Hope for Skelton bridge cyclists

Back in May we reported on the campaign to improve cycling access along the Aire & Calder Navigation at the footbridge over Skelton Grange Road. Over 1800 people have signed the online petition so far and Councillor Peter Carlill (Calverley and Farsley) is now organising a meeting to try and resolve the issue.

The bridge, which is privately owned, has been a barrier to what is otherwise a welcoming and accessible walking and cycle route. However on the back of recent funding for active travel, Cllr Peter Carlill and Cllr Lisa Mulherin (Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development) feel there is a renewed interest and opportunity in resolving this issue.

A meeting is being planned to gather all stakeholders together to look into how to issue can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

The route forms part of the Council’s ambition to see 800Km of cycle routes across the city of Leeds and is hoped to be a positive continuation of the recent work to further promote active travel in response to Covid -19

Councillor Peter Carlill said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who has got in touch about this issue, both recently and in the past. We all know it’s a long standing problem with no easy solution. However it’s important that we keep going to reach an outcome that makes this an accessible and valuable cycling route. The difficulty we are facing is that this is a privately owned bridge and that means that we are going to have to work together with a number of parties to make the positive change we all want to see.

“At the Council we are all dedicated to a version of Leeds where cycling is one the best choices for getting about. We are working to see 800km of cycle routes around Leeds and during this difficult time we are asking for the public’s view on how to walk and cycle easier via our commonplace consultation, which we have already seen submitted ideas being implemented across the city.

“In the wake of the change we are making in response to Covid-19, this is an opportunity we need to seize, to ensure a solution is found. I will be chairing a meeting to bring all parties together to do just that.”


This post is based on a press release issued on behalf of Cllr Peter Carlill


8 Replies to “Hope for Skelton bridge cyclists”

  1. Thank you to Cllr Peter Carlill and Cllr Lisa Mulherin who’ve been working hard on this in the background. I know local cyclists are super keen to get this resolved.

  2. Can I add that there are also difficulties with this bridge for people using buggies, and less young walkers as well as cyclists? The width of the steps also make passing someone coming in the opposite direction a hazzard.

  3. Hi it should be noted if heading east that you can carry on over the bridge and cross the river then take a right and jump through a hole in the fence and continue east through the old power station and meet back up with the canal by the M1, its quicker for bikes if there is no traffic but not really suitable for disabled or buggies, it would be easy to fix though just a locked gate for no reason

  4. My wife and i cycle from the armouries to st aidans a lot and this is the only obstacle on what is a pleasurable ride.

  5. A better alternative to a new bridge would be to add a cycling/horse/disability/ pushchair link from near the motorway through the old industrial land which ends at street level. Pedestrians could use the existing bridge with steps and others the new route.
    Or a series of switchback ramps could be set in the river bank to get users up to the road level. The bridge is not the problem it’s getting people up to road level.
    This bridge is the main deterrent for riding into Leeds along this otherwise excellent trail.

  6. Having had to carry my bike many times up and down these steps I would reall welcome an alternative, at 68 years old it’s getting harder and I do love to cycle along this route.

  7. Has any new developments happened since the last publication? This issue really needs sorting out I slipped the other day going down the steps with my bike and nearly went flying!

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