'Once in a generation' plans unveiled to develop Bradford city centre creating green jobs and reducing air pollution

Plans have been unveiled for ambitious changes to Bradford city centre have been described as 'once in a generation'.

Roads in the city centre will be pedestrianised with green spaces built and access improved to Bradford Interchange under the new proposals publicly released today by Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Funded through a £80m cash injection from the Department for Transport's Transforming Cities Fund, the four schemes would create a more attractive and pleasant civic centre for the district so that people can enjoy the city's shopping, eating and leisure amenities away from traffic and pollution from adjacent roads.

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The council also plans to improve public transport, extend a cycle superhighway along arterial Thornton Road into West Bradford and bring forward a scheme for a park and ride located to the south of the city centre, next to junction 2 of the M606.

Artist impression of Bradford city centre under new plans to revitalise its infrastructure and green spaces

It is hoped that the upgraded city centre will help Bradford - which it is hoped will be carbon neutral by 2038 - to expand economically and sustainably, providing hundreds of green jobs.

Darren Badrock, who is the city's Traffic Manager, hailed the plans as "extremely ambitious" and "once in a generation".

"We are also looking at these plans with the possibility of a mass transit system for West Yorkshire in mind, plans for which are still being consulted on," Mr Baldrock said.

"Tree planting is also something we are taking into consideration. All streets will have trees planted on them.

Bradford city centre at present. Picture Adobe Stock Images

"We have a commitment within the district to increase the planting of trees."

Recent research by group UK100 found that the planting of trees would deliver an economic return in the long term, and is even thought to result in increased retail spending and reduce low level crime.

Coun Susan Hinchliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said of the plans “Bradford’s Transforming Cities Fund programme will be essential to reducing car use and congestion across the city, improving the health of our residents and helping us to achieve our aim of becoming the UK’s leading clean growth district.

“Bradford is a district with a young and diverse demographic and a lot of potential. The schemes being brought forward will ensure we make the most of what Bradford has to offer, stimulating regeneration across the district and attracting further investment.”

Artist impression of Bradford city centre under new plans to revitalise its infrastructure and green spaces

A public consultation asking what residents wish to see improved is now open and is running until September 8.

Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “In my manifesto, I committed to improving public transport and helping tackle the climate emergency on our way to becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

“Transformational schemes such as these being proposed in Bradford, combined with our efforts to improve public transport across West Yorkshire, will provide more people with more opportunity to choose to travel sustainably, whilst improving the civic landscape for all to enjoy.

“I would encourage everyone to take part in this important consultation.”

Artist impression of Bradford city centre under new plans to revitalise its infrastructure and green spaces

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