Sustrans has worked in partnership with Wakefield Council and Leeds Council to complete a new 1.3km section of walking and cycling route in Yorkshire.
Cllr James Lewis, Rosslyn Colderley, Cllr Matthew Morley and Cllr Kim Groves at the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway.
A new traffic-free route
The latest £730,000 section of the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway, in West Yorkshire, officially opened this week.
Our team in the North worked in partnership with Wakefield Council and Leeds Council to complete the new 1.3km section of walking and cycling route between Castleford and Green Row at Methley Junction.
Delivered through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, it's aimed at enabling more people to travel by bike or on foot.
Route to be extended further
The first section of the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway - a 2km stretch between Fairies Hill Lock and Methley Bridge in Castleford - opened in March 2018.
Since then, construction has been underway on the traffic-free link between Castleford and Methley hich opened in December 2019.
The Castleford Greenway (National Cycle Network Route 69) will be extended over a new bridge across the Hallam Line.
A key route for Yorkshire
Our Director in the North of England, Rosslyn Colderley, attended a socially distanced photo opportunity for the launch. She said:
“This is an important new section of the Castleford Greenway and a key route for the National Cycle Network in Yorkshire.
Our team worked on improving the surface, accessibility and signs along the path to bring it up to the very latest design standards.
“The completed Greenway will open up access to a traffic-free path for more people of all abilities to walk and cycle. Including people on mobility scooters or adapted bicycles.
It will be a fantastic example of what we aim to achieve long term across the Network, as part of our work throughout the UK.”
A vital missing link
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said:
“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Wakefield and Leeds councils, as well as Sustrans, on this exemplar scheme.
It provides a vital missing link to Castleford, Wakefield, the Trans Pennine Trail and the Wakefield Wheel.
“Making walking and cycling a natural choice for short, everyday journeys is more important than ever.
Not only as we look to address the health, transport and economic challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net-zero carbon economy by 2038.
Cllr James Lewis, Rosslyn Colderley, Cllr Matthew Morley and Cllr Kim Groves at the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway
Benefitting the environment and the community
Cllr Matthew Morley, Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways at Wakefield Council, said:
“The Castleford to Wakefield Greenway is a fantastic project. This new section will give even more people the option to cycle or walk along this amazing route.
"As well as providing a much-needed link between these areas, this initiative also supports our aims to tackle climate change, to improve air quality and to enhance our city towns and villages in our district for residents and visitors.”
Councillor James Lewis, Deputy Leader for Leeds City Council said:
"During these difficult times, we’re working hard to make walking and cycling more attractive and natural everyday choices for exercising and commuting.
"Working with our CityConnect partners, Wakefield Council and Sustrans, we’re delighted the construction of the missing link in cycling and walking provision between Castleford and Green Row at Methley Junction is now complete."
Councillor James Lewis continues:
"As part of our Covid-19 response, Leeds is creating many more new routes.
"These new routes offer improved safety for people who walk and cycle, offering convenience and championing health and wellbeing for our residents.
Plus the many environmental benefits these will bring in keeping our air clean across Leeds.”
Route 69 to expand
The Castleford to Wakefield Greenway is part of Route 69 in the National Cycle Network.
The next phase of the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway is a 1.3km section linking the Trans Pennine Trail at Methley to existing routes connecting Wakefield, Leeds and Castleford.
It is due to be completed by spring 2021.
This scheme will receive £370,000 from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
It will be delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal.
This is a £1billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
A long-term change
When complete, the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway will create a 16km route by providing missing links in existing infrastructure.
The Combined Authority is working in partnership with local authorities to deliver a package of emergency measures.
This will include trial cycling and walking infrastructure, to help people move around the region safely in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both short and longer-term proposals are included, which have been submitted to Government to access £12.5 million funding for West Yorkshire through the Emergency Active Travel Fund.