Transport Secretary Chris Grayling puts weight behind plans for Shipley Eastern Bypass

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has thrown his weight behind plans for a Shipley Eastern Bypass admitting it is a scheme he is “closely taking an interest in”.

Discussions between the Department for Transport and transport bosses in West Yorkshire have taken place, Mr Grayling told MPs after lobbying from Shipley MP Philip Davies.

Speaking in Commons Transport Questions Mr Davies said: “I am extremely grateful to the Secretary of State for the interest he has shown in the Shipley Eastern Bypass and coming to visit the constituency to see the route at first hand. Can he update me and the House and my constituents on the progress that is being made in finally introducing a Shipley Eastern Bypass.”

The case for the bypass was first mentioned in the Airedale Plan years ago. Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority claimed Government criteria prevented the scheme going ahead. Transport Ministers denied the claims and repeatedly said they want the scheme to proceed.

Mr Grayling said: “The officials are currently looking at what it would take to move this project forward and they have had discussions with the combined authority and of course this potential route sits alongside a growth area in West Yorkshire so I regard this as a scheme I am closely taking an interest in and it is now subject to very careful assessment.”

Mr Davies added: “I am delighted Chris is showing so much interest in this scheme, he has been very supportive and we are one step nearer to making this a reality and getting the bypass we so desperately need. It will not only ease congestion but boost our local economy.”