West Yorkshire Mayor and Council Leaders Allocate £21 Million for Climate Emergency and Transport Improvements
In a significant move to address the pressing climate emergency and bolster the region’s infrastructure, the West Yorkshire Mayor and council leaders have approved an investment of over £21 million. This funding will be utilised to tackle environmental challenges, enhance transportation links for the future, and support the training of high-tech green jobs.
The decision follows the recent publication of the West Yorkshire Plan by the Combined Authority, outlining a vision to establish a “brighter West Yorkshire that works for all” by 2040. The allocated funds will play a pivotal role in advancing the key objectives outlined in the plan, aiming to foster a prosperous, well-connected, and sustainable region. Coupled with other recent project approvals, including initiatives such as the Thorpe Park Rail Station and expansions of the Mayor’s Fares scheme, the Combined Authority has now committed over £54 million to shaping the future of the region.
Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, expressed her commitment to delivering the projects that align with the aspirations of the region’s residents. She stated, “We are getting on with delivering important work the people of West Yorkshire want to see. This multimillion-pound investment supports our missions set out in the West Yorkshire Plan and will help us create good jobs, strong transport links, and a more environmentally friendly region for future generations. It’s crucial we focus on a better future for our children and children’s children, helping them reap the rewards of living in a greener, safer, brighter West Yorkshire.”
A detailed breakdown of the funding reveals that approximately £5.4 million will be allocated to improve bus infrastructure at around 14 bus stations and over 500 bus stops across West Yorkshire. This work aims to enhance services, alleviate delays at 16 locations on the road network, and promote efficient and reliable public transportation.
Furthermore, £6.65 million has been approved to support schemes that empower young people from disadvantaged areas to develop skills required for the green and digital jobs of the future. Approximately 500 children will benefit from this initiative, ensuring they are equipped for the evolving employment landscape.
Significant portions of the funding will be directed towards environmental protection projects. Just under £2 million will be dedicated to introducing additional flood defences along the Colne and Calder rivers. This plan will safeguard homes in and around Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Elland, Marsden, and Huddersfield, providing enhanced resilience against flooding events.
To improve energy efficiency, £2.5 million will be allocated to the Better Homes Hub program, focused on retrofitting homes with energy-saving measures like insulation, solar panels, and heat pumps. Additionally, £366,000 will be invested in fitting solar panels onto bus stations across the region, further promoting sustainable practices.
Cultural activities will also receive support through grants worth £1.6 million, allocated for both Calderdale Year of Culture 2024 and Wakefield Year of Culture 2024. These initiatives aim to celebrate and strengthen the cultural fabric of West Yorkshire.
The funding was officially approved at the Annual General Meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which took place on Thursday, June 22, 2023. The meeting, chaired by the Mayor and attended by council leaders, marked a significant milestone in the region’s journey towards a greener, more connected, and prosperous future. For more information on the approved projects, interested individuals can visit the West Yorkshire Combined Authority website.