Wilsden Neighbourhood Plan 2020-2038

Ended on the 18 March 2024


8.0.1 The self-contained nature of the Village of Wilsden means that it can generally support the needs for day to day living for the majority of its residents. However, the geographic location and rural nature of the Parish means that people often have to travel long distances to access services and functions such as work, secondary education, healthcare, and shops.

8.0.2 The proportion of population over 16 and in work who are recorded as working from home in the 2021 Census has increased significantly but it is unclear how much of this is a long-term trend and how much it is a short-term impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. The 2021 Census records 32% working from home compared to 7% in the 2011 Census. Even where people are working from home the there is still a need for many journeys to be made. Most residents in the Parish have access to a car, and it provides the principal mode of transport for many residents. A small but significant number of households (12.5% in 2021) do not have access to a car and a further 42.3% of households in 2021 had one car.

8.0.3 Bus services are provided through a mixture of commercially operated services and through subsidy from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Whilst bus services to Bingley and Bradford were considered to be adequate before Covid and are now reduced through slower returning patronage and crew shortages, services to other towns and villages in the area are not, e.g., Shipley and Denholme. The direct service to Keighley is infrequent and extended in journey time through the merging of routes. It is currently not possible to travel to other South Pennine settlements such as Denholme and Thornton or to other towns such as Shipley without changing buses.

8.0.4 Public transport provision needs to be maintained to a least pre-Covid levels and improved to meet changing needs (its ageing population) and increased demand arising from housing growth in the Parish. The 2021 Census indicated that the number of people travelling to work by train had reduced over the previous 10 years to the level of 2001. Although the future trends are unclear Department of Transport data from 2023 indicates that passenger numbers have increased to pre-pandemic levels. Leisure travel by train is particularly buoyant. It is therefore important to maintain and improve bus services to the railway stations at Bingley and Bradford.

8.0.5 The Parish is also threaded through with footpaths and, to a lesser extent, cycle routes and bridleways. Walking and cycling are popular pastimes for residents of, and visitors to the Parish as well as an important means for local residents to access local services and facilities. The 2011 Census showed that the number of people travelling to work on foot or by bicycle had increased over the previous 10 years although the numbers remain small.

8.0.6 The consultations show that local residents wish to reduce their reliance on the car and encourage more people to walk, use a bicycle and make use of public transport (41% of survey responses indicated a difficulty in reaching some destinations by public transport). This can be achieved by, for example, improved public transport provision and better and safer pedestrian links. This can bring significant benefits not only in terms of reducing car journeys, but also reducing harmful emissions and creating healthier communities. Increased opportunities to walk or cycle to work, school or to access the local centre and other facilities can lead to decreased car use, reduced congestion, reduction of pollution and improving public and individual health.

8.0.7 In 2021 and 2022 Wilsden Parish Council partnered with the neighbouring local councils from Cullingworth, Denholme and Harden to carry out the Bingley Rural Green Travel Project which took a community led approach to sustainable transport planning and development. This project looked at ways of reducing car use and encouraging greater use of public transport, walking and cycling. This indicated the importance of maintaining and improving bus services to the railway stations at Bingley and Bradford. The results of this project will be shared with key partners and will inform future policy development.

8.0.8 The Core Strategy of the CBMDC Local Plan states in Policy PNI an objective to "Improve public transport within and between the settlements of the South Pennines, in particular bus improvements".


The Plan will support development proposals that promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport and will require that all major development proposals should include appropriate provision for footpaths and cycle routes including, through agreements for Section 106, CIL funds or similar to be dedicated to local (Parish) improvements.

8.1 Footpaths, Cycleways and Bridleways

8.1.1 There are more than 26 km of footpaths, bridleways and unsurfaced byways crossing the area, including Bradford's Millennium Trail, the Great Northern Railway Trail and the Aire-Calder Bridleway Link. Many of these originate from when Wilsden evolved from a group of separate hamlets into a village, which supported the mills of the Industrial Revolution. Most notable of these are the Grade II listed walled footpaths leading from Main Street and Cranford Place to the Recreation Ground and Wilsden Hill. Although many of the roads are too narrow to allow a dedicated cycle lane there is a stretch of cycleway on Harden Lane.

8.1.2 Consultation shows that these are cherished by both the local community and visitors to the Parish, the footpaths and bridleways being popular with local people whether on foot, on horseback or bicycle. They are especially important for health, the environment and well-being, as well as adding to the distinctive history and character of the Parish. The CBMDC Core Strategy emphasises "the importance of the link between health and recreation".


The Parish Council will actively work with CBMDC and other relevant agencies to support opportunities to secure improvements in the present network of footpaths, cycleways and bridleways.

Priority should be given to improvements that would (a) improved links between the main residential areas (including proposed) and Wilsden Village Centre and/or essential services such as the primary school and health facilities and (b) the extension and joining up of the network and circular routes between and around the settlements in the Parish. Development proposals that result in the reduction in the existing network of footpaths, bridleways and cycle ways in the Parish will not be supported unless accompanied by appropriate mitigation.

8.2 Traffic along Main Street, Wilsden

8.2.1 The consultation showed Main Street in Wilsden to be a significant traffic concern. This is the principal road running through the village which bisects it in a roughly north south direction. A lot of traffic passes through it. However, it is not suited (nor designed) to modern traffic needs. It is often congested, particularly during peak commuting hours and around the school during drop-off and pick-up times. On-street parking adds to the congestion and restricts visibility for both drivers and pedestrians. Car parking on pavements can be a major issue for pedestrians, particularly those with mobility difficulties. In many locations, the footpath along the Main Street is very narrow, making it hazardous for pedestrians, especially for the elderly and for parents with young children. This can act as a barrier to people making use of the shops and services along it.

8.2.2 Local people have expressed concerns about road safety, noise and vehicle emissions associated with the volume and speed of traffic passing along Main Street. They are also concerned that road and pedestrian safety along Main Street will worsen in the years to come as a result of planned development in the Parish, and more significantly, initiatives outside the Parish boundaries.


Traffic management measures that improve highway and road pedestrian safety along Main Street in the Village centre will be encouraged.

Development proposals must not result in severe direct or cumulative impact on traffic congestion or highway and pedestrian safety along Main Street.

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