BRADFORD city centre will undergo its largest transformation in decades in a multi-million pound project - but residents are being warned to expect major traffic disruption.

The bold vision hopes to change the look and feel of the city while building on its incredible architecture.

The ambitious £43.5 million scheme - featuring a new entrance to the city at Bradford Interchange - will start this July.

It is hoped the works will be completed ahead of Bradford’s City of Culture celebrations. 

The scale of the regeneration works are expected to cause significant delays and disruption for journeys to and from the city centre.

Bradford Council is warning of 18 months of potential disruption, particularly at peak times.

The Council and its construction partner, Balfour Beatty, are introducing traffic measures to keep drivers moving. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The vision for Hall Ings The vision for Hall Ings (Image: Bradford Council)

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “We are ambitious for Bradford district, both in terms of driving the economy and seeing Bradford become one of the UK’s most vibrant and sustainable cities.

“Bradford has the potential to have one of the most attractive, accessible and dynamic city centres in the country and we are confident this scheme will deliver that. People will see a transformed city centre that they want to visit when the works are complete.”

How will Bradford city centre change?

Bradford city centre will look very different by 2025 - including a series of stunning new public spaces, pedestrianisation of some roads, and less buses snaking through narrow streets.

Inspired by European cities, the design includes new green areas nestled among the city’s historic and iconic buildings.

There will be a focus on creating less traffic in the civic heart of Bradford as well as green areas for large events and meeting loved ones.

Well Street - the currently pedestrianised road separating the Broadway Shopping Centre from Little Germany - will become a “public transport corridor”. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: An artist's impression of the planned public transport corridor An artist's impression of the planned public transport corridor (Image: Bradford Council)

As well as this new route for buses, there will be improved junctions, highways and cycle routes.

One of the biggest changes includes the demolition of the NCP car park ahead of the new entrance to the Interchange.

The glossy new Hall Ings entrance will lead visitors through a ‘linear park’ to the newly-pedestrianised areas.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Council's vision of Bradford Interchange at nightBradford Council's vision of Bradford Interchange at night (Image: Bradford Council)

West Yorkshire Combined Authority will be sprucing up the interior of Bradford Interchange as part of the plan.

It is hoped the changes will create an improved and more attractive sense of arrival while modernising the station’s 60s design.

Bradford’s Strategic Director for Regeneration, David Shepherd, said: “We want to offer a city centre destination that encourages our residents to visit the city centre more often. 

“We also want visitors to have a better sense of arrival and a positive experience meaning they keep coming back. This scheme will improve the look and feel of the city centre by reducing the dominance of road vehicles creating a calmer place for people to meet, relax, shop, work and socialise.”

The Transforming Cities Fund, financed through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, will see £81 million spent across four projects.

This includes the city centre scheme, plans for a new-look Bradford Interchange entrance, South Bradford park and ride, and West Bradford cycle superhighway.

What it means for drivers, taxis and buses

The city centre scheme will be delivered in two phases - starting with enabling works on road and pavements and new bus routes. 

These works on the highway around the city centre will tail off by January 2024

The second phase will begin in 2024, focusing on public spaces and walking and cycling routes. 

This construction will be limited to the heart of the city centre while pedestrian access will be maintained. 

Access to drivers will remain largely unchanged apart from the removal of access to Hall Ings. 

Bradford Council said disruption should greatly reduce up to the scheme being completed in late 2024/early 2025.

The Council and Balfour Beatty are urging people to bear with the works and plan journeys in advance. 

You can find out exactly how your journeys will be affected through information and updates on the website,

A regular newsletter sent by email will also be available.

Stephen Semple, Area Director at Balfour Beatty, the construction partner on the project, said: “We are excited to commence on transforming Bradford city centre, turning Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s vision into reality.

"Once complete, the scheme will leave a lasting, positive legacy for local communities and residents alike; providing additional green public spaces and new active travel routes which will significantly reduce air pollution in the city centre.”