NEW cycle lanes will be added to some of the major routes into Bradford as part of a wave of “active travel” measures.

New cycle parking spaces, wider pedestrian crossings and free cycle training for adults will also be part of the measures.

Across the county local authorities were asked to plans ways to increase walking and cycling, relieving pressure on public transport at a period where social distancing is reducing capacity for buses and trains.

Some ideas for Bradford, such as the temporary closure of Shay Lane, Heaton, to traffic and the closure of lanes of Hall Ings to traffic have already been revealed.

‘Increase cycling by 2,000 per cent to tackle climate emergency'

But yesterday West Yorkshire Combined Authority, made up of five local authorities, announced many more proposals for Bradford and across the region.

The Authority has been awarded £2.5 million from the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, and hopes that further cash will be made available later this Summer.

In Bradford the proposed changes include the creation of protected cycle routes on “reallocated road space” on main routes into Bradford City Centre.

Details of which roads will get these cycle lanes have not yet been announced.

The measures have required consultation with local bus operators.

The district will also see “footway widening and pedestrian management and decluttering in locations across town and District Centres” on highway and in key busy public spaces that are important thoroughfares.

Specific areas targeted through this include Ilkley, where there will be social distancing measures on The Grove to help shoppers access local businesses; footway widening on the railway Bridge at Wheatley Lane and widening the busy pedestrian crossing outside Ilkley Grammar School.

To encourage more people to swap their cars for bikes, 24 movable bike racks will be installed at 19 Bradford Council run car parks, as well the District’s three major hospitals.

There will also be new secure cycle parking at South Hawkesworth Street Car park in Ilkley, and improved secure cycle storage at Ilkley station.

Around 180 pedestrian traffic light crossings will become “automatic” - meaning pedestrians do not need to press buttons to activate the crossings.

Some crossings in Bradford city centre were adapted in this way in Spring.

Plans to pedestrianise Hall Ings as part of a major shake up of the city centre were first announced last year.

It would be funded through the Transforming Cities Fund - a pot of cash that came with the West Yorkshire devolution deal.

The Active Travel plan says this idea will now be accelerated through a “trial measure” of reducing traffic to one lane each direction from from Jacobs Well roundabout to Bridge Street.

The Authority’s submission said the plan will “help passengers wait safely for their buses.”

The Shay Lane closure to traffic was proposed to allow pedestrians and cyclists “to access green space for exercise.”

Measures that will be introduced across West Yorkshire include adult cycle training programmes, the purchasing of e-cargo bikes that could be loaned to businesses and Councils, and grants to businesses.

Other measures in West Yorkshire include restrictions to motor traffic on Commercial Street, Brighouse to create a “pedestrian and cyclist friendly zone,” a cycle parking package in Otley and new cycle lanes throughout Leeds.

Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “We are pleased that the Government has recognised our ambition to put cycling and walking at the centre of our response to the transport challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The plan for future investment in cycling and walking, announced yesterday, will help us build on the significant progress we’ve already made to enable more people to travel by bike and on foot – and, indeed, strengthens our future plans for the £317 million Transforming Cities Fund announced earlier this year.

“New research is showing we need to increase cycling and walking trips by at least 2,000 per cent and 78 per cent respectively to achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

“Long-term, sustainable and flexible Government funding is absolutely vital in helping us meet these ambitions.”