Planning approval awarded to first phase of new cycle route linking Castleford and Wakefield

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The next phase of the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway has been given planning approval by the council.

Developed by Wakefield Council, in partnership with CityConnect and funded by the Department for Transport (DfT), the new Greenway project will see the development of a new off highway cycle route between Methley Bridge in Castleford and Fairies Hill Lock at Whitwood.

By providing a quiet, high-quality link with a sealed surface to current cycle routes in the area, the new 2km stretch will fill a gap in the local cycle network.

Construction is due to start in summer 2017, with completion planned for the end of year.

This is the start of a wider scheme being delivered by Wakefield Council and CityConnect, which is part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Further works that will connect to the existing Castleford Greenway are planned. These include an extension of the cycle way over a new bridge crossing the Leeds – Castleford – Normanton rail line and a link to the Riverside path on the west side of Castleford. The scheme will also link to Methley Junction, where it will connect to the Trans Pennine Trail to Wakefield, and eventually Leeds.

The overall project will consist of 6km of new cycle track, with the new bridge completing and connecting a network of 18km off highway cycle track. It is expected to be delivered by summer 2018.

Coun Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, said: “I am delighted that plans are progressing for the new cycle way. It will improve access for those living between Wakefield and Castleford as well as with Methley and the Trans Pennine Trail.

“It will provide an attractive, quiet route for cycling and walking for both leisure and commuting, providing an extra link to local businesses and employment opportunities in the area.”

Coun Eric Firth, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “This is the first phase of new cycling infrastructure being delivered in the Wakefield area by the CityConnect programme, in partnership with Wakefield Council.

“This project represents an exciting new step for CityConnect, where new off-highway cycle routes are being created, where previously none existed. These high-quality links will benefit the communities in Castleford, Methley and Wakefield, by expanding the cycle network they can access.

We hope also to provide a valuable connection to the Trans Pennine Trail, increasing the opportunity to travel by bike or on foot, for leisure or work, for the people in these communities.”

Further details of the project and about when rights of way will be closed for the construction of the route, can be found on the CityConnect website here