By Leah Conway – KLTV Contributor
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has received £10.053 million from the Government’s Active Travel Fund.
Kirklees is set to benefit from £2 million of this fund.
The fund intends to create more space for people to travel by bike and on foot. It also aims to ease the pressure on public transport and relieve congestion.
What will happen in Kirklees?
In Kirklees, the money will be allocated to schemes for improving cycling and walking in towns across Kirklees. It will also be part of Kirklees Council’s emerging, district-wide ‘Active Travel Agenda’.
Where will the investment go?
Prospective areas of improvement to benefit from the fund include the A62 Leeds Road in Huddersfield, walking and cycling access to the Spen Valley Greenway in and around Cleckheaton, and improved connections to Dewsbury Railway Station.
In addition, the council is also looking into the possibility of creating an ‘Active travel neighbourhood’ in an area of Huddersfield. The goal of which is to improve links to the wider walking and cycling network in the town.
Cllr Peter McBride Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “This funding could make a significant difference to how we travel in future; it is no secret that as a council we are committed to making it safer and easier for people to travel by bike or on foot.
“However, we also recognise how important it is to take into account the views of our local communities, and businesses when planning changes to our highways, and as such we will be consulting fully on our plans for this funding before any changes are implemented.”
Cllr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Greener Kirklees said: “This funding along with all the other investment we are making in improving active travel in Kirklees is essential to encouraging more people to leave their cars at home more often.
“By making [fewer] journeys by car, we can all contribute to reducing our carbon footprint, improve air quality and help tackle the climate emergency.
Cllr Rob Walker, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We are looking to deliver ambitious, wide-ranging cycling and walking measures across Kirklees so that we can support more people to take shorter journeys by bike or on foot.
“During this pandemic, we have seen how important it is to have more space to move around our towns and villages safely and how this can help create more capacity on the public transport network.”