People are being urged to radically change their travel habits amid fears that funding could dry up for jam-busting road schemes.

The Telegraph & Argus understands that Bradford Council and other local authorities are preparing for significant cuts in the core funding they receive for transport from Government.

Bradford Council receives an £11 million share of the annual Local Transport Plan capital allocation for West Yorkshire, which is provided by the Department for Transport to cover road maintenance and integrated transport solutions.

But the Council could see reductions in its allocation from 2011 onwards as experts warn that public spending is facing a £36 billion squeeze nationally, with the axe likely to fall on unprotected areas such as housing, transport and higher education.

Latest figures show that an average of 47,917 people travel into Bradford city centre between 7.30am and 9.30am every weekday, of which 72 per cent travel by car, 16 per cent by bus, seven per cent by train, five per cent on foot and 0.3 per cent by bicycle.

The Council wants to see a significant change in those figures and has now asked motorists to consider alternative options to help ease the pressure on traffic congestion blackspots.

Joe Grint, Bradford Council’s principal engineer for transport planning, said: “We recognise that there are areas of the network that are over capacity at the moment but in terms of major improvements the funding streams are very limited.

“We don’t know what the funding scenario is post-2011. We have an allocation until then.

“Things are not going to get any easier and we may have less money to play with, so what we do has got to be as smart as possible.”

Mr Grint said Bradford’s Car Share scheme was gaining in popularity, with 986 people now signed up. He said the Council would continue to take steps to promote the initiative, including putting signs up at key locations.

He said: “You can see that 77 per cent of cars that come into the city have only one person in them. We need to promote car sharing.

“We want to promote choice in terms of travel, with a range of different transport modes available. One of the things we are planning to do in Shipley is personalised journey planning, seeing people face-to-face to make them fully aware of their transport options.

“Can people walk or cycle? Figures show that 23 per cent of all car trips across the UK are shorter than two miles in length. In the school holidays, there’s 20 per cent less traffic. If we don’t use the car two days a week it makes a big difference.”

Mr Grint said the Leeds City Region transport strategy, which includes proposed improvements to key routes in the Bradford district, would put the region in a stronger position to argue for a greater share of transport funding.

In the past, the region has suffered from under-investment which has seen three times the amount of money spent on transport in London per head of population compared with Yorkshire.

Mr Grint said: “How can we get a better share? The Leeds City Region transport strategy is putting us in a good position to argue. It’s a deliverable programme but we need that funding support in the future.

“We have talked about the district’s key linkages in fairly vague terms because asking for the Shipley Eastern link road at a time when there are a lot of financial pressures may not be the best option. Are there other things we can do in that area that might give us some of the benefits? We are taking a pragmatic approach.”