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What will the ‘Transforming Cities Fund’ mean for Bradford?

West Yorkshire is to be given £317m to improve its urban areas.

In Wednesday’s budget it was announced that West Yorkshire would get a £317 million boost as part of a “Transforming Cities Fund”.

But what exactly is this fund, and what will it mean for Bradford?

Details of the £500m bid, made by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, were first announced late last year, and include a number of projects aimed at increasing walking and cycling, as well as boosting public transport, making cities less dependent on car travel, and improving air quality.

In Bradford the plans include the pedestrianisation of swathes of the city centre, the creation of a new park and ride from the M606 and a new cycle route along Thornton Road.

Although the Combined Authority did not receive the full £500m in Wednesday’s budget, other funding proposed in the budget, including a £500,000 Bradford city centre regeneration fund, means much of the work proposed last year is now likely to go ahead.

In Bradford there will be four major transport schemes focused on the city centre and costing up to £80 million.

Plans at Bradford Interchange are aimed at “transforming the city’s primary gateway,” set to become a major transport hub if it becomes a key stop on the proposed new Northern Powerhouse Rail line.

The plan includes the demolition of the Council owned NCP car park on Hall Ings to create a new entrance to the Interchange to create more room and a higher priority for pedestrians.

Hall Ings and Market Street would be pedestrianised with some bus routes reconfigured to create more space for walking and cycling, while ensuring buses and taxis can access key areas.

Jacob’s Well Roundabout will be removed, with Manchester Road and Princes Way being re-aligned.

The proposals would create new bus access along Well Street, behind The Broadway Shopping Centre, and Vicar Lane to improve connectivity to the shopping centre and Little Germany.

To facilitate plans to reduce the numbers of vehicles in the city centre, a new South Bradford Park and Ride is proposed accessible via the M606.

Featuring a car park of at least 500 spaces, the Park and Ride will be served by a dedicated, rapid peak-time bus link using specific bus lanes that will replace the current guided busway on Manchester Road.

The park and ride will include charging facilities for electric private cars and buses, and new cycle lanes along either side of Manchester Road are included in the plans.

There will also be an extension to the City Connect segregated cycle route to the west of the city – along Thornton Road.

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