New bridge the preferred option to solve towpath congestion at Skelton Grange

Investigative work carried out by Sustrans and other stakeholders has now resulted in a consensus on a preferred option to create a safe and usable level crossing over the river for cyclists near Skelton Grange Road in Stourton.

The current bridge has a narrow, steep set of steps that pedestrians and cyclists must use. It is impossible for wheelchair users and difficult for cyclists and parents with buggies. Plus at busy times queues build up.

We have reported on Leeds Cycling Campaign’s long running campaign to resolve the situation on this busy cycle route and footpath along the Aire & Calder Navigation.

A range of possible solutions was discussed amongst stakeholders, which resulted in Option B5 (and its variant) – the creation of a new bridge over the canal with access ramps on each bank – being selected as the preferred option.

Schematic drawing of the new bridge

Sustrans will now set up a Project Development Working Group with Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to develop plans for the preferred option (and variant) and progress to the next stage of development.

Cllr Paul Wray (Labour, Hunslet & Riverside) said:

“There is still a long way to go but this is an important moment as there is now a joint vision forward on how to resolve the accessibility issues across the waterway at this point – not just for cyclists, but pedestrians as well. Everyone can now pull in the same direction to make our wonderful waterways open to all.”

Cllr Ed Carlisle (Green, Hunslet & Riverside) commented:

“Many thanks to all those – the diverse partners, and people across the political spectrum – who’ve kept on at this. It’s a good story of tenacity, and cooperative problem-solving. We’ve still got a way to go, but this is another good step towards enabling active low-carbon travel in our city and communities.”


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2 Replies to “New bridge the preferred option to solve towpath congestion at Skelton Grange”

  1. I went past here recently. Lots going on. Looks like strengthening works to the existing bridge, maybe related to the new Skelton Grange EfW site which is flying up nearby. There are temporary stairs on the west side of the bridge and a pontoon on the river to access the river side path. And they are installing some new wide steel stairs to the east of the existing bridge to bring you down to roughly the same location as the old steps. Probably worth one of your reporters going down to take some photos and asking the construction team what’s progressing and when the new stairs will be open for use. Cheers

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