What is this consultation about?
As part of the first phase of the vision to improve Shipley Town Centre via the recently consulted on Shipley Streets for People initiative, Bradford Council is looking to bring forward proposals to remove through-traffic from a section of Kirkgate in the heart of the town centre, alongside developing new walking and cycling infrastructure.
Kirkgate is an important high street in Shipley Town Centre and home to an array of shops as well as the well-known outdoor market, which many see as the centre of the town. Improving connectivity by walking, cycling and public transport to this civic core forms an important part of the Shipley Streets for People ambition to create an improved town centre with increased, better quality public spaces and an enhanced environment which feels pleasant, safe and attractive.
What is being planned?
In order to achieve the ambition for Shipley Town Centre, Bradford Council is looking to accelerate proposals to restrict through-traffic on Kirkgate, between Otley Road to New Kirkgate, to all vehicles except for buses and taxis. This would help to reduce traffic along this route, reducing noise and air pollution, and improving bus journey times. Vehicles wanting to access the area including the rail station, Canal Road and Foxes Corner will still be able to do so via Commercial Street and Saltaire Road. Reducing the volume of vehicles in the Kirkgate area will also help to provide a safer, cleaner and more vibrant environment for everyone to enjoy.
The carriageway along the stretch of Kirkgate between Otley Road and Rosse Street will also be widened slightly to accommodate new cycle lanes. By providing cycle infrastructure in this area, with separate one-way cycle lanes on each side of the road, cycling will be separated from busy traffic, making it a safer, more attractive option and encouraging more people access the town centre via cycling.
In order to support the reduction of through-traffic on this stretch of Kirkgate, and to provide the space required for proposed new cycling infrastructure, some changes to traffic routes and parking in the surrounding area would be required. Full details of these proposed changes can be found on the scheme overview plan (PDF) .
Why are the proposals important?
Shipley Town Centre is part of the Streets for People initiative which focuses on creating safe and healthy places, with the overall ambition of making Shipley one of the best places to live, work and visit.
As part of the initiative, any proposed changes which are brought forward in the town centre, such as the proposal to remove through traffic on a section of Kirkgate, must take into account a number of factors. These include the benefits the proposal will have on traffic management, clean growth, reducing air pollution, creating attractive public spaces where people can meet up and spend time, and encouraging sustainable methods of transport such as cycling, walking and public transportation.
Removing through-traffic from part of Kirkgate and creating better infrastructure for cycling and walking is really important if we are to maintain strong transport connections to Shipley Town Centre to ensure the public can continue to easily access the town centre, without relying on private motor vehicles. Reducing the number of private vehicles travelling on this route will also help to speed up bus journey times and offer more reliable services. Removing through-traffic will also play an important part in reducing air pollution in the area which is important for public health.
All of the projects which fall under the Streets for People initiative tie into the Inclusive Growth, Environment, Health and Wellbeing and Places core themes of the West Yorkshire Transport Strategy 2040, with a focus on creating safe and healthy street environments, which work well for all people and help them live active, healthy lives in areas of good air quality.
In order for Shipley to meet its ambition to become one of the best places to live, work, visit and play, we need to make the town centre safer and more accessible, helping to boost trade and footfall in local shops and the market, and making Shipley a more attractive place to spend time.
Images showing the ambition for Kirkgate can be found in the Shipley Streets proposal (PDF) and a video explaining the proposals is available on YouTube.
We want to hear what you think. This consultation provides an opportunity for you to tell us your views on our proposed plans for Kirkgate before we progress any further.
Public consultation on the Kirkgate proposals will run until Wednesday, 12 May 2021 and you can tell us what you think now.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to give feedback over the phone, you can call Freephone 0808 196 9119 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org where you can provide feedback or ask questions.
The responses and feedback received through the consultation will be analysed and taken into account as part of the ongoing development of the Kirkgate proposals, and the proposals will be subject to a full Traffic Regular Order (TRO) process before any work starts on site.