Shipley To Become ‘Mini-Holland’ Following New Grant

The plans include new cycle and pedestrian routes and reduction in through traffic on certain streets.

Shipley could become a “little Holland” thanks to a grant to boost more sustainable modes of transport in the town centre.

And the Healthy Streets scheme could see a town centre car park turned into an “events square” with gardens and pop up market space.

The town centre was awarded a £1 million Healthy Streets grant by West Yorkshire Combined Authority in March. The money would be allocated for schemes like boosting pedestrian and cycle links, improving air quality and introducing more greenery to the town centre. It was hoped it would help people ditch their cars when travelling around the town.

At a meeting of the Authority’s Transport Committee on Friday members will hear how a similar scheme has transformed parts of a London Borough into a “mini-Holland.”

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader of Waltham Forest Council, will speak about how his Council has encouraged people to use cars less and walk, cycle and use public transport more.

Holland is famous for its focus on cycling, and the mini-Holland schemes in London were an attempt to replicate this. Schemes included new cycle and pedestrian routes and reduction in through traffic on certain streets.

Research showed that within a year of the scheme being introduced, residents were 24 per cent more likely to have done any cycling in the previous week compared with those in non mini-Holland boroughs.

Although that scheme was much larger – £30 million was granted to the authority by the government to transform the area by 2021, Yorkshire Councillors will be given ideas of how it could be replicated.

The Combined Authority provided £1m funding to five areas for the Healthy Streets scheme: Shipley, the Park Ward of Calderdale, Holbeck Moor in Leeds, an area of Kirklees that has yet to be identified and the Horsefair area of Pontefract.

The projects will be delivered by local Councils, the Combined Authority, Public Health England and local public health teams.

Friday’s meeting will be told that the scheme is now called ‘Streets for People’ after a private consultancy firm trademarked the phrase Healthy Streets.

The funding was allocated to Shipley to “transform an area of the town centre dominated by traffic to make Shipley more attractive, safe and healthy – with a focus on mode shift to sustainable transport.”

The report says possible projects could include “creating improved green space and public realm – replacing a car park with an events square and area for pop up market, lawns and terraced gardens.”

Other aims include: “Reducing road traffic accidents, noise and air pollution, improving accessibility, seating and shelter, and improved pedestrian links to the wider town centre, rail station, local amenities and schools.”

Work to develop a “communication and engagement plan” is currently underway.

Councillor Vick Jenkins (Lab, Shipley) said the funding could be used to re-instate the town’s toilets, which were shut several years ago due to cost cutting measures. She said: “I am really pleased Bradford Council has been awarded this funding for Shipley. I think it is just what Shipley needs to give it a refresh and attract new people in a positive way, including refitting of the existing toilet block.”

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