Bradford Shipley Route Improvement Scheme
Bradford Shipley Route Improvement Scheme

Dual carriageway along Canal Road and Valley Road to Shipley, to take traffic from a quieter Manningham Lane, to cater for around 3,000 more houses in the valley, and to provide extra capacity for traffic from economic growth. More traffic up Otley Road past Shipley CofE school. A Clean Air Zone for the whole area. What do you think? A Labour Working party has concerns about the process and the priorities and calls for much more informed consultation. It is reproduced below and here. Further detail is given in an appendix here.

“The Council responded in June 2021, here. Shipley Constituency Labour Party is a founder affiliate of the Bradford-Shipley Travel Alliance (”


School Clean Air
School Clean Air


Bradford Shipley Road Scheme

Report accepted by Shipley Constituency Labour Party, 6th Nov 2020.  

See also appendices: A Detail; B Timeline of reports.

  • Background

Our brief has been to report to Shipley CLP on the implementation of the Bradford-Shipley Road Improvement Scheme, with three priorities declared by the CLP on September 4th:

“Improved safety around Shipley CoE Primary school.

Improved environmental and social facilities for residents.

A realistic response to the climate emergency for example by limiting carbon emissions.”


  • Recommendations to the CLP

  1. To promote this report and its appendices to members and on its public-facing pages.
  2. To task the working group to circulate the report to Councillors and relevant Council members, and to propose and support a broad umbrella organisation of interested parties to engage with the project, mindful of the following concerns:
  • While the scheme has positive aspects in greening the Manningham Lane route, and aims to decongest the Canal Road/Valley Road route, the information about the scheme does not address the danger of increased rather than decreased congestion, increased pollution including to school children affecting the rest of their lives, breaking the commitment to improved air quality, and is not part of a wider response to the climate emergency. 
  • There has been no public release of evidence about future traffic, air quality or noise under the scheme, and there appears to be no plan to release such evidence as part of consultation for the scheme.
  • Our national political structures appear defective in that they are not tackling major crises that threaten human life, whether COVID19 or climate emergency. The acceptance of private profit as a steering hand on housing and economic development limits the joined-up human-centred responses required. 
  • Popular education and the political weight of collective action can ensure that lessons are learned from COVID19 and implemented for this road scheme to ensure that the CLP priorities are achieved.


Report (appendices contain more detail)

A. The scheme

  • Manningham Lane up to the Branch made 20mph limit single lane traffic, with a dedicated cycle track to run alongside.
  • Dual carriageway on Canal/Valley/Otley Roads to accommodate traffic shifted from Manningham Lane and traffic from new housing in Bolton Woods above Stanley Road. Naturalisation of Bradford Beck, maintaining the existing Greenway walk/cycle track.

B. The scheme’s progress through West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and Bradford Council

  • £48m approved by WYCA, delegated to Bradford Council for implementation. 
  • Outline Business Case approved December 2019 (WYCA). Full Business Case expected to be approved by March 2021. Work to be completed by April 2025.

C. Concern 1: The insufficient reference to the Climate Emergency which threatens all our lives and livelihoods.

  • The scheme is not subject to recent Climate Emergency policies adopted by WYCA and Bradford Council.
  • Lockdown in 2020 has shown that reduced traffic ends congestion, improves air quality and renews wildlife.
  • The scheme is in a proposed Clean Air Zone, but has no target to reduce emissions of harmful gas and particle – apart from there being a general recognition that flowing traffic on Canal Road would be less polluting in that local environment, than stationary traffic.  

D. Concern 2. The danger that a wider Canal Road/Valley Road will fill with new traffic, not improving congestion there and at the same time worsening congestion through Shipley.

  • Government research expects a fifth of increased capacity to be filled by newly-attracted ‘induced’ traffic, and more than a fifth on congested urban roads.
  • Any increase in traffic will worsen the existing bottleneck from the Branch to Saltaire junction on the A650, with an impact on all other Shipley Roads.

E. Concern 3. The aim to increase traffic past Shipley CofE school, without adequate reduction in the already excessive level of pollution.

  • Traffic is the most significant source of nitrogen dioxide and particulate pollution in this area. 
  • Shipley CofE school and other parts of Shipley are already above international (WHO) limits of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.  

F. Concern 4. The lack of information on projected traffic, air quality and noise, for recent years or forecasts for the scheme.

  • No Council committee has received any report assessing current and projected traffic patterns with the proposed scheme, nor impact on air and noise pollution.
  • Reports from an improved Bradford strategic traffic modelling system are not expected to inform any public consultation on this scheme.

G. Concern 5. The environmental danger of developing housing and transport systems that increase car use, rather than developing reduced carbon alternatives.

  • Recent housing in Bolton Woods is designed for two-car households and no bus service. The ‘social hub’ of the proposed new Urban Village includes a drive-thru Costa Coffee.
  • Alternative approaches could reduce congestion and its impact by reducing traffic and emissions.

H. Concern 6. Consultation in 2019 did not support dual carriageway on Canal/Valley/Otley Roads, though it did support reduction of congestion.

  • Dual carriageway was not mentioned in the consultation survey. Support was for shorter journey times at peak hours, not an overall increase in traffic.

I. Responses to the scheme from others.

  • Clean Air Bradford and Shipley Town Council have both expressed concerns about air quality and increased congestion in Shipley. Clean Air Bradford, Friends of the Earth and parents’ and community groups in Shipley have taken the lead in raising concerns over the past two years.
traffic congestion
traffic congestion
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