A LONG-awaited scheme to build a footbridge over the A629 – that has seen little movement for years and almost doubled in cost – will finally move ahead after a £9m cash boost.

Earlier this year the future of the plan, aimed at linking Steeton with Silsden, seemed uncertain as the cost had risen to over £10m – with little sign of where the money would come from.

But it has been announced that the bridge, for pedestrians and cyclists, will get £9m as part of the deal that saw West Yorkshire become a devolved authority.

However there will still be a wait before residents will benefit from the structure – work is not expected to start until 2025, with an end date of 2026.

The £9m comes from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement – a fund set up to boost walking and cycling.

Currently, people have to take their lives in their hands to cross the busy dual carriageway.

Bradford Council, which is leading on the scheme, said the bridge would “make walking and cycling a safe and attractive alternative between the communities”.

The new infrastructure will also improve links to Steeton and Silsden railway station and the National Cycle Network Route 69 along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw – Bradford Council's portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport – said: "We are delighted to have secured funding for this important project.

“We know this scheme is something local residents have been very keen on for some time.

“Switching to more sustainable travel will also improve air quality and people’s fitness levels.”

Keighley MP Robbie Moore said: “I am absolutely delighted that after a lot of lobbying, our much-needed pedestrian bridge over the A629 dual carriageway between Steeton and Silsden is finally going to be built.

“This is a key project, which I am determined will be delivered, and I am very pleased that the Government has allocated funds to deliver it.

“I have been working non-stop to make sure we get the bridge, including meeting with both the Secretary of State and ministers from the Department of Transport, and have raised the matter on several occasions in the House of Commons chamber.

“With the funds now secured, I will be following developments very closely to make sure this project is delivered as soon as possible and at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer."