A ROAD improvement project could lead to new cycle ways and 20mph zones being introduced in Manningham - Council bosses have been told.

Yesterday plans for £48 million worth of road works between Shipley and Bradford move to the next stage after members of West Yorkshire Combined Authority agreed to fund a full business case for the ambitious plan.

The proposals will see the Canal Road corridor widened to become a dual carriageway and involve more sustainable transport measures being introduced on Manningham Lane.

There will also be work to improve access to Frizinghall Rail Station.

The authority's West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee met yesterday to discuss a number of major transport schemes, including the Bradford-Shipley Route Improvement Scheme.

Members were told the project would reduce air pollution, make Manningham Lane safer for pedestrians and cyclists and cut bus journey times, as well as aiding the development of the New Bolton Woods development just off Canal Road.

£64 million link road plan to beat congestion in South Bradford

James Bennett, programme manager at the Combined Authority, said: "If you are travelling from the North of Bradford to the city centre there are two main routes you can choose. One is the A650 Manningham Lane and the other is Canal Road.

"There is more housing on Manningham Lane and there is a strategic element to this scheme. If we encourage people travelling to Bradford by car to instead use Canal Road then we can do more interesting things on Manningham Lane.

"We can calm that road down, introduce 20mph limits, speed up overall journey times for buses, improve air quality.

"Even with Canal Road taking the extra traffic, the works will lead to a nine per cent reduction in congestion on Canal Road, which will also improve air quality and create more reliable journey times into the city centre.

"On Manningham Lane we will be able to create better cycling and walking facilities."

Councillor Alex Ross Shaw, a member of the Combined Authority and Bradford Council's Regeneration, Planning and Transport portfolio holder, said: "This is a really important scheme for the district. It will also aid in regeneration of the area.

"We already have the New Bolton Woods development along Canal Road and this will help put in the infrastructure to allow future growth - it is not just a congestion busting scheme, it is a regeneration scheme.

"It will improve road safety in the Manningham Lane and Heaton areas, improve bus routes and allow for better pedestrian crossing and cycle ways. I'm really pleased to see this moving forward."

The committee agreed to approve £2.382 million funding to allow a full business case for the scheme to be drawn up.

The authority aims for land acquisition for the route to complete by December 2021, for construction to start in September 2022 and for the work to be finished by April 2025.