An unmarked and incomplete cycle path which had been delayed for 15 months due to contaminated ground has finally opened to cyclists between Bradford and Shipley.
In November we reported that local residents had called the Canal Road Greenway a “standing joke” as the project entered its tenth month of delays. At that point the project was slated to be completed in the new year, but it’s taken until halfway through April for the route to reach a usable point.
That’s not to say it’s completed. The route may be open for use, but work is still ongoing as signage erection - an issue that the incomplete path had problems with - top soiling, and verge seeding are still in the pipeline.
Work started on the cycle path in 2013, with a budget of £500,000, according to the Telegraph and Argus, but was met with extensive delays when workers encountered contaminated ground beneath allotments that the route was penned to go through.
The frustration felt in the local community was not due to the delays in project’s completion, but in the council’s lack of communication and the poor signage surrounding the incomplete path. An issue which left many cyclists confused as they came to the end of the path, without any warning, face-to-face with a fence and nowhere else to go.
This time, however, the council are much more forthcoming with information, especially in regards to the path’s continued state of incompleteness.
Bradford Council decided to leave the contaminated area undisturbed and sealed in the ground so as to avoid any health risks to people using the bike path. They have now fenced off the former allotment site to prevent any further risks to the health of locals.
Rhys Stead, 41, a local cyclist who criticised the council over their lack of communication and signage in November, spoke to the Telegraph and Argus again upon the route’s completion
He said: "It looks far better now, and I have already seen cyclists and runners using the path,"
"It's really positive for the area, and nice to see it finally completed. It's great that there is now a route right through from Bradford to Shipley and Saltaire.
"Lots of families will use the route, as it provides a safe option away from the roads.
"The fact the work has now been done will be really appreciated by the local community."
The completed route, which was created in association with Sustrans and allegedly cost a total of £260,000, now makes up part of National Cycle ROute 66. That route continues on through the Spen Valley Greenway, Airedale Greenway, and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.