PROGRESS on investigating the feasibility of a footbridge over the Aire Valley Road has been welcomed by a local politician.

But Cllr Adrian Naylor said he was still concerned at the time it was taking to decide whether to provide a crossing near the Silsden-Steeton roundabout.

He said that although a timeline to prepare a business case has been drawn up, it was still taking several years to go through the decision process.

The government gave £700,000 for the feasibility study in April 2017, yet in November no last year no consultants had been appointed to carry it out.

Leeds consultants Arup – who devised the Airedale Masterplan in 2004 – were eventually commissioned to look at various options for getting pedestrians and cyclists safely across the busy A629 Aire Valley Road.

Arup is working on the long-awaited project with Bradford Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

The organisations have drawn up a detailed programme with deadlines for the various aspects of the feasibility study and outline business case.

Arup has already carried out a cycle audit, surveyed users of Silsden-Steeton railway station, prepared for a Health Impact Assessment, and started assessing options.

According to the timeline, by the end of May Arup had planned to carry out an internal workshop to draw up a ‘long-list’ of options, and establish preferred options.

Cllr Naylor, who sits on both Silsden and Bradford councils, said the latest developments were “obviously a step forward with regard to getting a decision on some sort of crossing”.

But he added: “More than 12 months ago we were given the impression we would be at this stage in summer last year, and receive a report in the autumn.

“We’re looking at the end of June this year before we get anything, but I think it’s going to be more like August.

“The frustration is that the funding for a feasibility study and business plan was available two to three years ago. It is provided by the Government to Bradford Council.

“Although the money has been sitting there for several years, we are still waiting for a proposal. It’s not clear when the final document will be available.

Cllr Naylor pointed out that the feasibility study was simply the first step in getting a crossing: the council and WYCA then had to secure funding to build it.

He added: “The feasibility study will take them to the next step, which is working out whether there can be a crossing and who can pay for it. We’re no further than we were three or four years ago.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority was not available for comment as the Keighley News went to press this week.