A NEW velodrome in Bradford and a better cycle path network form part of an ambitious strategy to make bikes “naturally part of everyone’s daily life”.

The ten-year plan, called Keeping the Wheels Spinning, has been drawn up by Bradford’s cycle forum B-Spoke, with help from Bradford Council, the Bradford Cycle Campaign and other local cycling charities and organisations.

Its targets include securing a massive boost in investment, so it amounts to £10 per head by 2026, from the current level of £1.80 per head.

The strategy also aims to have five per cent of commuter journeys taken by bike by 2026, as well as creating a safer cycle network and delivering cutting-edge cycle projects every year.

Claire Wright, chairman of the Bradford Cycle Forum, said: “The strategy articulates a vision where all of us, including importantly our kids, have the training and facilities to regain their freedom and fitness - leading to better air quality and health for everyone.”

Dave Robison, the chairman of Bradford Cycle Campaign, said: “What we want ultimately is a district in which parents feel safe letting their kids cycle to school and where cycling is seen as a normal alternative to being stuck in a traffic jam to work.”

He said there may be “a long way to go in some areas”, but he was convinced that Bradford, “far from being a place where people rarely cycle, could become the UK’s capital of cycling”.

An associated action plan also sets out ten of the most pressing concerns of the cycling community.

These include:

- The completion of the Canal Road Greenway at Leeds Road in Shipley;

- A committed maintenance fund for cycle paths;

- The retention or replacement of the cycle circuit at the Richard Dunn sports centre, which is earmarked for closure, as well as the development of a velodrome to national standards;

- Cycle training for all primary-age children;

- The adoption of a ‘minimum passing distance’ road safety campaign;

- For Bradford Council to take a position on whether the Queensbury tunnel should be turned into a cycle path.

But the partnership may have a lot of work ahead in securing funding for the "transformational change" it seeks.

Bradford Council has endorsed the strategy, but a Council report says this “does not place any direct obligation” on the authority’s money or resources.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for transport, said: “We’ve made great strides on cycling in Bradford over the past few years and a huge amount is down to the hard work of the people and groups behind this strategy, which the Council is happy to support as we look forward to a great summer for cycling in Bradford.”