The Sub-Committee heard a presentation on the Combined Authority’s Connectivity Infrastructure Plan, setting out a long-term transport infrastructure investment programme for the next 20 years. Feedback was being sought on all aspects of the plan and elected members of Bradford District Council had been invited to participate in the workshop as part of the public engagement process.
The plan constituted a series of documents bringing bus, active travel, rail, mass transit, and future mobility together into a single integrated plan for the region, with plans and proposals supported by a series of evidence reports.
Sub-Committee members raised the following questions and comments:
· Greater integration between different operators and between different modes of transport would be a crucial part of future development.
· Had environmental issues been considered in the planning of new transport lanes, particularly in terms of flooding risk?
· Would public comments on the Bradford Local Plan be shared with the Combined Authority to help inform the Connectivity Infrastructure Plan? Officers advised that they had been working closely with Bradford Council officers and sharing information; Local Plans were vital for understanding future growth opportunities.
· What could be done to make cyclists feel safer on the road, and what could be done to improve access to cycling for people from low-income backgrounds/people with disabilities? It was suggested these questions be taken to the upcoming Walking and Cycling webinar for a more comprehensive response.
· Difficulties existed for young people accessing certain specialist educational settings via public transport, such as Craven College or Askham Bryan in North Yorkshire. Were these links being examined? Similarly, lack of a bus service between Skipton and Silsden caused difficulties for Silsden residents attending school or college in Skipton.
· Could the proposed timescale of all neighbourhoods being easily accessible by cycling and walking by 2040 be brought forward? Current timescales were driven by funding availability from central government, but there was a strong desire to achieve this as soon as possible.
· Omissions were discussed on proposed route maps, including the Keighley Worth Valley train line and routes to Hebden Bridge. The bus network review examined future bus travel demand in closer detail than the overview given at the meeting and addressed these concerns.
· Haworth should be made more visible in the plan’s map due to its importance as a tourist destination in the district, particularly in light of Bradford’s 2025 bid to become the City of Culture.
· Impediments to walking, including damage to pavements, lack of protection from vehicles mounting the kerb, and lack of priority at junctions needed to be addressed.
· Moving members of the public away from car use would be a challenge without replicating some of the functionality and flexibility that car use afforded them, such as bringing home large amounts of shopping or for an emergency pick-up in the middle of the night.
· Two-way rail traffic between Shipley and Guiseley to improve service frequency on the Wharfedale line was suggested, potentially in the form of a passing place rather a dual line.
· The work to upgrade tow-paths in the district was praised, and the need for ongoing maintenance and the funding required was discussed.
· Issues with vehicles parking in cycling lanes in Bierley were noted.
Resolved: That the presentation and the Sub-Committee’s feedback be noted.