ONE of the busiest junctions in the Bradford District will undergo a major upgrade as part of a bid to improve pedestrian safety.

Work to Foxes Corner crossroads in Shipley will begin next month, and last until May. Some lanes will have to be closed on weekends to allow the work to go ahead.

The crossroads is where the A657 meets Otley Road, and is one of the most congested junctions in Bradford.

It is also notoriously difficult for pedestrians to cross.

Although some crossing points at the junction have pedestrian crossing lights, the crossing nearest to Shipley Rail Station has no pedestrian crossing facilities.

It requires pedestrians to time their crossing with the changing traffic lights which can be difficult to see from the roadside, navigate several lanes of traffic and avoid vehicles coming from numerous directions.

20mph plans for streets in Shipley Town Centre

One local Councillor said the poor crossing facilities at the junction are among of the biggest complaints she gets from Shipley constituents. 

The works will include improved crossings and new lights with a dedicated phase for pedestrians.

Bradford Council says the new upgrades will give pedestrians a safe amount of time to cross while traffic is stopped. 

The improvements follow other initiatives in Shipley such as the proposed new 20mph zone, which goes out to public consultation next week.

The zone is part of a district-wide programme to improve road safety and increase greener forms of transport such as cycling and walking. 

Councillor Vick Jenkins (Lab, Shipley) said: “Many residents  in Shipley will be extremely pleased with the work on the crossing improvements for pedestrians at Fox’s corner.

“This has been one of the issues raised the most to me as Councillor. It will help residents travel more easily on foot  to the train station and town centre.

“It is great news that our highlighting of the issues have paid off.”

Shipley was recently awarded  £1m to invest in the town centre as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s ‘Streets for People’ initiative which aims to make Shipley healthy, safer and cleaner.

Shipley, along with Keighley, is also part of the Government’s £25 million City Fund.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “I’m delighted we’re able to deliver these safety improvements to Foxes Corner. It’s a hugely busy junction and these works should make it much easier to walk across safely. 

“It also complements our other investments in Shipley such as the proposed 20mph zone covering the town centre and surrounding residential areas, plus our proposed funding in the budget to help maximise the amount we can secure from the government’s Towns Fund.” 

Work on Foxes Corner is set to begin in March with some lanes being closed at the weekends. The improvements should be complete in May this year.

The junction is known colloquially as Foxes Corner - after the former Fox and Hounds pub that stood there.

There is local debate as to how to correctly refer to the site.

It has been referred to as Foxes Corner, Fox’s Corner and Fox Corner, with Shipley residents divided on which informal name to use for the junction.