Posted on Aug 24, 2015 at 09:59 AM
You may have heard the words City Connect mentioned by cyclists, friends or colleagues and often wondered what it is all about? Well the first City Connect project involved creating a super highway for walking and cycling between Leeds and Bradford.
Find out more about City Connect 1
In the early months of 2015 funding was confirmed for City Connect 2 boosting the success story of the first scheme. The second project has a much bigger vision and involves the West Yorkshire Combined Authority working with all the local authorities of West Yorkshire and York.
So what is this big vision all about? The local authorities involved in the bid all put forward cycle improvement schemes that will enhance the option for more people to consider cycling on safe segregated routes and quiet roads. The aim is to improve the transport network for walking and cycling connecting communities in the process.
How will City Connect 2 benefit Calderdale?
The vision for Calderdale is to create a segregated route from Todmorden to Brighouse with further plans to extend the route to Cooper Bridge and the district of Kirklees. The Calderdale City Connect Route will follow existing National Cycle Network Route 66 and also utilise the Rochdale Canal, Calder & Hebble Navigation and local highway.
Breaking the route down City Connect 2 will follow the canal towpath of the Rochdale Canal between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge using the existing National Cycle Network Route 66. Leaving Hebden Bridge the City Connect route will take a separate path on the Rochdale Canal to Luddendenfoot. By having two greenway routes in the upper Calder Valley this will create a family loop and improve accessibility to Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Moderna Business Park and Luddendenfoot.
Heading east out of Luddendenfoot the City Connect route will follow the same path as National Cycle Network Route 66 to the outskirts of Sowerby Bridge. At this point the Rochdale Canal towpath will provide a City Connect link to the north side of Sowerby Bridge. At the same point National Cycle Network Route 66 will follow the highway linking the south side of the town and providing access to the rail network.
Although the canal is made up from the same body of water it changes from the Rochdale Canal to the Calder and Hebble Navigation in Sowerby Bridge at Tuel Lane Lock, the deepest lock in the UK. On the east side of Sowerby Bridge outside the boundaries of the marina City Connect will link up with National Cycle Network 66 once again with the aim to improve the towpath surface up to Hollas Lane near Copley. From Hollas Lane to the outskirts of Brighouse very few improvements will be made as the Calder Valley Greenway already has a high quality surface.
Taking the route through the town of Brighouse will provide an interesting challenge as space is a real premium. The aim is to follow a mix of canal towpath and the local highway connecting the facilities of the town centre, rail network and industrial estate on the east side of the town.
Looking at the big picture in Calderdale, City Connect 2, the National Cycle Network Routes 66 and 69 will create a complete greenway network linking Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Luddendenfoot, Sowerby Bridge, Copley, Salterhebble, Elland, Brighouse and Halifax and all the train stations in the borough. Future works into Halifax town will complete the Calderdale Valley floor cycle network.