BSTA in the headlines – consultation before development, not afterwards

In April, government Transport Minister Grant Shapps wrote to the West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin, on government funding for road schemes. He stated that: “Schemes should promote the use of active travel and public transport; not lead to overall increases in car use or car modal share; tackle traffic congestion; and improve air quality.”

BSTA has asked Bradford’s political leaders of all parties to give a clear pledge that the Canal Road scheme will not go ahead unless it delivers the positive changes demanded by the transport minister and backed up by many UK and international climate reports.

The T&A reports BSTA’s demand that consultation is needed on alternatives before current proposals are developed. In the Council’s response, they promise only consultation after the proposals have been developed. That is not good enough.

Air pollution in your street

Air quality is worse than the World Health Organisation’s danger boundary for more than 97% of UK homes. is a newly launched website which tells you the air quality for any address in the UK. The score is based on estimated particulate matter (PM size 2.5 or 10) – the small particles that enter your lungs and blood stream causing a multitude of health problems – and Nitrogen Dioxide – the gas made by burning fossil fuels which also contributes to poor health. Children and the elderly are most at risk, but they affect us all.

We used the tool to investigate addresses along the Bradford-Shipley route. We found most schools and residential areas have levels of air pollution  more than double the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit.

Air quality in Bradford-ShipleyPostcodeHow bad in the UK: 0 (best) – 100 (worst)PM2.5 (WHO Limit 5mcg/m3)PM10 (WHO Limit 15mcg/m3)NO2 (WHO Limit 10 mcg/m3)
Shipley CE Primary SchoolBD18 2PT7611.2017.3024.08
Wycliffe PrimaryBD18 3HZ7810.8617.2126.46
Saltaire PrimaryBD18 4NR5710.3216.3119.85
St Warburgas PrimaryBD18 4RL5110.3616.1017.59
The Terrace Cafe BarBD18 4SB8411.0517.9129.10
Flat 100 Wycliffe Gardens (on Saltaire Road)BD18 3JB7410.8317.2423.43
18 Ashdown Court, Bradford RoadBD18 3PL9712.3921.5632.53
Salt Beer Factory SaltaireBD18 4DH7810.7917.3826.17
Coop Food Store SaltaireBD18 4SD7610.7517.2225.48
High Craggs PrimaryBD18 2ES6811.0716.9620.37
Frizinghall Primary SchoolBD9 4HP6711.0717.0819.70
Bradford Grammar SchoolBD9 4JP6410.9916.8619.12
Al Mu min SchoolBD8 7DA6811.111719.99
One in a Million Free SchoolBD8 7DX6811.1217.0220.23
Green Lane PrimaryBD8 8HT6711.021608720.07
203 Manningham LaneBD8 7HP8111.4817.8224.91
Consulate of PakistanBD1 4SJ9512.3719.9131.91

We are particularly concerned at the asthma rates in Bradford. Air pollution contributes to a third of Bradford’s childhood asthma, but it affects all ages.

The figures above are based on the measurements made by local authorities at specific monitoring points, and estimated for addresses between them by Imperial College London.

An image of heat

Can an image be more convincing than this? Reading University have plotted the temperature from 1900 to 2021 for each country of the world. The colours showing change from the average 20th century temperature in the country. There’s no doubt about it. It’s up to us and our representatives to bring the red back to blue. Click on the image for the full story.

BSTA meeting 12th May – join us

All are welcome at our monthly planning and action meetings, held at Tambourine Café on Bingley Road. The next is on Thursday 12th May at 7pm.

At this meeting we’ll be planning consultation and campaigning in Frizinghall and Manningham, and low income areas of Shipley.

The meeting after that is Wednesday 15th June at 7pm.

The Big Consultation: a big success

Our consultation on alternatives to ‘Shipley choked with traffic’ has given a great boost to solutions that make healthy ways of travel easier.

Held all day on 5th March 2022 at Shipley’s Kirkgate Community Centre, more than two hundred people came to cast their votes and make their comments on the Bradford-Shipley Travel Alliance (BSTA) proposals.

A full report gives the results of the consultation and more pictures. We will be giving voice to the views in coming weeks.

Thanks to all who took part and those who volunteered their time and energy to make the event such a success. It was jointly organised with Shipley Town Council.

Lend a hand in our publicity and actions

We are turning our attention to new priorities for the coming weeks, and will welcome your involvement. Please join us at the Tambourine café on Gordon Terrace (BD18 4RU) at 7pm Wed 16th March.

Our priorities are:

  • Campaign for a consultation on a new Outline Business Case for the Bradford-Shipley Scheme. Contact the councillors along the route and on West Yorkshire committees to press the case for new consultation.
  • Set in motion our project to increase our reach to Frizinghall and Manningham, and to low-income groups in Shipley. We will talk to key people and organisations, in preparation for summer door-knocking and autumn events.
  • Press and publicity engagement. Make more of an online splash, engage the press with our proposals, and produce further factsheets including on health.

If you cannot make it to this meeting let us know you want to lend a hand by emailing Ludi at

Three new reports on transport

In February these reports added to the case for a better approach to make travel easier and healthier:

Create Streets has published Computer Says Road, challenging the unhelpful fixation on roads in what it calls the crude urban planning process. Support for the report was reported here.

DeCarbon8 issued its Policy Briefing: Everything Counts: Why transport infrastructure emissions matter for decision makers.

Rail Business Daily reports on a study of 37 European cities, in which Birmingham, London and Manchester emerge as the worst three in terms of affordability. And they are far ahead of Wet Yorkshire.

We are meeting next Thursday 10th February, 7pm at Tambourine Café

Come and help us make change. The more of us there are the more powerful our voice is. We would love you to join us to help with events and speak to communities. It’s never easy to get people in power to change their course but it happens when enough people say that is the only way to go.

Come and help us make our events work as well as they can, and plan to talk to people right along the valley between Bradford and Shipley. We have been successful in getting funding from the Wainwright Trust and the Lottery Fund for these crucial activities. Help us make the most of it!

Please be COVID aware. Don’t come if you have any symptoms; take a lateral flow test and only come if it is negative; wear a mask when moving about inside

Lobbying Councillors – or “the time for action is now”: can you do this now please?

Our current objective is to raise awareness amongst Bradford District councillors of reasons (air quality and public health, environment and climate change) to oppose the plans to turn Valley Road/Canal Road into dual carriageway. We want to make clear to the council that there is widespread and growing opposition to this plan.

We are asking concerned residents to pose any of the following questions to their councillors.  You can find your councillor and their contact details here: Councillors. If you live in Shipley itself, all our councillors are already supporting us, so please write to Bradford council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe who is also in charge of West Yorkshire transport, or to Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw who has responsibility in Bradford for transport. Please let us know when you get a response.

·         Health and breathing

Dear Councillor

I am aware of plans by Bradford Council to develop Canal Road/Valley Road into dual carriageway between Bradford and Shipley.  As this will create extra traffic I am worried about a further reduction in air quality as a result and particularly its effect on children’s health – one example is Shipley C of E primary school at the junction of Otley Road and Canal Road.  Could you please ask in Council how this road development plan is expected to impact on air quality along the length of the road?

 ·         Induced traffic – additional traffic resulting from road development

Dear Councillor

I am aware of plans by Bradford Council to develop Canal Road/Valley Road into dual carriageway between Bradford and Shipley and understand that new or developed roads create traffic I am concerned that more traffic means more air pollution, poorer health and increased traffic congestion.  Could you please ask in Council why we are not making plans to reduce traffic instead of increase it?

·         Council’s climate commitments not being met

Dear Councillor

I am aware of plans by Bradford Council to develop Canal Road/Valley Road into dual carriageway between Bradford and Shipley. I also note that it is three years since Bradford Council announced a climate emergency, yet they are still proposing road development schemes that will contribute to increased vehicle journeys and so increased CO2 emissions. The council are not taking their commitments to reduce emissions seriously. Could you please request in Council that such schemes be dropped immediately.

 ·         Introducing weight limits to reduce heavy goods traffic

Dear Councillor

I am aware of plans by Bradford Council to develop Canal Road/Valley Road into dual carriageway between Bradford and Shipley. We already have a problem along the length of Canal Road and onward through Shipley and Saltaire with large heavy goods vehicles making a ‘short cut’ between M62 and M6 lake district.  A dual carriageway will only increase the number of such vehicles. Could you please request in Council that these road development plans are abandoned and instead weight limits are imposed on Canal Road, Valley Road, Manningham Lane and through Shipley (exceptions could be made for local hauliers).

 ·         National objections to road development

Dear Councillor

I am aware of plans by Bradford Council to develop Canal Road/Valley Road into dual carriageway between Bradford and Shipley. Around the country increasing numbers of road development plans are being opposed by local communities because they increase traffic and emissions which damage the environment and pollution which damages health. Governments in Wales and Scotland have called a halt to road development for these same reasons. Could you please request in Council that the Canal Road scheme be replaced with measures that will reduce rather than increase traffic immediately.