A new footpath which joins Ashlands Primary and Sacred Heart Primary school, in Ilkley was completed this week.
The new three-metre-wide footpath, which is also accessible to bicycles, cuts across the large adjoining field and will help link the catchment areas for each school on both sides of the A65.
The path will provide a quicker route between each school and promote active travel such as walking and cycling. It will also help reduce the need to make the journey by car which in turn will help reduce congestion in the area and pollution at school drop-off times.
The project was funded by the Department for Transports Active Travel Programme at a cost of £35,000.
Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “The field between both schools is well-known for being difficult to cross, particularly in wet weather, so most parents would avoid it and take the car instead. Unfortunately, this had the knock-on effect of causing congestion which in turn increases pollution and carbon emissions
“The new footpath will give parents the option to leave the car at home and make the school run on foot or by bike. This will have long term health and wellbeing benefits for the children who attend these schools
“The project is part of a series of long-term council initiatives to help promote active travel, particularly amongst young people, which improves health and wellbeing. Fewer car journeys, meanwhile, will also help reduce congestion and boost our decarbonisation and green travel agenda.”
Speaking about the new path Councillor Green (Con, Ilkley) commented, “this new path shows that local knowledge and views can help encourage active travel and delivering value for money for Ilkley residents who pay high rates of council tax and deserve to see serious investment in our wonderful town from Bradford Council.
I am delighted that residents came to me to ask me to deliver this path for them and I’m so happy that I’ve been able to do this. This wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic support of both Ashlands Primary School and Sacred Heart Primary School as well as local residents and council officers so a huge thanks to all of them for their time and work to help me deliver this project.
I sincerely hope that the path will reduce car journeys to both schools and will help to encourage active, healthy lifestyles. I look forward to using the path myself rather than sinking into the field as was previously the case!”