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Road improvements for walking

A potentially dangerous short section of road used by several popular long-distance footpaths has been made safer for walkers thanks to the work of Bradford Council officers.

The 200 metre section of road that leads from Weecher Reservoir on to Bingley and Burley Moors and links A Dales High Way, the Bradford Millennium Way, and the Welcome Way has had bollards installed and a place for walkers to use safely has been created.

Traffic along this stretch of Otley Road in the High Eldwick area of Bingley is very fast and the only verge on one side was difficult on foot due to a drainage ditch, now walkers are separate from the traffic and able to continue their journey in safety.

The four local Walkers Are Welcome groups (Otley, Bingley, Burley and Baildon) initially contacted the Highways Department of Bradford Council with an offer to work with them on the project and to raise funds and provide volunteer labour.

This wasn’t needed as Senior Engineer, Kevin Whitaker from Bradford Council’s Highways Department was able to work with Saira Ali a Landscape, Design, and Conservation Team Leader at the council who secured money from Tranche 2 of the Active Travel Fund. This supports councils to improve cycling and walking facilities in their areas, as part of the work to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kevin was then able to deploy a team of Highways workers to complete the work.

David Asher, representing the four Walkers Are Welcome groups, said: “We offered to raise some funds and to provide volunteer labour as we had done for previous projects, but in the end neither were required. We are most grateful to Kevin of Bradford Council’s Highways Service for his support for the creation of the new footway, and to Saira for applying for and gaining government funding to meet the cost. This means a much safer passage for walkers. Our thanks must go to the whole team at Bradford Council for making this happen.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This is just one of a number of measures we have put in place across the district using our Active Travel funds. All these measures are designed to make it easier and safer for people to walk or cycle around the district either as part of their commute, to access shops and services, or in this case for leisure.

“Our officers are working hard to put these measures in place and it is always good to see that hard work acknowledged and appreciated by local residents.”

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