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Plans to boost West Yorkshire’s cycle and walking network, which will play a vital role in the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, were approved by members of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee at a virtual meeting.

The next phase of the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway – which has been delivered through the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike and on foot – is a 1.3km section linking the Trans Pennine Trail at Methley to existing routes connecting Wakefield, Leeds and Castleford.

The £370,000 scheme, which is funded through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, is due to be completed by March 2021.

Members of the committee also heard an update on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting progress on infrastructure and transport schemes.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee and Leader of Wakefield Council, said:

“Through our CityConnect programme, we have invested significantly to support cycling and walking in West Yorkshire which will be crucial to meeting the transport challenge created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This next phase of the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway will provide a vital missing link in cycling and walking infrastructure as we work together as a region to help as many people as possible take more active options to travel.

“Enabling people to move around our region in a safe way, which doesn’t lead to damaging levels of congestion on our roads, will be absolutely key to our economic recovery.

“By 2027, we are aiming to increase the number of trips people in our region make on bike by 300%. This will not only boost people’s health and save them money, it will also help us to achieve our aim of being a net zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest.”

The first section of the new Castleford to Wakefield Greenway, a 2km stretch between Fairies Hill Lock and Methley Bridge in Castleford, opened in March 2018.

Since then, construction has been underway on a traffic-free link between Castleford and Methley by extending the Castleford Greenway (Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 69) over a new bridge across the Hallam Line that opened last year.

Work has started on a 1.3km section of traffic-free route to link the bridge to the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway and then on to Methley Junction. 

When complete, the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway will create a 16km route by providing missing links in existing infrastructure.

Amanda Armstrong
Article by Amanda Armstrong
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