Wheels in motion for new Cycle Superhighway

Leeds City Region today welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement giving the green light for a 23km Cycle Superhighway connecting Bradford and Leeds, following a successful bid for £18.1m of Government funding.

The Cycle Superhighway, also known as ‘Highway to Health’, will boost the Leeds City Region economy by improving connectivity across the region and represents significant progress towards a low carbon, sustainable transport system.

As the Leeds City Region gears up to hosting the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, the Superhighway will hope to enthuse cyclists and ensure a lasting cycling legacy across the whole City Region.

Responding to the news, Metro Chairman Cllr James Lewis said, “By providing safe, convenient and attractive links and connectivity with employment sites, areas of housing growth and key economic regeneration sites, it will encourage more people to use their bikes for commuting to and from work and help reduce the dependency on private cars,” he said.

Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield said, “We are a hugely ambitious region and I believe the approval of this bid recognises that aspiration and commitment. It will transform the Leeds-Bradford region, allowing us to take another step towards making this a cleaner, greener and healthier area to live and work.”

“With the worldwide focus which will come from hosting the Grand Depart of next year’s Tour de France, these plans will help ensure a lasting legacy for many years to come. It will also greatly improve connectivity across the region, allowing people and businesses to maximise opportunities in housing, employment and regeneration so it has the potential to make a massive difference in a number of ways for everyone to benefit from.”

Cllr Val Slater, Bradford Council's Executive Member for Planning, Transport and Housing, said: "This funding is fantastic and is a great boost for us to create a high quality cycle route between Leeds and Bradford. The funding will also be used to improve the towpath between Leeds and Shipley, create 20mph zones in communities along the route and create cycle parking facilities.

The Cycle City Ambition Bid was submitted as a joint proposal between Metro, Leeds City Council and Bradford Council. The partners, together with bid supporters Sustrans and CTC and British Cycling, are members of the Get Yorkshire Cycling regional initiative.

In his announcement David Cameron said, “This Government wants to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle as well as encouraging far more people to take it up and business, local government, developers, road users and the transport sector all have a role to play in helping to achieve this.”

It is expected work on the scheme will start later this year following consultations on the detailed implementation.