Communities asked for views on next phase of Castleford Greenway work

Communities in Leeds and Wakefield are being asked for their views on plans for the next phase of the Castleford Greenway scheme, as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60m CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike or on foot.

Proposals for the new route, which comprises a 1.3km stretch of traffic-free route linking National Cycle Network Route 67 with Methley Junction are being developed in partnership with Leeds and Wakefield Councils, and Sustrans, the UK’s walking and cycling charity.

Key missing link

The route for people travelling by bike or on foot will be 3m wide. It will make use of 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 to Bottom Boat, providing a key missing link for Leeds and Wakefield.

Proposals also include improvements for people walking to Methley village, with the introduction of a signalised, one way system under Pinders Green Bridge and wider pavements, as well as the signalisation of the A639 Barnsdale Road/Watergate junction.

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 Thursday 14 March. A public drop-in session will be held at Methley Cricket Club on Tuesday 12 March from 4pm with 7pm.

Safe, scenic traffic-free

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.”

Ambition

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.”

The work in Methley links to the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway being delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in partnership with Wakefield Council, which when complete, will create a 16km route by providing missing links in existing infrastructure.

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.

New bridge 

Work is currently underway 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.

This work is due to be completed in summer 2019.

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.”

Important ‘breathing space’ 

Mike Babbitt, Head of Network Development at Sustrans, 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.”

This final part of the scheme is due to be completed by 2021.

Find out more about the scheme.

06 Mar 2019

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