The Bradford City Centre Walking and Cycling Improvements Scheme, which aims to create a more pleasant and traffic free city centre, will take an initial step forward this week with the start of preparatory works.
The £43m scheme will see the pedestrianisation of Hall Ings, Market Street and Bank Street; the replacement of the underpass at Jacob’s Well with a new super-crossing leading to the emerging cultural quarter; the re-routing of some buses alongside new bus hubs with improved facilities for waiting passengers; and an expanded public realm on Norfolk Gardens among other improvements.
With the main works on the scheme due to begin in the city centre in July 2023 and lasting for 18 months, several young and some more mature trees surrounding the road network will need to be removed prior to July in order to facilitate the construction of the scheme. The removal of the trees will also help facilitate the future installation of a large digital screen to Bradford Live.
Younger trees will be removed, stored and replanted in other locations around the city centre, however, advice from tree experts is that many of the mature trees would not survive relocation and will unfortunately have to be felled. There will be a need to remove some more trees in the core of the city centre over the course of the construction period.
However, as part of the scheme a total of 178 new trees, more than double the number to be removed, will be planted in the city centre, along with sustainable urban drainage and other planting. By the time the works have finished, there will be a considerable tree and biodiversity net gain in the city centre.
Demolition of the closed NCP car park on Hall Ings is also due to commence shortly. The site of the car park will become a temporary works compound until it is replaced by a new entrance to Bradford Interchange as part of the Bradford Interchange Station Access Improvements Scheme.
Materials from the demolition will be used to infill the Jacobs Well underpass as part of the city centre walking and cycling improvements.
Commenting on the works, Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “With our eyes firmly on being the UK’s City of Culture in 2025, the start of preparatory works on the city centre project is such an important step for Bradford.
The project will produce a cleaner, greener and more accessible city with much improved transport networks, linking in to cycling, walking, bus, train routes. The potential for clean economic growth as a result of these investments is significant and I look forward to the changes on the ground taking shape.”
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “We are investing millions of pounds to transform Bradford and make it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport.
“We know these improvements will connect more people to opportunities, reduce congestion on our roads and improve the air we breathe.
“This is a great example of how together we are making the city an even better place to live, work and visit in the run-up to the UK City of Culture in 2025.”
The City Centre project will provide:
- 31,500m2 of new or improved public realm
- 13,500m2 of new green space – equivalent to two football pitches.
- 9 new pedestrian crossings
- 8 junctions improved for all road users
- 6 new bus hubs
- 2.1km of cycle lanes
- 1.6km of streets closed to traffic
Both the City Centre Walking and Cycling Improvements Scheme, and the Bradford Interchange Improvements Scheme are being delivered through the Combined Authority’s Transforming Cities Fund programme, which is aimed at making it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport. For more information on the city centre proposals, visit the consultation website here: https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/bradfordcentre