Communities in Leeds and Wakefield have been asked for their views on plans for the next phase of the Castleford Greenway scheme in Yorkshire, as part of our work with West Yorkshire Combined Authority's £60m CityConnect programme to get more people travelling by foot or bicycle.
The proposed new 1.3km section of traffic-free route will link National Route 67 with Methley Junction and will be part of a 16km route from Castleford to Wakefield.
The new section, which we are developing in partnership with Leeds and Wakefield Councils, will use the old Methley Railway line and connect the new Castleford to Wakefield Greenway by the River Calder with the Trans Pennine Trail and National Cycle Network, providing a key missing link for Leeds and Wakefield.
The first section of the new Castleford to Wakefield Greenway, a 2km stretch between Fairies Hill Lock and Methley Bridge in Castleford, opened last March.
We are currently working with Wakefield Council on the next section of the route which will provide a traffic-free link between Castleford and Methley by extending the Castleford Greenway over a new bridge across the Hallam Line.
Plans will be available online from Monday 4 March 2019, and views are being sought through the Combined Authority’s consultation and engagement website until March 14. A public drop-in session will be held at Methley Cricket Club on March 12 2019, from 4pm with 7pm.
Mike Babbitt, our Head of Network Development, said: “We’re very excited to be working with CityConnect and Wakefield Council on this new phase of the Castleford Greenway. The new bridge and links to the Greenway will allow thousands more local people to access a peaceful, traffic-free path for journeys to work, school or for leisure.
"It’s a great example of how old railway infrastructure can be repurposed as a healthy ‘active travel’ route which also helps reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Castleford Greenway will be an important ‘breathing space’ for local people and a haven for wildlife. It is part of a developing local cycle network and Sustrans National Cycle Network.”
Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Leeds and Wakefield Councils and Sustrans on the next phase of the Castleford Greenway, which will provide more people travelling by bike or on foot with a safe, scenic traffic-free route all year round.
“This route provides a vital link for the people of Methley and Castleford, making it easier to access Wakefield, the Trans Pennine Trail and the Wakefield Wheel.
“As well as providing missing links in local cycling and walking infrastructure, the Castleford Greenway – alongside other schemes across our region – are helping open up access to some of our best countryside.”
Councillor Richard Lewis, Executive Board Member for Transport, Regeneration and Planning, Leeds City Council, said: “Our ‘Cycling Starts Here’ ambition aims to inspire more people to cycle more often. By creating specific cycle-friendly routes like this can only help and making it safer to do so. With this scheme, we’re gradually building a connected cycle network the city can be proud of. We look forward to sharing our plans and hearing what people think.”
Councillor Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, said: “I am delighted to see the progress we are making. It helps us improve the health and wellbeing of local people and gives them access to better travel routes.
“These new routes will improve the quality of life of our residents in Castleford and Wakefield and gives them the opportunities to walk and cycle to work knowing the route they are using is safe and reliable.”
The scheme is due to be completed by 2021.