Preparations get underway ahead of Castleford to Wakefield cycling and walking route construction work
Work to clear vegetation has started ahead of the next phase of construction on the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway, a £3m cycling and walking route being delivered through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60m CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike or on foot.
The next phase of works includes the construction of a new bridge across the Hallam Railway line.
The bridge will connect the Castleford Greenway (National Cycle Network Route 69) with a new stretch of route linking up to the existing 2km route between Methley Bridge on Barnsdale Road and Whitwood Golf Course at Fairies Hill Locks, which opened last March, and onward to Methley Junction.
The project, which will create a 16km route by providing missing links in existing infrastructure, is being delivered by the Combined Authority in partnership with Wakefield Council and Sustrans, the UK’s cycling and walking charity.
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Wakefield Council and Sustrans on the next phases of the Castleford Wakefield Greenway, which will provide more people travelling by bike or on foot with a safe, scenic traffic-free route all year round.
“This route provides a vital link for the people of Castleford, making it easier to access Wakefield, the Trans Pennine Trail and the Wakefield Wheel. It also improves access to employment sites, such as the Normanton Industrial Estate.
“As well as providing missing links in local cycling and walking infrastructure, the Castleford Wakefield Greenway – alongside other schemes across our region – are helping open up access to some of our best countryside.”
Councillor Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “I am delighted to see the progress we are making. It helps us improve the health and wellbeing of local people and gives them access to better travel routes.
“These new routes will improve the quality of life of our residents in Castleford and Wakefield and gives them the opportunities to walk and cycle to work knowing the route they are using is safe and reliable.”
Mike Babbitt, Head of Network Development at Sustrans, said: “We’re very excited to be working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Wakefield Council on this new phase of the Castleford Greenway. The new bridge and links to the Greenway will allow thousands more local people to access a peaceful, traffic free path for journeys to work, school or for leisure. It’s a great example of how old railway infrastructure can be repurposed as a healthy ‘active travel’ route which also helps reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Castleford Greenway will be an important ‘breathing space’ for local people and a haven for wildlife. It is part of a developing local cycle network and Sustrans National Cycle Network.”
The scheme is due to be completed by summer 2019.
A further phase of works will link the route with the Trans Pennine Trail to the north and other traffic free routes, already in existence, to the south. This is being funded by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, delivered by the Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
Communities across West Yorkshire and York are seeing the benefits of new, high quality cycling and walking infrastructure, including the Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway and a series of canal towpath upgrades in Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale, with construction work currently underway on Scarborough Bridge, York.