No more traffic, let us breathe

2024 is the year when Bradford Council reveals its revised traffic plans between Bradford and Shipley, through Bolton Woods, Manningham and Frizinghall.

The Travel Alliance will be ready to respond with the principles that you have supported:

  • No extra traffic overall: this is essential for our health, our safety, and to treat the climate crisis seriously. An increase in traffic will affect all of the area between Bradford and Shipley, will worsen the bottleneck of Shipley itself, and beyond along the Aire Valley.
  • Reduced pollution near every school affected by the road system between Bradford and Shipley. Children and older people’s health is affected most by the invisible pollution from motor traffic.

We had hoped to be involved in the plan, so that we could represent your ideas on reducing traffic levels with the planners, but the Council prefers to wait until it publishes a finished proposal. That will be later this year, with a short consultation period.

We will let you know as soon as the proposal is published, if you sign up for our occasional newsletter on this web page. Share this post to anyone else you think will want to know too. Ask them to email so that we can keep in touch with them, or sign up here too.

Meanwhile we will continue speaking to people in all the areas affected.  We will do our best to ensure that health centres, community organisations and all residents know the dangers of more traffic.

Bradford to revise road plan in 2023

Last year we posted the press news that the Bradford-Shipley Road Improvement Scheme was to be revised, scrapping road-widening. We also posted our plans to continue to champion residents’ concerns in favour of action on climate and clean air. Below is the full statement from Bradford Council about their decision to revise the road plans, sent by the engineer in charge of the scheme in an email to all Bradford District Councillors on 3rd November 2022.

The statement is very welcome. While triggered by a reduced budget hit by inflation, it allows the Council “the opportunity to update the scheme objectives to include new and emerging policy”, which we think must include the climate and air quality policies that West Yorkshire Councils have adopted since the scheme was originally proposed.

Of great importance is the commitment to create new options in the form of an Outline Business Case, which must include further consultation on the shape of the scheme. The Travel Alliance has always argued for this. It is welcome that “the focus of the scheme will shift to bus and active travel improvements along the Manningham Lane Route”, and we will argue for frequent, fast and cheaper public transport to provide an attractive alternative to more car journeys. We don’t yet know what “localised measures to address congestion along the Canal Road Route and Otley Road”, may mean.

The Council’s aim to reduce carbon emissions demands less traffic overall, which would satisfy the aim of reduced congestion. How to reduce traffic overall is the big question. It demands national investment in alternatives as well as local schemes including the Active Travel Neighbourhoods that the Council has begun to introduce.

We have suggested to the Council that we discuss alternatives before waiting for their finished plan, to make best use of the thinking and consultation carried out by the Travel Alliance and our affiliates.

Here is the Council update:

Bradford Shipley Route Improvement Scheme Update

The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (CBMDC) in collaboration with West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) are keen to provide the following update on the Bradford Shipley Route Improvement Scheme (BSRIS).

CBMDC have been working diligently to control scheme costs in the context of recent and ongoing extreme inflation, however the council are now unfortunately no longer in a position to deliver all the essential elements of the previous preferred option as identified within the 2019 Outline Business Case within the available funding.

The early acknowledgement of this has created the opportunity to update the scheme objectives to include new and emerging policy; and use this to identify updated options for consideration which build upon the earlier development.

From this, it is expected that the focus of the scheme will shift to bus and active travel improvements along the Manningham Lane Route with localised measures to address congestion along the Canal Road Route and Otley Road.

This message is being made available in conjunction with the formalised agreement between CBMDC and WYCA to undertake a refined Outline Business case which considers the new objectives and options.  Following this agreement CBMDC will develop the proposals and plans for consultation which is expected within Autumn 2023.

Celebrate with us!

Now that the plans to widen Canal and Valley Road have been scrapped, celebrate with us on December 1st  with a report on our consultation in Frizinghall from Street Space, and help us with our next steps.

Can you help us with our new priorities?

  1. Continue to build support in Frizinghall and Manningham for walking and cycling, with health as the main focus.
  2. Promote our alternatives to always using the car, including mass transit between Bradford and Keighley, and a workplace parking levy in Bradford centre.
  3. Continue to build a relationship with key Council officers, as they develop their ideas for a revised Bradford-Shipley road scheme focused on walking, cycling and bus travel.

We have plenty of ideas about how together we can make an impact for the benefit of all.  

Phillipa and Amal from Street Space will be drawing lessons from their work for the Travel Alliance in Frizinghall. The Street Space report is available to read before the meeting. They talked to residents and community organisers over the summer about the barriers to walking, cycling and bussing.

The meeting is at Tambourine Café, 7pm on Thursday 1st December. Refreshments provided. All welcome.

Frizinghall, Manningham and Owlet

Over the summer Street Space and BSTA have been talking to people who live or work between Shipley and Bradford. We understand the value people put on the convenience of cars for short trips, and at the same time their support for healthier and safer streets. Very few people had heard about the proposed widening of Canal Road and likely impact on rat running to avoid the bottlenecks.

We are planning open meetings to draw on the ideas people have, to raise awareness of the impact of road traffic on health and climate, and to press for alternative transport investment. Watch this space.

Streets for People go live

Road-end closures are being put in over the summer in the Active Travel Neighbourhoods in Bradford. The aim is to make roads safer by reducing traffic on side roads. Bradford Council’s Consultation is open for six months to assess your reaction to the changes.

Measures like these have been labelled ‘Streets for People’ by George Monbiot, who points out that traffic grew by just 36% on minor roads between 1995 and 2019 and has surged since 2010. On major roads it rose by just 1% in the same period. Some of the rise has been encouraged by satnav driving.

He says that as local streets become more dangerous, fewer local people are prepared to walk or cycle so they, too, turn to their cars. Measures to reduce traffic cutting through on minor roads are key to Active Travel Neighbourhoods, called Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in some places.

Despite opposition these measures are usually welcomed, and their success is seen by roads being reclaimed by people walking and using the space outside their houses for leisure and social activities.