Business owners fear their trade will be affected by a new £29 million super cycleway between Bradford and Leeds due to possible loss of parking outside their shops.
The scheme, known as CityConnect, to create a 23-kilometre connection between the two cities, was approved by the Department for Transport in August last year.
The proposals, submitted by Bradford Council, Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, will include an east/west cross-city superhighway consisting of largely segregated cycle provision, resurfacing of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath between Shipley and Armley, secure bike parking areas, and 20mph zones for vehicles.
Upgrading the 14 miles of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath means it will become the longest continuous cycleway in the north of England.
In Bradford, cycle lanes will be introduced on Leeds Old Road to its junction with Killinghall Road, and in sections to the junction with Shipley Airedale Road. Existing cycle lanes will be upgraded along Church Bank to the Westfield site and the city centre.
Now, firms in Bradford Road, Pudsey, fear the route will put off customers stopping at their shops and see a slump in trade.
The new cycle route will take over part of the current carriageway and also some of the existing footway outside the shops. But a proposed bus lane for the road has been scrapped.
Sunny Midhu, property owner of Arora Hair Scalp and Beauty Clinic on Bradford Road, said: “The design they have proposed is flawed. People won’t park if it’s unsafe and confusing.
“I think the scheme is great, but authorities should work with local businesses and residents, not try to pass things due to statute.”
John Morton, joint owner of Just Home furniture store, also on Bradford Road, said: “It’s going to effect us. No-one is going to be able to park up. I’m worried about people just going past.”
But, CityConnect deny the cycle route on Bradford Road will have an adverse effect on the firm’s trade.
Ginny Leonard, communications and engagement project manager on City Connect, said: “We anticipate more cyclists and pedestrians who use this route will bring more trade to the businesses.
“We are not putting parking restrictions on the carriageway. It will be a segregated cycle lane. I don’t forsee any effect on these businesses.”
"We don’t believe these concerns will come to fruition. People will still be able to park there. We have held several public meetings.”