KCC Newsletter No.47

KCC Newsletter No. 47 

January 2021

The Bridge proposal

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Kirklees Council is currently working on a proposal to construct a foot/cycle bridge over Castlegate in Huddersfield. So far there has been no request for Kirklees Cycling Campaign (KCC) to declare its position on the project, so, as chair, I thought that it might be useful to start a debate on the pros and cons of this scheme. 

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Crossing Castlegate on foot and by bike

What is the problem?

The problem is the Huddersfield Ring Road. This acts as a barrier to cyclists and pedestrians who need to access destinations on either side of Castlegate.  

 The Trinity Street crossing is particularly hazardous for cyclists, and deters many people from using a 

bike to get to the railway station and other destinations in the town centre. If there was a direct safe and easy way to cross the ring road at Trinity Street – together with a link to the planned A629 “Quietway” cycle route at Greenhead Park – many more people would be encouraged to get to the station on a bike, rather than using their car.

The Routes:

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The above map shows examples of routes that cross Castlegate.

Currently cyclists and pedestrians who wish to travel between the town centre and destinations on the western side of Castlegate are limited to using either:

  1. the crossing point at Trinity Street or 
  2. the subway near to the Civic Centre. 
  • Students exiting the railway station and going to Greenhead College generally use the Trinity Street crossing point because it is the most direct.
  • Greenhead College Students exiting the bus station will either use the Trinity Street crossing or use the Civic Centre Underpass.  

The Crossings

  1. Trinity Street 

For pedestrians this crossing is:

  • inconveniently in two stages/phases 
  • it has limited pedestrian space on the central island 
  • is used by very large numbers of Greenhead College students in term time

N.B. the pedestrian subway at Trinity Street does not help to access Greenhead College.

People crossing a street

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Trinity St Outbound – Hazardous cycling!

For cyclists the Trinity Street crossing is particularly hazardous when exiting from the town centre:

  • it is uphill (cycling can be slow and unsteady)
  • there are three lanes of traffic, none of which are dedicated to cyclists.
  • cyclists normally wish to proceed straight ahead but the inside traffic lane is dedicated to left turning traffic.
  • There is no ASL or access to one.
  1. The Civic Centre Subway 

For pedestrians:

  • There is a fairly direct straightforward route up Back Cecil Street to Park Avenue to Greenhead College and Greenhead Park

For cyclists:

  • The pedestrian route can be used, but it is not ideal at the moment. A small sum of money is required to make it a trouble-free cycling route. This only involves making a number of dropped curbs together with a ramp onto Springwood car park.

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Q. So would a bridge help solve the problem of the Ring Road?

A. Yes and No

Yes

  • It would make for an uninterrupted walk from the bus station to Greenhead Road and then on to Greenhead College, Greenhead Park and beyond.
  • It would be a direct route for cyclists traveling between Ramsden Street and Greenhead Road/Trinity Street 

No

  • There is currently no simple practical route for cyclists between Ramsden Street and Queen Street South or the University. Until such a route is established there would be no real need for the bridge. As long as this situation remains, bridge users would mainly be confined to pedestrians using bus transport.
  • For pedestrians and cyclists, who currently use the underpass to get to Greenhead College and Greenhead Park, a bridge would make no significant advantage. 
  • The current bridge proposal doesn’t help cyclists or pedestrians that use the railway station. The majority of these would be inconvenienced by having to use the bridge. They would continue to use the Trinity Street crossing (frustrating/hazardous though it is) because it is a more direct route to their destination.
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It is unlikely that Greenhead College students coming out of the Railway Station would use the footbridge.

So is there a better solution than a bridge?

  • The cycling route via Back Cecil Street and Rifle Fields could be easily upgraded at little expense. This would then make a seamless route via the underpass.
  • Rather than the bridge, many would argue, that significant improvements could alternatively be made to the Trinity Street crossing. Doing this would serve BOTH:

Pedestrians using the Bus Station 

AND

Pedestrians and Cyclists using the Railway Station 

Making a good cycling and pedestrian friendly crossing at Trinity Street would be an expensive project, but it is likely that the construction of a bridge would be considerably more costly.

What does the Dft say about Bridges?

The government document “Gear Change” was published in 2020. As can be seen from the quote below, it was not very enthusiastic about bridges:

12. Major ‘iconic’ items, such as overbridges must form part of

wider, properly thought-through schemes.

There is sometimes a temptation to build costly showpiece structures in isolation without

thinking enough about the purpose they truly serve and the roads and routes which lead

to them. We will only support such things when they overcome a major barrier on a desire

line which cannot safely be crossed in other ways, and where they form an essential,

properly connected part of a wider network of good, safe routes.

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So what now?

It is not presumed that the above arguments constitute everything that there is to say on the proposal. There is undoubtably more to discuss.

Given the controversial nature of this project it would seem sensible for Kirklees Council to initiate a public debate with a wide range of stakeholders so that the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of the proposal can be fully understood. Only after this should a decision be made. 

The bridge could well turn out to be a useful and successful project. But it could also result in being a very expensive and wasteful mistake. 

Kirklees Officers, the Cabinet, its councillors, WYCA Active Travel officers and all local stakeholders need to be able to engage in a well-informed public debate or some kind of workshop before this project proceeds any further.

It is truly hoped that the council will facilitate this debate at the earliest opportunity.

John Lewis 

chair KCC

Kirklees Cycling Campaign 45

Kirklees Cycling Campaign

Newsletter No.45 October 2020

Cycling in Paris

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The KCC newsletter often shows examples from abroad as to how much better cycling could be here.  However, despite the Marie investing billions of euros in the construction of protected  “pistes cyclables”, cycling in Paris can still, sometimes, be frustrating.

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Hello everybody and welcome to this month’s newsletter of news and information for local cyclists, would be cyclists (if conditions were better for cycling) and decision makers and planners who could help to make the conditions better.

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 Greenpeace’ s Transport Event:

On Thursday 15th October Greenpeace Huddersfield are hosting an online event related to Transport. KCC will be one of a number of people speaking on the future of transport in a zero carbon economy. The link below will give more information and give you a free ticket to the event.

https://eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-green-recovery-the-future-of-transport-in-huddersfield-tickets-124122123613?utm_campaign=post_publish&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eventbrite&utm_content=shortLinkNewEmail

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 Decarbonising Yorkshire:
There is a similar theme for this event, but different speakers (including a London Cycling Campaign rep).
It’s organised by the Yorkshire Zero Carbon Transport Group on 12th November 2020. Tickets and further information for this event are available on the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/delivering-active-travel-decarbonising-yorkshires-transport-tickets-123724195399

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 Adult Cycle Training:
In 2018 50 % of all car journeys were under 5 miles and in urban areas 40% were under two miles. These are cycle ride distances well within the capacity of most people over the age of 16.
We know, however that many who would use a bike to go to work or college, go to the shops, or go for an enjoyable healthy ride with friends or family, don’t, because of a lack of confidence or the skills, to ride on the road. 
CityConnect are offering FREE adult cycle training at the present time at a number of different local locations. If you, or someone you know, would like to benefit from this training, all the details can be found from the link below:

https://www.cyclecityconnect.co.uk/get-cycling/adult-cycle-training/

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GoDewsbury:

Like Huddersfield; Dewsbury has a Blueprint of development for the future that includes some cycling infrastructure upgrades.
There is still, however, a lot more that needs to be done to regenerate the town and it’s surroundings. Not least of all, the making of cycling and walking routes to the south of the town, where there are plans for a large housing housing development. If cycling and walking routes are not in place when the housing starts coming ‘on stream’, new residents will automatically use their cars for the short journey to the station or the shops, despite the journey time turning out to be much the same as on a bike. They will thereby increase congestion and pollution  create pressure on places to park, continue to increase their health risks because of activity etc etc.
GoDewsbury is a local stakeholder group that has examined the tremendous potential of Active Travel in this area to be known as Dewsbury Riverside. It’s all in the document in the link below. 
Kirklees Metropolitan Council should be acting on it now before it is too late.

https://godewsbury.uk/2019/07/08/dewsbury-riverside-way/

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Finally a video about the recent and ongoing revolution of cycling in London. Click on link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxpJL8RWRWg&feature=share

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 John Lewis KCC Chair   

Kirklees Cycling Campaign 45

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Kirklees Cycling Campaign
kirkleescyclingcampaign.wordpress.comNewsletter No.45 October 2020Cycling in Paris…………………………………………………………………………The KCC newsletter often shows examples from abroad as to how much better cycling could be here.  However, despite the Marie investing billions of euros in the construction of protected  “pistes cyclables”, cycling in Paris can still, sometimes, be frustrating…………………………………………………………….Hello everybody and welcome to this month’s newsletter of news and information for local cyclists, would be cyclists (if conditions were better for cycling) and decision makers and planners who could help to make the conditions better……………………………………………………………….. Greenpeace’ s Transport Event:

On Thursday 15th October Greenpeace Huddersfield are hosting an online event related to Transport. KCC will be one of a number of people speaking on the future of transport in a zero carbon economy. The link below will give more information and give you a free ticket to the event.https://eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-green-recovery-the-future-of-transport-in-huddersfield-tickets-124122123613?utm_campaign=post_publish&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eventbrite&utm_content=shortLinkNewEmail…………………………………………………………………. Decarbonising Yorkshire:
There is a similar theme for this event, but different speakers (including a London Cycling Campaign rep).
It’s organised by the Yorkshire Zero Carbon Transport Group on 12th November 2020. Tickets and further information for this event are available on the link below:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/delivering-active-travel-decarbonising-yorkshires-transport-tickets-123724195399…………………………………………………………… Adult Cycle Training:
In 2018 50 % of all car journeys were under 5 miles and in urban areas 40% were under two miles. These are cycle ride distances well within the capacity of most people over the age of 16.
We know, however that many who would use a bike to go to work or college, go to the shops, or go for an enjoyable healthy ride with friends or family, don’t, because of a lack of confidence or the skills, to ride on the road. 
CityConnect are offering FREE adult cycle training at the present time at a number of different local locations. If you, or someone you know, would like to benefit from this training, all the details can be found from the link below:https://www.cyclecityconnect.co.uk/get-cycling/adult-cycle-training/………………………………………………………………………………………….
GoDewsbury:

Like Huddersfield; Dewsbury has a Blueprint of development for the future that includes some cycling infrastructure upgrades.
There is still, however, a lot more that needs to be done to regenerate the town and it’s surroundings. Not least of all, the making of cycling and walking routes to the south of the town, where there are plans for a large housing housing development. If cycling and walking routes are not in place when the housing starts coming ‘on stream’, new residents will automatically use their cars for the short journey to the station or the shops, despite the journey time turning out to be much the same as on a bike. They will thereby increase congestion and pollution  create pressure on places to park, continue to increase their health risks because of activity etc etc.
GoDewsbury is a local stakeholder group that has examined the tremendous potential of Active Travel in this area to be known as Dewsbury Riverside. It’s all in the document in the link below. 
Kirklees Metropolitan Council should be acting on it now before it is too late.https://godewsbury.uk/2019/07/08/dewsbury-riverside-way/……………………………………………………………………Finally a video about the recent and ongoing revolution of cycling in London. Click on link below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxpJL8RWRWg&feature=share……………………………………………………………….. John Lewis KCC Chair   

News Letter 44

Kirklees Cycling Campaign kirkleescyclingcampaign.wordpress.com

Newsletter No.44 September 2020

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to Newsletter number 44. 

It is well known that in the last decade Kirklees Council has lost out on many funding opportunities to develop a Kirklees Cycling Network. There are a number of examples where money destined for a scheme in Kirklees has been re-directed to other parts of West Yorkshire.
In recent months Kirklees Council invited KCC to discuss with them as to how situations, such as this, might be avoided in the future. The council has made some structural and personel changes, but there is a lot more to do. KCC have been suggesting some additional ways in which the Council would be more equipped to seek, and take advantage of,  future funding opportunities. We hope to give more details of these plans in future newsletters.
In the meantime, and as a gesture of goodwill, The Council asked KCC to suggest three low-cost projects that could be easily implemented from existing Council Funding. The projects were called ‘Easy Wins’. The combined KCC committee  got to work trying to come up with three schemes but finished up with more than twenty. We decided therefore to make two lists; the three preferred schemes plus a ‘reserve’ list. We also
reminded the council of the need for many other more expensive schemes and we made a preliminary list of these.
Below is the result of the KCC’s committee’s work:                        


– 3 low-cost proposals for cycling improvements.  

LocationProject descriptionBenefits
 Riverside PathSurface path for approx. 100m near former waste management site and realign at the site corner.This will complete the path sufacing and eliminate a blind spot
Rifle Fields HuddersfieldCreate a direct cycle route between Civic Centre and Park Avenue by using the underpass and dropping curbs. (Further details on email attachment).Creates a low-cost quiet route linking Greenhead Park and Greenhead College with Civic Centre and Leisure Centre.
Brookroyd Lane Wilton ParkRemoval of obstructing barriers allowing all kinds of cycles to use the route. 
Creation of a pedestrian and parallel cycle crossing across Brookroyd Lane. (Further details on email attachment).
Creation of a safer crossing. Will enable more people to use the route, and is a ‘piece in the jigsaw’ towards creating a continuous route between Birstall and Batley (LCWIP potential)

Easy Wins Reserve List (brief description)

1. Dewsbury:  Use Emergency ‘Flood Path” to mend broken link in NCN 69 between Mill St West and Sands Lane.
2. Huddersfield Old Leeds Rd: Upgrade of poor existing route into town centre
3.Pilot 20mph scheme in a selected neighbourhood.
4. Kirkheaton to Bradley via Dalton Bank: Develop route
5. Old Lane Bradley: route upgrade
6.Grimscar ‘Greenway’ extend to Birkby
7.Armitage Bridge: Upgrade quiet route to Lockwood
8.Huddersfield Turnbridge: Closure to motor traffic
9.Kilner Bank: Develop cycle route Stadium to Moldgreen
10. Meltham Poppy Gdns: Make access to Greenway
11.Meltham Mean Lane: Make access to Greenway
12. Shelley to Shepley: Surface Stretchgate 
13. Skelmanthorpe: Surface Pilling Lane 
14. Batley: Surface Grange Road
15. Dewsbury: Restrict vehicle traffic in Chideswell Lane
16. Queen St South Huddersfield: Improve poor cycle infrastructure
17.Huddersfield RR Crossing for cyclists at EITHER Market St underpass or Alfred St.
18. More Quiet Lanes like Magdale
19. Huddersfield Broad Canal: Surface between Apsley and Red Doles Lane.
20. Remove A frame barriers from Kirklees cycling routes. 

PLUS:

Major projects – not to be forgotten: (preliminary list)

  • Fenay Greenway
  • Spen Valley Ringway
  • Routes in the Holme Valley
  • Birstall to Batley
  • NCN 69 from Longroyd Bridge through Huddersfield Town Centre and on to Red Doles Lane. 
  • Greenhead Park to Huddersfield Railway Station via Trinity Street 
  • Extending Meltham Greenway

All new housing developments to include integrated cycling and walking routes that make Active Travel links to key destinations.

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Bradley to Brighouse – Consultation open until 14th October.

This newsletter ends with a mention of a project that finally seems to be materialising. For over a decade, cyclists have been promised a route between Cooper Bridge and Brighouse that avoids the death trap that is the A644. 
The route has has been extremely difficult to develop, not least because of the intransigency  of the local land owners; but it seems that we might nearly be there. s
The chosen route will be a controversial one for some, but at least there is, after all this time,  finally a link that allows people from Kirklees to safely cycle into Brighouse and beyond.
Have a look at the consultation on the link below:
 
https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/

and make a contribution to it if you can.  

John Lewis – Chair KCC  

News Letter 43

Kirklees Cycling Campaign

Newsletter No. 43 August 20


This diagram was devised by committee member Chris Knight and shows the Google Bike-Journey Times using Main Road Routes i.e. those often carrying a high volume of motor traffic.

Not a choice for many of us at the moment then. But it does point out what a reallocation of road space could mean, with Segregated Protected Cycle Tracks making it practical for everyone to have a real choice of using their bike more and their car less. It has been calculated that currently about 40% of car journeys in urban areas are 2 miles or less. Many of these car users would use a bike if it were an attractive alternative. More bike use means less car use, but re-allocation of Road Space is needed to make the transformation. 

The government has, at last, taken the radical step of issuing requirement standards for new cycle infrastructure funding. This might just be the glimmer of light that KCC supporters have been waiting so long for.
See further details below: 
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Gear Change   A couple of weeks ago the Department for Transport (dft) launched it’s document “Gear Change” which sets out it’s vision and the new standards required for cycling infrastructure. The new standards are listed as “Local Transport Notes (LTN’s) and are laid out as an Appendix to the document.
 There will also be a new government body and Inspectorate called “Active Travel England” which will be headed by an Active Travel Commissioner. The Cycling budget will be held by this body and will refuse to fund any scheme that does not meet the new standards and principles described in the document. 
The full document is available to read via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-plan-for-england

but here are a few selected paragraphs. They give an indication of the  background thinking and the ‘step-change’ that our Local Authority will have to make if they are to be true to their public statements to make better provision for Cycling and Walking:   In 2018 58% of car journeys were under 5 miles. In urban areas 40% were under 2 miles in 2017/18 (P. 11) We will invest substantial sums on safe cycle routes to stations. (P. 25)
   
 
Cycle Infrastructure should be accessible to everyone 8-80″. (LTN 1) ” New cycle route provision on busy roads which consist of Painted Markings of cycle symbols will no longer be funded. We want to see as many of the existing painted lanes as possible upgraded with physical separation” (p. 17) “Cycles must be treated as vehicles, not as pedestrians. New cycle provision which           involves sharing space with pedestrians, including crossings will no longer be funded. (P. 17)    At crossings and junctions cyclists should not share space used by pedestrians but should be provided with a separate parallel route” (LTN 2)   “Cyclists must be physically separated and protected from high volume motor traffic
both at junctions and on the stretches of road between them” (LTN 3) “Cycle Infrastructure must join together…… a holistic connected network approach” (LTN 8) Route proposals should always include a clear programme of maintenance. (LTN 13) All designers of cycle schemes must experience the roads as a cyclist. (LTN 20)     Many of the above LTN’s are at currently at odds with the current Kirklees programme of road projects.

It will be interesting to see how many of these will have to be changed  to meet the standards required by the new  ‘Active Travel Commissioner’.  John Lewis -KCC Chair     ……………………………………………..      
    


 

News Letter 42

Kirklees Cycling Campaign – Newsletter No.42 July 2020

If you were to peruse through some of the previous 41 KCC Newsletters you’d come across a number of different versions of Cycling in Huddersfield Town Centre. This is the most recent attempt.
It’s purpose is to be a visual description of the practicalities of using a bike to get in and out of Huddersfield Town Centre. It is an attempt to visually describe to highway planners how they could make cycling to the town, for many, an attractive alternative to driving.

There are a number of scheduled schemes in the pipeline that will make it a much improved town centre for cycling. Cross Church Street will finally be a two-way route for cyclists, The Wakefield Road route from Waterloo will link directly with the Railway Station. The southbound route from the railway station to the leisure centre subway will be more direct, and the Leeds Road plans will incorporate some segregated cycle lanes together with a dedicated cyclist’s crossing across the Ring Road. All these should be ‘up and running’ within the next two years.

I have drawn the map to incorporate the above improvements but I have also shown (as broken lines) the routes that still need to be improved if Huddersfield is going to be an easy and pleasurable place for people to ride a bike.

Some of the shortcomings are are more urgent than others. The one-way routes within the town are not ideal, but these are less important than the lack of good connections from outside the town centre.
 Examples of these are:

  • The ‘Gateways’ across the Ring Road need to have dedicated cycle controlled crossings 
  • A good connection is required between the Colne Valley route at Longroyd Bridge and a Ring Road ‘Gateway’
  • The planned ‘Quietway’ route from Ainley Top finishes at Greenhead Park. A good safe  connection is required to the Town Centre
  • Cycling provision for the Leeds Road plans are severely compromised and a good continuous  route to Bradley is required. This could to done either by using the canal route, or by making a continuously segregated route along the full length of the Leeds Road

Without these improvements Huddersfield Town Centre will not be sufficiently accessible for a great many people who might otherwise use a bike to get to the Town Centre instead of using a car.

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Cycle Theft

Cycle theft in Kirklees is relatively low compared with many other places in the UK, but this not to say that it doesn’t happen, and that when it does it can be very distressing. Recently a supporter had their expensive bike stolen from outside Huddersfield Railway Station. It was locked with a substantial cable but this did not prevent the theft. 
Having your bike stolen is never going to be prevented 100%, but It’s worth thinking carefully about some of the factors that make it more of a target and more vulnerable: Sustrans has a lot of good advice on this link:

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/get-active/2019/everyday-walking-and-cycling/bike-security-advice/

The fear of having a bike stolen seriously affects the whole issue of active travel. According to research by “Bike Life” 21% of respondents said that a lack of safe storage at work or home was why they don’t cycle or cycle less often. 

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Twitter and Facebook

In recent weeks some of our new committee members have been very pro-active in getting Kirklees Cycling Campaign on social media. It will hopefully keep us all immediately more informed of local and national news.

Our Twitter link is: @CycleKirklees
The Facebook Link is: https://www.facebook.com/safecycleK

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GP’s to prescribe cycling in new obesity strategy

Has there ever been a time like this for the promotion of the benefits of cycling? The link below gives some early details, but one suspects that Boris will rely heavily on somebody else to put the ideas into practice.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53541866

P. S. I’d just be grateful if my local GP practice would consider installing a bike stand where I could lock up the bike.


Mirfield to Dewsbury to Leeds

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) are currently in consultation on a road scheme through Mirfield and Dewsbury. Detailed plans can be seen by clicking on the link below:

  https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/M2D2L

This scheme is not to be confused with the Sustrans project which aims to make an improved and safer route through Mirfield between Church Lane and WoodEnd Road on the Calder Valley Greenway.

The WYCA plans focus initially on the A644 – Huddersfield Road. The plans to improve cycling provision includes  mandatory cycle lanes and controlled crossings. Currently there are only advisory cycle lanes along some parts of the A644 and these are regularly used for car parking and render them out of use for cyclists.
The proposed plans would therefore be a significant improvement if the road markings were enforced. However, there is a great deal of room for improvement on some of the other proposals and you are invited to comment on the YourVoice portal.

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John Lewis – KCC Chair

Newsletter 41

Fast Food restaurants in Huddersfield losing money from Kirklees Rule change.”
“Delivery drivers and coffee shop lash out at road closures as council converts key roads into cycle lanes” ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Hello Everyone,
                           Welcome to KCC Newsletter No. 41. As can be seen from the above picture in the Huddersfield Examiner, the reallocation of space for cycling and walking didn’t exactly get off to a flying start.
Good communication is essential if cycling and walking is to to be improved after Coronavirus.
 

KCC AGM

Thank you to everyone who clicked onto the Zoom link to join the AGM on 17th June.
Bill Hunter and John Lewis were returned as Secretary and Chair respectively, and there is a committee of the following: Chas Ball, Robin Bowles, Peter Charnley, Chris Knight and Maigriet Mulder.

Jon Little – our speaker for the evening – gave an inspiring talk about the planning and implementation of the Waltham Forest ‘Mini Holland’ project; and there is now talk, that at sometime over the next year, we might be able to follow this up with a Jon Little guided visit to Waltham Forest. This would probably be in partnership with the Huddersfield Civic Society. We might even be able to encourage some councillors and officers to join us.

Many Thanks to Chas Ball for the hosting and for making a recording of the event. This can be viewed by clicking on the link below. (You’ll need to download Zoom to access it).

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/_eB4EKze6FtIGI301F3fVoQPP9_4aaa8gCQerKJbnUYJ3W_UzNlKzlKCG_OvLV2m
The Password is 8W@4#=?6

The Commonplace Mapping Tool

Across the UK local councils and cycling organisations have been setting up their own ‘commomplace’ interactive website. This is a brilliant tool for everyone  to give information on where and how to making cycling and walking safer and easier. Some of you have already started to use the Kirklees version.
Given the size of Kirklees and the number of places that need a rethink for cyclists and pedestrians is would take a very long time for an individual to respond comprehensively. Nevertheless, just pointing out a few places where cycling is difficult or dangerous, will register and build up a picture of what has to be done over the next decade. This is a much more effective way of registering the problems than writing to your councillor or MP because the council site is recording everything that is put on it. This then provides the material for future planning, so it is really important that as many people as possible participate and make their contribution. It is interesting to see the current high level of participation in Leeds. Hopefully, over the next few months, residents of Kirklees will be as equally active in making their voice heard. Details of how to get started are on the ‘WYCA Your Voice’ link here: 
           : https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/safestreets/maps/safestreets

Cycle Parking at Huddersfield Station Cycle-Rail grants have identified Huddersfield Station in need of more cycle parking space. The grant has been approved and work to make extra space is planned to be carried out later this year.
This is an encouraging development and will make it even more pressing to improve some of the roads and junctions, for cyclists, to and from the station.  
 

John Lewis – KCC Chair

Newsletter No.44

Kirklees Cycling Campaign kirkleescyclingcampaign.wordpress.com

Newsletter No.44 September 2020

…………………………………………………………………………  

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to Newsletter number 44. 

It is well known that in the last decade Kirklees Council has lost out on many funding opportunities to develop a Kirklees Cycling Network. There are a number of examples where money destined for a scheme in Kirklees has been re-directed to other parts of West Yorkshire.


In recent months Kirklees Council invited KCC to discuss with them as to how situations, such as this, might be avoided in the future. The council has made some structural and personel changes, but there is a lot more to do. KCC have been suggesting some additional ways in which the Council would be more equipped to seek, and take advantage of,  future funding opportunities. We hope to give more details of these plans in future newsletters.


In the meantime, and as a gesture of goodwill, The Council asked KCC to suggest three low-cost projects that could be easily implemented from existing Council Funding. The projects were called ‘Easy Wins’. The combined KCC committee  got to work trying to come up with three schemes but finished up with more than twenty. We decided therefore to make two lists; the three preferred schemes plus a ‘reserve’ list. We also
reminded the council of the need for many other more expensive schemes and we made a preliminary list of these.
Below is the result of the KCC’s committee’s work:                        


– 3 low-cost proposals for cycling improvements.  

LocationProject descriptionBenefits
 Riverside PathSurface path for approx. 100m near former waste management site and realign at the site corner.This will complete the path sufacing and eliminate a blind spot
Rifle Fields HuddersfieldCreate a direct cycle route between Civic Centre and Park Avenue by using the underpass and dropping curbs. (Further details on email attachment).Creates a low-cost quiet route linking Greenhead Park and Greenhead College with Civic Centre and Leisure Centre.
Brookroyd Lane Wilton ParkRemoval of obstructing barriers allowing all kinds of cycles to use the route. 
Creation of a pedestrian and parallel cycle crossing across Brookroyd Lane. (Further details on email attachment).
Creation of a safer crossing. Will enable more people to use the route, and is a ‘piece in the jigsaw’ towards creating a continuous route between Birstall and Batley (LCWIP potential)

Easy Wins Reserve List (brief description)

1. Dewsbury:  Use Emergency ‘Flood Path” to mend broken link in NCN 69 between Mill St West and Sands Lane.
2. Huddersfield Old Leeds Rd: Upgrade of poor existing route into town centre
3.Pilot 20mph scheme in a selected neighbourhood.
4. Kirkheaton to Bradley via Dalton Bank: Develop route
5. Old Lane Bradley: route upgrade
6.Grimscar ‘Greenway’ extend to Birkby
7.Armitage Bridge: Upgrade quiet route to Lockwood
8.Huddersfield Turnbridge: Closure to motor traffic
9.Kilner Bank: Develop cycle route Stadium to Moldgreen
10. Meltham Poppy Gdns: Make access to Greenway
11.Meltham Mean Lane: Make access to Greenway
12. Shelley to Shepley: Surface Stretchgate 
13. Skelmanthorpe: Surface Pilling Lane 
14. Batley: Surface Grange Road
15. Dewsbury: Restrict vehicle traffic in Chideswell Lane
16. Queen St South Huddersfield: Improve poor cycle infrastructure
17.Huddersfield RR Crossing for cyclists at EITHER Market St underpass or Alfred St.
18. More Quiet Lanes like Magdale
19. Huddersfield Broad Canal: Surface between Apsley and Red Doles Lane.
20. Remove A frame barriers from Kirklees cycling routes. 

PLUS:

Major projects – not to be forgotten: (preliminary list)

  • Fenay Greenway
  • Spen Valley Ringway
  • Routes in the Holme Valley
  • Birstall to Batley
  • NCN 69 from Longroyd Bridge through Huddersfield Town Centre and on to Red Doles Lane. 
  • Greenhead Park to Huddersfield Railway Station via Trinity Street 
  • Extending Meltham Greenway

All new housing developments to include integrated cycling and walking routes that make Active Travel links to key destinations.

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Bradley to Brighouse – Consultation open until 14th October.

This newsletter ends with a mention of a project that finally seems to be materialising. For over a decade, cyclists have been promised a route between Cooper Bridge and Brighouse that avoids the death trap that is the A644. 
The route has has been extremely difficult to develop, not least because of the intransigency  of the local land owners; but it seems that we might nearly be there. s
The chosen route will be a controversial one for some, but at least there is, after all this time,  finally a link that allows people from Kirklees to safely cycle into Brighouse and beyond.
Have a look at the consultation on the link below:
 
https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/

and make a contribution to it if you can.  

John Lewis – Chair KCC  

News Letter 40

Kirklees Cycling Campaign
kirkleescyclingcampaign.wordpress.com

Newsletter No.40 May 2020

Hello everyone and welcome to the new format for the Kirklees Cycling Campaign Newsletter. After the previous GDPR blunders it was clearly time to change from the standard email to something that, hopefully, will give everyone a little more security. I need to get up to speed technically, however, so, for the moment the presentation will be ‘basic’. – John Lewis (chair KCC)

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Thank you:
Thank you to everyone who responded to last month’s newsletter, and  asked their local and/or national politicians for a reallocation of road space. This past month local and national government have made public statements and promises about Cycling and Walking as never before. Grant Schapps has promised £2b to develop a National Cycling and Walking Network and the leader of Kirklees Council felt obliged to make public statements never before heard.

We can only hope that this turns out to be a ‘watershed moment’ as there is much to be done after decades of neglect.

At the recent Kirklees Council Scrutiny Committee (27022020) the inadequacies of the Kirklees Walking and Cycling Strategic Framework document. were revealed.
Not least of all were:

1.  The need to set up a Strategic Cycling and Walking working group that has terms of reference to deliver projects, meets frequently, and has appropriate stakeholder participation and membership. – KCC is currently excluded from membership of the ‘Delivery Group’).
2.  The Framework has no central focus on developing a network of local Cycling Routes. – Government finance will be dependent on local authorities developing a ‘Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan’ (LCWIP) 
3. The subject of Cycling and Walking seemed to be of little importance to Kirklees’ political decision makers – no cabinet member was present to participate in the Scrutiny Committee meeting.
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Stop Press:

At the back end of last year West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) made a competitive bid for cycling and walking funding from the dft’s Transforming Cities Fund. Among the listed projects was Kirklees’ plan to have a continuous protected cycle route from Waterloo to the Huddersfield Town Centre.
We have just found out that the bid was a successful one, and that we can now look forward to the construction of Kirklees’ first segregated and protected cycle route along the Wakefield Road.
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Bike Friendly Towns:

The Huddersfield Civic Society has an upcoming event live online that will interest many supporters.
The Speaker, Jon Little is the person behind the Transport Consultancy  ‘Bespoke’. He has been involved in a wide range of cycling projects including work in Waltham Forest and more recently in Leverhume Greater Manchester.
It is a free event but you need to get your ticket from Eventbrite. Details on the link below:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bike-friendly-towns-tickets-105055658302

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KCC Agm:

Yes it’s that time again!
Please make a note to yourself to attend. It’s planned for June 17th 2020 and this year it will be online of course.
Jon Little – of Bespoke –  has also agreed to talk to us (KCC) about his work in Leverhume Great Manchester.
Details with the Zoom link, Agenda, and Officer Reports, will be sent out in the next week or two.

Newsletter 39 – April 2020

Kirklees Cycling Campaign
kirkleescyclingcampaign.wordpress.com
Newsletter No. 39 April 2020

Cycling and Social Distancing:

In our recently formed new world we probably have all noticed that, along with an unprecedented number of people walking along our roads, there are also many more people riding bikes who don’t usually do so.
This would seem to be clear evidence that more people would use a bike if they felt safe doing so.

Here’s a link to a comic little video showing some current problems when walking in urban streets, but just imagine him riding a bike. (just a warning; it’s probably better on mute).

https://twitter.com/theurbangeog/status/1249692793821433856

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With half of the world currently in lock-down, and in the wake of empty roads, Pop-up cycle lanes have started to appear in various towns in Eu-rope and the USA. Berlin was one of the first out of the starting blocks, but many other places have quickly followed. Many would like it happen in Kirklees and I have had requests from KCC supporters that we petition the council en masse.
It would certainly test the political will of the cabinet who frequently profess to support measures for safer cycling ‘if only it were possible’.

A measure such as this would have a negligible cost and there can be no arguments about creating longer times for motor journeys. It would be a real measure as to whether there is any truth to some of the political statements of our council leaders.

There is a danger however, in deciding to promote an en masse petition. It will only have an impact if we lobby the council in large numbers. If only a few respond then councillors will have some justification in ignoring it. So PLEASE participate. If you use the Cycling UK form below you can do it in less than 5 minutes, or you can make it more personal if you have a little more time.

The thinking behind the petition is that Cycle lanes – protected or otherwise – don’t allow for social distancing of 2metres. But with significantly less motor traffic, there is the opportunity to give more road space to cyclists and encourage more cycling.

Cycling UK has launched an appeal to everyone to petition their council to give more road space to cyclists in their local area, and they have made it very quick and easy to do so. It really is an opportunity not to be missed. Please make the council aware that cycling has the potential to change Kirklees’ roads for the better if only there was the political will to make it happen. Please see below for details as to how to participate:

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Pop-up bike lanes in your area:

Please help secure increased cycling and walking space during lockdown: write to your council today
The current lockdown has made safe space for cycling and walking more important than ever. With the huge drop in motor traffic, we believe local authorities should grasp the opportunity to allocate unused road capacity to create safe temporary cycling and walking space.

This will not only enable people maintain necessary social distancing when getting their daily exercise or on essential journeys, but will also provide key workers with the confidence to cycle to work, in-stead of relying on public transport or a car.
We’ve already secured the support of the Government in Westminster, but now we need your help to get temporary cycling and walking space in your area: write to your council today.
While the COVID-19 crisis has brought devastation to many families, it’s also shown that when there’s political will, politicians can make and implement decisions such as these within days.
Governments across the world are widening pavements, creating new cycle lanes and restricting motor traffic to residential streets to enable people to socially distance. There’s no reason we can’t see the same in England.
It isn’t complex, difficult, or expensive, and we’ve even produced a guide to help councils identify changes they can make incredibly quickly.
If you want space for people to walk and cycle, and space to socially distance, please take action now.
Thanks, as always, for your incredible support.

Duncan Dollimore
Head of Advocacy and Campaigns
Cycling UK

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CyclingUK makes it easy for you to send a ready made letter to your local councillors as well as to to Shabir Pandor the current leader. But, if you wish, you can edit the letter to make your petition more personal. In the light of this you may also like to see a letter from supporter CJ who has written the case for pop-up cycle lanes from a more local perspective:

The nationwide lockdown as seen car journeys slashed, meaning our streets are much quieter. The council have taken this opportunity to make improvements to junctions whilst causing minimum disruption in the case of traffic jams due to the number of cars on the road.

The lockdown as also seen an increase in the numbers of people cycling for both exercise and as a mode of transport. Sadly though the roads are still not safe as many drivers have seen the traffic free roads as an opportunity to drive faster and in some cases recorded by the police over twice the speed limit. This speeding has increased by roughly 40% since the lock-down started.

I made a delivery by bike a couple of days ago and used the top end of the Spen Valley Greenway (Cleckheaton Tesco to Green Lane) and even up there, where it usually gets quieter, the Greenway was very busy. On a leisure track like that, with a path around 2m wide, maintaining social distance is pretty much impossible for all walkers and cyclists.

I could’ve instead, ridden along Bradford road from Cleckheaton and taken the A58 towards Halifax but with the speeding this wouldn’t have been particularly safe. We need to be making space for people cycling and walking as their exercise at the moment, and not everyone lives within a 30minutes wall of a greenway. Now would be a great time to start transfer-ring road space, whilst the roads are quiet, to help social distancing. Re-moving parking and traffic lanes, and narrowing road space in areas where the lanes are excessively wide are examples of this. Narrowing lanes has the effect of slowing cars down anyway, so that and some physical protection would help. In addition a speed limit change could also help, as people hit by drivers at 30 are likely to die whereas people hit at 20mph are more likely to survive.

I often use a road that runs straight through an estate when I am out with my family. This road creates pretty much a straight line between my house and the Spen Ringway (which would be nice if it was completed but now isn’t the time for that) and we’ve been passed by speeding cars whilst I have a 5 year old being towed on the back of my bike. Roads like this could have temporary modal filters installed to stop them being used as rat runs. With the traffic being less, the main roads should be utilised more, as the junctions aren’t running anywhere near capacity and this would allow the roads through residential areas to be used by people walking and cycling in a much safer way.

Finally, reports from Wuhan are showing a massive increase in single occupancy cars on the road after the lockdown has been lifted. This seems to be happening as people are avoiding public transport in fear of catching the infection. Kirklees needs to be planning a way to get out of our lock-down without completely filling the roads with cars and one of the easiest ways of doing this is to promote cycling and walking by making is safe and efficient. Give the road space by to the people instead of the cars. If walking and cycling is a quicker option and it is perceived to be safe then people will continue their trend of cycling now they have rediscovered it as a form of exercise and a way of getting around.
CJ

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