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West Yorkshire to invest in new cycling infrastructure

West Yorkshire Combined Authority to invest more than £19.4m in walking and cycling schemes. 

In a meeting last week, members approved recommendations to progress three walking schemes. This included a £7.6m scheme to boost active travel between Skipton Rail Station, the bus station, and the town center.

Members also heard details of a £10.9m scheme at Harrogate Rail Station.

Both the Skipton and Harrogate Rail Station schemes will be delivered in partnership with local authorities through the Transforming Cities Fund programme.

Tracy Brabin, mayor of West Yorkshire, said: ‘In my manifesto, I committed to hitting our aim of becoming a net-zero carbon economy by 2038.

person riding on bicycle on road

‘This is why I’m delighted the Investment Committee has agreed to progress schemes to increase walking and cycling. This is not only good for our air quality, but it is also a fundamental part of my commitment to improving health and wellbeing.’

Roger Marsh, deputy chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee added: ‘Building the future we want with a transport system fit for the 21st century is more important than ever, helping lead the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic and achieve our aim of becoming a net-zero carbon economy by 2038.

‘We need to reduce car trips by 21% and increase cycling trips by 2,000%, walking trips by 78%, bus strips by 39%, and rail trips by 53% if we are to achieve this ambitious target in this timeframe. These schemes will help us do that.’

In related news, cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities, writes Christian Brand, associate professor in Transport, Energy & Environment, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford.

He says: ‘Active travel has offered an alternative to cars that keeps social distancing intact. It has helped people to stay safe during the pandemic and it could help reduce emissions as confinement is eased, particularly as the high prices of some electric vehicles are likely to put many potential buyers off for now.’

Photo credit – Flo Karr

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