Businesses in Bradford were able to tell a leading cabinet minister about the importance of transport connections in the District, thanks to the Chamber.
At only two days’ notice, West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce pulled in a group of businesses and found a venue to host Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and a team of civil servants, prior to him making a major announcement that could affect them.
Aerospace engineers Produmax in Shipley hosted the visit, accompanied by an entourage of media journalists and broadcasters. Mr Grayling and local MP Philip Davies met with a dozen local businesses, including Bradford Chamber President, Nick Garthwaite, who were able to relate hurdles faced on roads, rail and air travel into and out of Bradford. Other present included Manor Coatings, Univer and Incommunities.
The purpose of the visit was to announce that £300,000 was being made available for a feasibility study on the need for a new by-pass for Shipley. It was also revealed that Highways England will spend £500,000 on improvements to the A1 at junction 47 near Harrogate, increasing road capacity, reducing queuing and improving journey times.
Mike Cartwright of the Chamber’s policy team, who organised the event, said afterwards:
“It was all hands on deck when we got the call from DfT – Manor Coatings had also been willing to host the visit, so particular thanks to them and Produmax for stepping up at such short notice.
The Department for Transport later said:
“The feasibility study could uncover evidence of the wider benefits of a new by-pass to the town; for example, by cutting congestion in the centre and moving traffic onto an alternative road. It will also explore how a route to the east could improve air quality and remove barriers to economic growth. If found to be viable, a relief road would provide a second crossing of the River Aire at Shipley and potentially create access to future development opportunities, including new housing.”
Any future decisions on whether a by-pass is built will depend on the outcome of the feasibility study.
Read the Government’s full announcement here.