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£195K cycle path works for Keighley are announced
9:00am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
A new £195,000 cycle path in Keighley is expected to be ready by the end of the year, the Keighley News can reveal.
The route will link Stockbridge with Utley and help cyclists avoid the town’s three traffic-choked roundabouts.
Bradford Council, which is spearheading the scheme, has announced, weather-permitting, work will be completed by the end of December.
And leading cycling figures in Keighley have welcomed the news.
They believe it is vital the route is open by next spring, when a massive increase in cyclists is expected on local roads ahead of the visit of the Tour de France Grand Depart to the district.
Former professional rider Bernie Burns, who runs Aire Valley Cycles in Keighley, said Britain’s wins in the past two Tour de France races, coupled with good weather, had encouraged many to take up cycling.
He added: “I’ve never seen as many people on bikes as this summer – bike sales have gone through the roof.
“Everyone is saying next year will be fantastic with the Tour coming through Keighley.
“But the problem with Keighley is it’s not that safe, so anything that can get children and families off the main roads is fantastic.”
Four-times British cycling champion Sid Barras, who lives in Steeton, agreed there needed to be an alternative to Keighley’s “hostile” main roads.
He added: “The Tour de France will draw a lot of people into cycling, whether for sport, commuting to work or for a pastime.
“They’re going to want to go out and they need safe routes. It’s important this new route gets finished on time.”
The new cycle path was announced last April as one of 70 Safer Cycle Routes across the UK to be funded with £40 million of government cash.
The Department for Transport granted £150,000 for the Keighley route, with a further £45,000 to come from other sources.
The scheme will provide cyclists with an alternative to the busy A650 in Bradford Road, Hard Ings Road and Skipton Road.
The route will take cyclists from Stockbridge along Royd Ings Avenue, behind Cougar Park and along an old track under the Aire Valley trunk road at Beechliffe.
Bradford Council said it hopes to release more details about the project in the coming weeks.
Lord Mayor of Bradford and Keighley councillor Khadim Hussain described traffic dangers for cyclists as a “major issue” on town roads, but said the problem was not confined to Keighley.
He said: “This new route is very much needed – a space where people can ride safely.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said safe facilities such as the Stockbridge-Utley route were particularly useful for younger riders, and would allow families to go cycling together.
He added: “Busy roads can be an understandable deterrent for some who like the idea of dusting off their bikes and helmets, but are put off by the dangers.”
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