PEOPLE are being urged to have their say on long-awaited plans for a crossing on the Aire Valley trunk road.

Public consultation has begun into a scheme which would enable pedestrians and cyclists to cross the A629 safely between Steeton and Silsden.

Calls have been made for years for a safe crossing facility at the spot, where currently people have to dodge four lanes of fast-moving traffic.

Three options have been put forward.

The first is for a signalised toucan crossing. It would replace the current, uncontrolled crossing point just west of the roundabout and could also feature speed-reduction measures and a narrowing of lanes.

The second option is for an underpass.

And option three is for a bridge. It could be a so-called 'green bridge' – a wider-than-normal footbridge with the extra space accommodating trees, grass or bushes.

The consultation has been launched by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, in conjunction with Bradford Council.

They have worked with Arup to draw-up the options.

Councillor Kim Groves, chairman of the combined authority's transport committee, said the scheme would provide better access for people to facilities including Steeton & Silsden railway station and Airedale Hospital.

She added: "We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Bradford Council to develop options that will help people in Steeton and Silsden – and the surrounding area – overcome significant barriers to making journeys by bike or on foot. We want to make it easier for people to access local facilities as well as open up opportunities to explore the local countryside.

"Enabling increasing numbers of us to travel by bike and on foot is more important than ever, not only as we look to address the health, transport and economic challenges created by Covid-19, but also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038."

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council's portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, is urging everybody with an interest in the area to give their views.

He said: "I know many people in Steeton and Silsden are keen for something to happen at this crossing and I was delighted when Bradford Council, working with the former MP, secured feasibility funding from the Government.

"Important active travel infrastructure like this supports our broader efforts to improve local neighbourhoods, the environment and people’s health so I encourage anyone who has an interest in the area to take part in the consultation."

The plans can be viewed at and people have until December 22 to comment.

Craven ward councillor, Rebecca Whitaker, said she had studied the plans and listened to comments from residents and her preferred option would be a footbridge.

She added: "The A629 is a very busy dual carriageway.

"Silsden, Steeton and Eastburn have all seen huge amounts of housing being built in their areas but sustainable transport links are woefully lacking.

"If we are to encourage people to make more journeys by walking and cycling we must ensure they can do so as safely as possible.

"I hope that money can be found for this project as soon as possible and I am hoping that the undertaking of yet another consultation exercise is an indication that a decision will soon be made.”