The outcome of Calderdale’s bid for cash to boost access to walking and cycling for residents in deprived parts of the borough should be known by next March.
Members of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Transport Working Party heard the final bid was due to be submitted this month, with Calderdale one of ten authorities bidding for funds from a national pot of around £1.2 billion.
The Transforming Cities Fund is being submitted by the Leeds City Region, which includes Calderdale, and aims to boost active travel for some of the borough’s most deprived communities, enhance transport gateways and improve private transport integration into the wider public transport network.
For example, Transport Planner Tom Jones told members, this included aims for gateway sites around Halifax Bus Station and Halifax Train Station and plans for a new railway station at Elland.
A cycling scheme in Brighouse and a walking scheme for Park ward near Halifax town centre were also progressing, he said.
The Halifax packages together are expected to cost between around £40 million and £54 million, while the Brighouse scheme could include some elements which did not carry a cost and others adding up to around £5.4 million, the working party learned.
The council’s Highways and Engineering service lead Steven Lee said improving connectivity through better access routes was specifically the aim for communities in central Halifax, while improving routes to the town from other parts of Calderdale was becoming more important, for example with the new Sixth Form College closer to opening.
In terms of the gateway sites, issues hoping to be addressed included continuous access from the proposed new Halifax Bus Station to the rail station for disabled people.
Ideas for bus “superstops” around the Piece Garden, close to the rail station, were also being kept in the planning, he said, with some proposals being reworked following the heritage listing of the former Hughes Corporation building.
Coun Audrey Smith (Lab, Sowerby Bridge) asked about proposals a cycle superhighway from North Halifax, included in the scheme.
Mr Jones said the most famous example of these was that between Bradford and Leeds city centres.
Improving routes from North Halifax for cyclists and pedestrians where there was less car ownership would have appeal, with North Bridge a logical meeting point.
It would also open up routes for new homes being developed on the old Beech Hill flats site and the large employment site at Dean Clough, said Mr Jones.