Multi-million pound plans to extend Leeds’ cycle superhighway, including bringing the route out to Morley, have been approved by councillors.
It includes creating a South Leeds section, running between the city centre, Elland Road stadium and then into Morley, as well as expanding the cycleway through Leeds centre and linking it to the education quarter and South Bank area.
The executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Coun Richard Lewis said he had seen a “massive increase” in cycling, since the creation of City Connect 1, despite criticism its construction caused disruption to residents for “too long”.
He said: “The critics have perhaps been a little quieter of late in terms of saying we have just built a white elephant, far from it. I think this is a long-term investment that in 20 or 30 years time people will be saying Leeds did the right thing in expanding cycling facilities.”
Board members approved phase one of the scheme, in Leeds city centre, which will cost £6.5m and will be funded through the government’s Cycling City Ambition Grant programme.
They also agreed in principle to the rest of the superhighway project, including the route between Morley and Leeds.
Coun Neil Dawson, for Morley South, said last week: “I have been lobbying for Morley to be part of the cycle superhighway network and welcome the in principle decision to have the next phase of the cycleway come to Morley.
“The route as far as Elland Road park and ride has been agreed and I will be meeting with council planners to look at the best cycle route from Elland Road to Morley.”
The cycling superhighway is designed to build on the legacy of the Tour de France and the Grand Depart held in Leeds in 2014. It aims to get people to cycle more often, encourage healthy living and reduce C02 emissions.