A scheme to build a £50 million bypass for Shipley will not be easy to deliver in the face of current spending cuts and is unlikely to happen soon, a senior councillor has warned.
Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council’s executive member for transport, was responding to concerns from Shipley MP Philip Davies, who yesterday questioned the Council’s commitment to the congestion-busting scheme.
He was speaking after viewing a document which raised questions about the value of the bypass.
On Friday, Council chief executive Tony Reeves sent a copy of a briefing note about the Shipley Eastern Relief Road to Mr Davies. It included figures which came out of an assessment done when the Shipley Eastern Relief Road plan was looked at to see if it was eligible for part of a £1bn pot of money.
The West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund is one of the elements of the City Deal, which covers local authorities across the region. Fifty transport proposals were considered for a slice of the funding in terms of how they would support employment growth and increase GVA – a measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area. The Shipley bypass plan failed “because of its high cost compared to the limited impact it would have on GVA.” Mr Davies said there was a pressing need for the road to be built.
“Bradford Council keeps allowing development in Baildon and doing nothing about congestion,” he said.
“What we see from this briefing note is that it’s nowhere near the top of Bradford Council’s list of transport priorities.”
Coun Slater (Lab) said the Council did not have the funds to pay for the bypass, but was trying to pull together funding from companies wanting to develop in the area.
“It‘s very much a chicken and egg situation – we need to get the development so we can get funding together so we can actually do the road,” she said.