Active Bradford, Claire Wright of Cycle Bradford, the Bradford Cycle Campaign, Cllr Martin Love, Cllr Taj Salam and Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw. A lot of credit is also due to the unsung heroes Duncan Hall and his colleague Chris Bedford in Planning, Transportation & Highways – for tireless patience and diligence in the face of, sometimes, quite unreasonable opposition to the plans. The result may not be perfect, but it’s resoundingly a move in the right direction. Let’s work to support future projects of this calibre.
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