A PLANNED footbridge scheme that has seen little movement for years, and almost doubled in cost, will finally move ahead after a £9m cash boost.

Proposals to build a bridge over the A629 to link Steeton and Silsden date back over a decade.

Earlier this year the future of the plan seemed uncertain, as the planned cost had risen to over £10m, with little sign of where the money would come from.

But this week it was announced the bridge, which will be for pedestrians and cyclists, will get £9m funding as part of the deal that saw West Yorkshire become a devolved authority.

However there will still be a wait before residents of Steeton and Silsden will benefit from the crossing – work is not expected to start until 2025, with an end date of 2026.

The £9m comes from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement – a fund set up to boost walking and cycling.

Despite being a short distance from each other, Steeton and Silsden are divided by the busy dual carriageway.

A lack of crossing facilities mean people looking to walk or cycle between the two have to take their life into their own hands.

Bradford Council, which is leading on the scheme, said the bridge will “make walking and cycling a safe and attractive alternative to driving between the communities and major employers at Airedale Hospital and Millennium Business Park in Steeton”.

The new infrastructure will also improve links to Steeton and Silsden railway station and the National Cycle Network Route 69 along the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath.

Work is expected to be completed by summer 2026.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding for this important project which will make significant improvements to Steeton and Silsden.

“We know this is something local residents have been very keen on for some time and I’m pleased we’re going to be able to deliver the footbridge now funding has been secured.

“Switching to more sustainable travel will improve air quality and people’s fitness levels. On a local level, it will make crossing the A650 much safer and greatly improve the quality of the local environment.”

Keighley MP Robbie Moore said: “I am absolutely delighted that after a lot of lobbying, our much needed pedestrian bridge over the A629 dual carriageway between Steeton and Silsden is finally going to be built.

“This is a key project, which I am determined will be delivered, and I am very pleased that our Conservative Government have allocated funds to deliver it.

“I have been working non-stop to make sure we get the bridge, including meeting with both The Secretary of State and Ministers from The Department of Transport, and have raised the matter on several occasions in the House of Commons Chamber.

“I said I would get our much-needed bridge delivered, and with the funds now secured, I will now be following developments closely to make sure this project is delivered as soon as possible and at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer.

“This is awesome news for all in Silsden and Steeton.”