Cycling Strategy for Bradford

Article dated Tuesday May 16, 2017 at 11:10 AM

An updated Bradford District Cycling Strategy will be unveiled at a meeting of Bradford Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Environment and Waste on Tuesday 18 April.

The initial strategy was produced in 2012 and a lot has changed since. We’ve seen the Tour de France Grand Depart come through the district as well as the Tour de Yorkshire, the Cyclo-Cross National Championships held in Peel Park and the delivery of the CityConnect programme which includes four big schemes with over £7m investment in the district. A West Yorkshire level strategy ‘The West Yorkshire Cycle Prospectus’ has also been produced.

The strategy sets out the ambition of ‘making Bradford district a place where cycling is naturally part of everyone’s daily life’.

Its aim is to make cycling accessible for all with improvements to infrastructure, increase training opportunities and sporting activities as well as engaging people from across the cycling community and beyond.

The strategy covers the full range of ways that people can get involved in cycling from sports and club related participation and cycling as a leisure activity to cycling as a mode of transport for getting to work and school.

It has three key broad themes, continuing to improve the environment for cycling, providing greater encouragement  for people to make cycling a natural choice for transport and improving the engagement between partners involved in cycling, to make sure that everyone knows what is going on and what cycling opportunities are available. It also encapsulates the overall "CycleBradford" initiative, which forms an integral part of the Active Bradford Physical Activity and Sport Strategy.

The drafting of the cycling strategy for the district has been a combined effort between a range of partners and major sectors interested in cycling. These include Bradford Council, the Bradford Cycling Campaign, the Bradford Cycle Forum known as B-Spoke and CityConnect Advisory Group, Sustrans, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Cycling UK, British Cycling and other local cycling charities and organisations.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We’ve made great strides on cycling in Bradford over the past few years and a huge amount is down to the hard work of the people and groups behind this strategy, which the Council is happy to support as we look forward to a great summer for cycling in Bradford.”

Claire Wright, Chair of the Bradford Cycle Forum, said: “This is an exciting time for cycling in Bradford as projects worked on over many years come to fruition. The strategy articulates a vision where all of us, including importantly our kids, have the training and facilities to regain their freedom and fitness - leading to better air quality and health for everyone. Bradford has some great people and fantastic opportunities. I hope the vision will soon become reality across the district.”  

John Dennis, Chair of CityConnect Advisory Group and part of the Active Bradford partnership, said: “The great thing about this strategy is the way that it has been created in a collaborative way across a wide spectrum of partners across the district. It includes and encourages every aspect of cycling, and thus is relevant to everyone, even those who may not currently cycle.  

“It acknowledges huge opportunities for cycling as part of active tourism, not only for the many visitors now flocking to our part of the world from all over but also for "local" tourists and residents too.  It is ambitious but realistic and achievable, building upon the strategic investment that has already been made via the CityConnect cycle superhighway between Leeds and Bradford and other significant schemes designed to get more people cycling more often, with all the wide range of benefits that brings.”

Dave Robison, Chair of Bradford Cycle Campaign, said: “This is a much improved district wide strategy that will help us make some real progress creating places where anyone can pick up a bike and ride. There may be a long way to go in some areas, but also a huge amount done already that can be capitalised on, and sports events like the Tour de Yorkshire are really helping provide momentum. What we want ultimately is a district in which parents feel safe letting their kids cycle to school and where cycling is seen as a normal alternative to being stuck in a traffic jam to work. We think this can happen and that Bradford, far from being a place where people rarely cycle, could become the UK's capital of cycling. We need to seize the moment!"

For more information about the Bradford District Cycle Strategy visit http://www.cyclebradford.org.uk or follow on twitter using the hashtag #cyclebradford.

The new strategy will be officially launched at the prestigious international "Cycle City, Active City" Conference to be held in Bradford on May 11 and 12.  For more information about the conference visit http://www.landor.co.uk/cyclecitybradford/home.php

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