SILSDEN councillors are pushing for the resurfacing of the entire canal towpath between Skipton and Keighley.

Town councillors Rebecca Whitaker and David Loud have called for cash to surface the last section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal between Kildwick and Silsden Road Bridge.

Around 1.1km of the 3km stretch lies in Bradford district.

Almost £1.5 million was recently secured to surface sections between Kildwick and Bradley, and Skipton and Gargrave.

Similar surfacing was carried out last year from Silsden to Riddlesden, where the towpath becomes part of the Airedale Greenway helping cyclists commute down the Aire Valley.

Cllr Whitaker, who also sits on Bradford Council, said: “Now the towpath has been surfaced from Silsden from Riddlesden there is a noticeable increase in usage, from cyclists to people in prams. It’s good for mental health and tackling obesity.”

Cllr Loud, Labour candidate for Craven ward in this year’s Bradford Council elections, said the Silsden to Kildwick towpath was in desperate need of refurbishment.

He added: “A planned upgrade to the canal towpath between Gargrave and Kildwick clearly shows that when separate organisations work collaboratively, substantial investment in infrastructure can be seen.

“I walked along the refurbished section of towpath to the east of Silsden. I lost count of the number of walkers and cyclists that I encountered.

“Only a handful of people used this section the previous year prior to the upgrade. This shows that people will use these facilities extensively if they are properly maintained.”

Cllr Loud has written to cycling group Sustrans for help in pushing for improvements.

Bradford Council is working with the Canal & Rivers Trust and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to try to access various funding streams.

In a response to Cllr Whitaker, the council said: “The Silsden to Kildwick scheme remains in a live pipeline of known aspirations which can feed into future opportunities.”