Almost 1M People Use Bradford-Leeds Cycle Route

The next stretch of the route linking Bradford and Shipley opens next month.

Almost a million people have used a cycle route between Leeds and Bradford since it has opened.

The next stretch of the route, linking Bradford to Shipley, will open next month, and is likely to increase that figure rapidly.

The £29 million CityConnect route was recently held up as an example of how cycle routes can help reduce congestion and improve participation in cycling in big cities.

A article in The Guardian referenced the route, along with schemes in Brighton and London, in a report on how cycling figures rose in 2018.

The 23 kilometre route has seen 870,764 journeys since that date.

After the opening, cyclists using that route increased by 51 per cent in the first year, and 26 per cent the following year.

In 2018 the route was used a total of 380,881 times, a minimum of 21,000 times a month.

But user numbers soared in Spring and Summer, and last July alone 41,772 journeys were made on the route.

The Combined Authority says the route has been successful in “increasing access to work, education and leisure opportunities in communities facing barriers to participation.”

A third of its users describe themselves as new or returning cyclists, and 80 per cent use it between three and five days per week.

The scheme was created by West Yorkshire Combined Authority in partnership with Leeds City Council and Bradford Council.

Work to create a £3.1 million, 2.3km extension to the cycle route, which would allow segregates cycle travel between Bradford and Shipley, has been ongoing for much of the past year. The segregated route runs down Hillam Road, Bolton Lane and then Valley Road, past Forster Square Retail Park and then to Church Bank, where it links with the existing Bradford to Leeds cycle way.

The project has been largely funded by the Department of Transport’s Cycle City Ambition Grant and a contribution from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Earlier this month it was announced that the opening of the route, already delayed from last Summer, would take place on May 11.

The Authority and Bradford Council issued a statement on the delay saying: “There have been some minor delays to the project, which isn’t uncommon for projects of this nature.”

Now the May 11 opening has been put back, and will now take place on May 25.

The event starts at the Greenway entrance near the top of Valley Road, just down from the entrance of Briggate at 9am.

There will be a ribbon cutting, mass cycle from Shipley to Bradford and family activities at the event.

It has been organised by Bradford Capital of Cycling.

More from Local