A new map aimed at boosting the number of people travelling on foot between Bradford city centre and St Luke’s Hospital has been launched as part of the celebrations for National Walking Month.    

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, was joined by Professor Mel Pickup, Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Healthy People and Places Portfolio Holder at Bradford Council, and Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of Living Streets, at the launch in Bradford on Friday (20 May).

The map, which includes two route options from Bradford Interchange and City Park to St Luke’s Hospital, has been developed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in partnership with Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Living Streets, the UK Charity for everyday walking. 

Mayor of West Yorkshire launches map

(L-R) Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Healthy People and Places Portfolio Holder at Bradford Council; Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of Living Streets; Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire; and Professor Mel Pickup, Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust holding the new map at the launch.

Mayor Brabin, who joined a led walk from Bradford Interchange to meet staff at St Luke’s Hospital, said:

“Walking is one of the most accessible ways to travel.  It is something most of us do every day, you can do it straight from your front door and it does not have to cost a penny. 

“We know getting more people walking, as well as cycling, is part of the solution to so many of the challenges we face – from boosting our health and wellbeing, to reducing congestion on our roads, improving the air we breathe and tackling the climate emergency on our way to becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

“Supporting more people to walk is just one example of how we are helping make West Yorkshire an even better place to live, work, raise a family and flourish.” 

Professor Mel Pickup said:

“Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve or maintain your overall health and we're delighted to introduce these walking routes.

“Their use will help improve our carbon footprint, reduce the environmental impact of our services and create a greener NHS and environment for us all. This marks another great step on our journey to becoming ‘net zero’.”

Bradford is set to benefit from a series of transport schemes aimed at transforming the city centre and making it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport.  

Cllr Ferriby said:

“Walking is a fantastic way of staying fit and well. It is simple, easy and in these times of high energy prices, a great way to save a few pennies. Walking also brings down emissions, improve air quality and slows global warming so I encourage everyone to make use of these fantastic routes.”

Both routes on the walking map - a flatter option via Manchester Road and a hillier alternative via Little Horton Lane for people looking to improve their fitness - are about a mile long and take between 20 and 30 minutes to walk. 

Every May is Living Streets’ National Walking Month and this year the charity is encouraging people to #Try20 minutes of walking every day. 

Stephen Edwards said:

“Walking for just 20 minutes a day can have fantastic health benefits, helping in the management of many health conditions including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and depression. This map will help people fit 20 minutes of walking into their day, getting them well on the way to achieving the 150 minutes of physical activity a week recommended to stay healthy and happy. I’m sure it’s going to make a huge difference to people living, working and visiting Bradford.”

The map will be promoted to staff and visitors at the hospital, as well as people travelling through Bradford Interchange.

The map has been funded by the SHARE-North project, which is supported and funded by the European Union as part of the Interreg North Sea Region Programme, and led by the Combined Authority’s Travel Plan Network team, which works with businesses to change the way people travel.

Find out more information at wymetro.com/plan-a-journey/hospitals-by-bus/