A £109 MILLION scheme to boost public transport use, cycling and walking between Bradford and Huddersfield has made a major step forward.

The A641 Corridor project will introduce 100 new crossings along the eight-mile stretch between Odsal and Huddersfield, miles of new greenway routes, bus lanes and bus gates, junction improvements and improved access to Brighouse Rail Station.

But this work is expected to increase journey times for motorists who use the route.

And the plan will also include the removal of on street parking North of Brighouse, an aspect of the scheme that its architects acknowledge may not be supported by some residents.

At a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority today, members voted to release £8m in funding to proceed to a full business case for the plan.

The scheme will mainly be led by Calderdale Council.

A report into the plans say it will increase footfall in Brighouse by 20 per cent, make it easier for commuters to walk and cycle to Low Moor Station, and increase the amount of cycling between Bailiff Bridge and Brighouse by 300 per cent.

It will also cut times for bus journeys between Willow Lane in Huddersfield and Abb Scott Lane in Bradford by 15 minutes.

Work on the scheme will include

  • 5.2 km of on-road cycle routes with segregation from traffic
  • 8.7km of new greenway routes for walking and cycling
  • 10.5km of “quiet” routes for cycling and walking
  • Over 100 new crossings
  • Replacement of an existing subway with a new road level crossing
  • 1.5km of new bus lanes
  • A new rail station gateway at Brighouse
  • 100 new cycle parking stands
  • A new river crossing in Brighouse
  • Removal of on-street parking north of Brighouse

The report acknowledged that a risk of the scheme is that “Removal of residential parking necessary to make improvements in walking and cycling provision is not supported by local residents.”

Bus lane and greenway improvements as part of £12.8m scheme

At the meeting members also heard that using Government calculations to work out the scheme’s value for money, this plan would have a “poor” value for money.

Melanie Corcoran, Director of Delivery, pointed out that the Department for Transport’s calculations were based on the benefit to motorists.

She said: “The main benefits of this scheme aren’t to motorists.”

The report also said the plans could actually lead to an increase in Carbon emissions, as the active travel measure would make car journeys longer.

Mrs Corcoran said: “Often when you introduce active travel schemes the immediate impact is more emissions to start with, but over a period of time that reduces.”

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, added: “It can often be a painful transition for motorists to move from car to bus, but we hope to be able to make that change easier.”