New routes due to complete will provide further boost to West Yorkshire’s growing cycling and walking network

Schemes across Leeds are part of a £7.1 million package of new segregated cycling and walking routes.

Work will complete this Spring on several cycling and walking schemes across Leeds which have been accelerated through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, to meet the challenge of providing more travel choices for people as coronavirus restrictions are lifted across the country.   

Working in partnership with Leeds City Council and Sustransthe walking and cycling charity, more than 7km of new segregated cycling and walking routes will be delivered across Leeds in spring 2021 as part of a £7.1 million package to make it easier for people to travel by bike or on foot. 

Into the city

In Leeds city centre, work is due to complete in April on a new cycle route along Claypit Lane, which will provide a safe, direct link for people travelling by bike and on foot between north Leeds and the city centre, and includes a 1.3km segregated route between Chapeltown Road and Woodhouse Lane.   

The new section will link to existing routes on Meanwood Road and provide people with a safer crossing over the Inner Ring Road. Importantly, the scheme also includes a new continuous route for people travelling on foot into the northern part of the city centre.    

South Leeds routes

In the south of the city, two new routes have been accelerated, with new segregated cycle infrastructure along Dewsbury Road and Elland Road due to open for use in May 2021.   

The Dewsbury Road scheme will extend the existing segregated cycle route with a 1.5km section of new route between Garnet Road and Beeston Ring Road. Construction of a new 3km segregated cycling route between Elland Road Park and Ride and the city centre is also progressing well.  

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:  

“Enabling increasing numbers of us to travel by bike and on foot is more important than ever, not only as we look to address the health, transport and economic challenges created by COVID-19, but also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.  

“These important schemes will provide communities across Leeds with high-quality cycling and walking routes that are safe and free from traffic, making it even easier for people to make the choice to travel more actively.  

“From connecting people across our region, to reducing air pollution and congestion, and combatting physical inactivity and obesity, we know getting more people cycling and walking has a vital role to play in making West Yorkshire a great place to live and work.” 

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development, said: 
 
“We’re delighted these schemes brought forward for construction of more than 7km of new segregated cycle routes are almost complete and ready for use. We’re working hard to ensure walking and cycling are more of an attractive and natural everyday choice, for exercising and commuting.  

“As we start re-opening up services, these new routes will offer improved safety, convenience and a healthier way for people to travel in the south of the city connecting Beeston, Holbeck, Hunslet and the city centre as well as the important route on Clay Pit Lane and Meanwood Road. 

“Every new piece of segregated cycleway in Leeds moves us closer to the 800km of cycle network we are aiming to deliver across the city. We look forward to seeing the schemes fully completed in just a few weeks’ time.” 

Completing the Castleford Greenway

Works to the latest section of the Castleford Greenway are also nearing completion. The 1.3km section of new traffic-free route will provide a missing link in cycling and walking infrastructure to the south of Methley village, linking the existing National Cycle Network route 67 with Methley Junction.  

The 3m-wide route will make use of the old Methley Railway line and connect the new Castleford Greenway at Methley Junction with the Trans Pennine Trail, linking to existing routes to Leeds, Castleford and Wakefield.  

Building on the recently completed Castleford to Wakefield Greenway, delivered in partnership with Wakefield Council, the works are due to be completed in March 2021.  

Rosslyn Colderley, Director Sustrans in the North of England said:  

“Castleford Greenway is set to be a vital link for local people to use for both transport and leisure. Over the last year we’ve seen a big uptake in the numbers of people using the route as a green lifeline to stay active and healthy outdoors.   

Sustrans owns most of this route and it is a great example of our work across the country to raise the standards of the Network. It will be built to the highest design standards, with easy access for people of all abilities to walk, cycle, use mobility scooters or adapted bicycles.”  

When complete, the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway will create a 16km route by providing missing links in existing infrastructure. 

Funding for the region

These projects have received £6.5 million from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal - a £1billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.   

This work will build on the Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway, which opened in 2016, as well as the additional 4km of segregated routes that opened in summer 2019 connecting the eastern and western sections of the cycle superhighway with the city centre.  

It also plays a significant part of Leeds City Council Connecting Leeds Cycling Starts Here ambition to create 500 miles of safer cycling routes across the city.  

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is working in partnership with local authorities to deliver a package of measures, including new cycling and walking infrastructure, to help people move around the region safely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This work includes £12.5 million of short and longer-term schemes, which are being funded through the Government’s Active Travel Fund. 

To read more about the routes on the CityConnect network, see - Our routes - CityConnect (cyclecityconnect.co.uk).