A COUNCILLOR said he was given conflicting information on what progress is being made to have a study conducted into whether a footbridge can be built between Silsden and Steeton.

Craven councillor Adrian Naylor said he was told by a Bradford Council officer last week that West Yorkshire Combined Authority had handed responsibility for having the feasibility study initiated back to the council.

But he said when he spoke to the combined authority he was given a different story.

He said he was informed the authority was itself pushing ahead with putting the job of the feasibility study out to tender.

However, the council and combined authority this week responded they were actually working together on the project, with the combined authority responsible for the procurement phase, after which Bradford Council will take over.

Cllr Naylor said: “The combined authority told me five organisations were being considered, even though Bradford Council had told me the day before that they’d be doing the tendering themselves,” he added.

“These are contrary messages being sent out about who exactly is doing what and who is in charge.”

He said he was told on November 6 by a Bradford Council Highways officer that the combined authority had decided the council should be the lead organisation responsible for managing the tendering process for the feasibility study.

“If they’ve passed it back to the council that would mean we’re back to square one,” he said.

“In that case, what have the combined authority been doing for nearly two years, when for all that time they’ve had £700,000 worth of Government money allocated to them for the feasibility study?

“The study is fully funded, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be progressed.

“A lot of time has been wasted but it seems the parcel is still being passed between organisations.

“We’re looking at June next year before we get the results of a feasibility study. I wish someone would just take ownership and get the feasibility study delivered.”

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority spokesman responded: “The Combined Authority has undertaken the procurement of the consultancy work needed to develop a business case for a crossing at Steeton and Silsden, on Bradford Council’s behalf.

“This process is now almost complete and we aim to have a preferred supplier in place by end of November, after which we will be able to agree a delivery timetable for Bradford Council to take forward.”

The Bradford Council spokesman said: “West Yorkshire Combined Authority have been responsible for commissioning the consultant who will put together the business case for the crossing at Steeton and Silsden.

“Once the consultant has been appointed, Bradford Council will take the lead in taking the project forward.”

People supporting proposals for a new footbridge over the Aire Valley trunk road say it is desperately needed to ensure pedestrians no longer have to negotiate traffic on the busy bypass between Silsden and Steeton.