Newsletters from 2016
In reverse date order
KCC Newsletter No. 2
Kirklees Cycling Campaign: – Newsletter from the Chair. December 2016
Hello everyone. Please see below some of the things that the campaign has been involved in during the past month.
A Cycle Network Map for Kirklees
Our last committee meeting was heavily focussed on maps. We have set ourselves an ambitious objective to try to make a comprehensive cycle network map of Kirklees that will show the existing, projected and desired routes for cyclists throughout the area.
They will not be just coloured lines on a map. The intention is for them to be annotated with all the relevant information relating to the route. e. g. Whether it is an arterial road, a quiet route on road or is traffic free. Whether it has difficult right turns, pinch points, or regularly has dangerously parked vehicles on an advisory cycle lane.
The map might indicate if there are hostile road conditions with fast moving motor traffic on a single or dual carriageway, or whether it is a segregated route or shared-use with pedestrians. Junctions can be evaluated from the point of view of cyclist safety and toucan crossings could be judged as to how long one might have to wait and the ease of crossing. Suggestions could be made e.g. “Tiger crossings alongside the zebra”. If the route is a desire line then the reasons stopping it becoming a reality would be listed.
When the maps and notes are all assembled they can then be presented to Kirklees Council as an audit giving them a clear picture of what the current situation is as regards to cycling in the borough, and highlighting what needs to be done if more people are to be encouraged to cycle in the future.
We can only produce an audit of this scale, however, if a large number of people participate. The aim would be for as many people as possible to identify a short/shortish route that they know well of between one and five miles and mark it and annotate it onto GoogleMaps. At the next General Meeting on January 18th all this can be explained in greater detail.
Bill’s Moans! (contribution from Bill Hunter)
What really annoys you in relation to cycling in Huddersfield and Kirklees? Here are my current and ongoing gripes for starters:
Drivers using hand held mobile phones – highly visible to cyclists, and for me the cause of several near misses. Do they have a good chance of getting away with it? Would traffic light and other strategically placed cameras help?
Cycle lane inconsistencies – those that end abruptly – the worst one I know is northbound on Woodhead Road approaching Bery Brow. It ends just as the road narrows round a bend, with a traffic island which pushes vehicles closer to the curb.
Also, it’s not always clear to me why some lanes are mandatory and others advisory.
Lack of signage of off-road routes – The Lockwood Riverside Path to the town centre is not signed from Woodhead Road, turning right into Scar Lane. (It is signed in the opposite direction from the town centre and ring road.) Is this an issue we should highlight to the council? Should you want to try this one out for yourself, don’t bother just yet as the riverside path is closed because of its proximity to the still burning tip fire. Are there any other right turns which folk feel strongly about?
Huddersfield Narrow Canal
The “City Connect 2” plan is for the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath to be surfaced to enable it to be a shared use cycle route between Longroyd Bridge and Titanic Mill or possibly as far as Slaithwaite.
For all but a few points along the route it has the space for a two metre wide track to be constructed. It would make an excellent leisure and commuter route running through the Colne Valley. HOWEVER, the two impending difficulties that CC2 face are:
- The limited available finance, particularly with regard to the length and width of the surfaced track.
- The fact that there is no easy route into Huddersfield Town Centre from either Longroyd Bridge or Chapel Hill where the canal path terminates and a road route is the only option.
We can only watch over the next few months to see how these difficulties might be
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Following on from the West Midlands Police innitiative on “close passes” of cyclists
the news is that the WYPCC is getting West Yorkshire Police to trial the targetting of
motorists who overtake cyclists with a gap of less than 1.5 metres. The trial is
scheduled to start in March or April 2017. It is like to take place in Headingly.
Cross Church Street
Planning permission seems to have been granted for the proposed developments in
Cross Church Street. This has led to a re think about the CC2 contra flow cycle route
The signs are that the street will now be something more akin to the part of Byram
Street by the church. Rather than a segregated cycle contraflow there will be a
broad central largely traffic free area that will permit cyclists to travel in both
My Meeting with Richard Hadfield
Richard Hadfield is head of Kirklees Highways and the person to whom Steven
Hanley has to answer to. He took exception to some of the criticism I made of the
council and requested to meet me.
We had a two hour informal chat ranging over a great many matters concerning
local cycling, and he expressed his wish to make significant improvements for cyclists
in Kirklees. Of course there will be many issues where we will not see eye to eye but
I felt that our meeting established a wish on both sides to develop a good working
relationship between Highways and the Kirklees Cycling Campaign.
18th January 2017 Meeting
This is a general meeting for all members. The main items on the agenda will be:
- Request from the committee for members to approve the newly drawn up constitution. (The draft will be circulated to members prior to the meeting).
- Kirklees Cycle Network Map
Please encourage friends and aquaintances to come to this meeting. There is a real
need to build up membership numbers if we are to have a strong influence on the
decisions made about provision for cycling in Kirklees.
With best wishes to everyone for Christmas and the prospect of a good year of cycling
Kirklees Cycling Campaign: News from the Chair – November 2016
This is the first, of a trial monthly newsletter. The aim is to comunicate to members the most recent news about what the Kirklees Cycling Campaign has been doing and also to provide a platform for all members to share information on a broad spectrum of cycling in Kirklees.
After this month’s edition I’m hoping that it will become an opportunity for anyone to contribute items that they feel important to share with the rest of the members. If anyone has an item (long or short) that they would like to write up for the next newsletter in December – or a subsequent one – please send it to me (JohnLewis) whenever you’re ready to.
It could be a news item or something more general such as a favourite ride a description of regular ride to work. It could be a national issue or just a local gripe or bugbear (e.g. pinch points caused by bollards on a busy road). A vision for the future etc. etc…. hopefully the ideas for the newsletter will evolve and grow over time.
Anyway, to focus on the present, these are some of the things that have been going on since the inaugural meeting on 5th October
The committee had the first of its monthly meetings on 2nd October and the following officer appointments were made:
Bill Hunter – Secretary
Ian Bangay – Treasurer
JohnLewis – Chair (already appointed at inaugural meeting)
We managed to construct a wording for a constitution. The constitution will be put before members for approval at the general meeting in January 2017 (date to be annouced later)
Ian Bangay has been busy getting the group’s website and facebook page up and running, and hopefully these will provide further means of communication. I’m expecting to put this and subsequent newsletters on a website page. Committee minutes will probably also be put on the website in due course.
Chris Walker has also kindly offered to help Ian with the facebook and website technology. At the moment, with no finances, the website is going to be very basic, but it’s early days……
The committee had the first of many discussions on the subject of what issues the campaign was initially going to focus on.
Cycling UK Space for Cycling Workshop
Ian Bangay, Steve Flynn, Reid Anderson, Joe Naylor and John Lewis (all from Kirklees and Calderdale) attended the Space for Cycling Workshop in Leeds on Saturday 12th November (John for only the morning).
Two workshops that were of particular interest were the Network Mapping and Cyclescape. Both of which could be very useful if we developed them in Kirklees.
Network Mapping involves as many people as possible creating a schematic map – a bit like the London Underground map – but for cyclists. It pinpoints various hubs (destinations/starting points) and links these to ‘desire lines’. It then categorises these desire lines in terms of viabilty for cyclists.
e.g. “Huddersfield Station to Longroyd Bridge” would have a desire line going up Market Street to cross the ring road at Outcote Bank where it would continue down to cross the revamped canal and on to Longroyd Bridge. This, at present, is only a viable route in parts and the schematic map would describe graphically the present state of this route (e.g. no bridge across canal and no contra flow in Market Street at present. How do cyclists get down Outcote Bank? etc).
Such a map for the whole of Kirklees is not going to be achieved overnight. It needs many hours of work using as many people as possible with specific local knowledge. There are big rewards however. The Bristol Cycling Campaign map was adopted by their council which means that now everyone is singing the same tune – unlike in Kirklees. We will have to decide whether we can make a start to produce a map for our locality.
Cyclescape is something that anyone can use to focus on things that make cycling easier, difficult or dangerous. It could be just the need for a dropped curb or a junction that is particularly difficult or dangerous for cyclists. It’s a bit like a facebook thread where different people identify issues or contribute their ‘pound of flesh’. But it has the advantage that it flags up the areas that most people are talking about and gives a hierachy of demand for jobs to be tackled sooner rather than later. If you google ‘Cyclescape’ and have a look at some of the pages you’ll see how different cycle campaign groups use it for different purposes. It could prove to be a useful tool in Kirklees.
City Connect 2
The public consultations for the Huddersfield Town Centre plans and for Kirklees’ Cycling and Walking Strategy have been further postponed. They are are scheduled to take place in the new year.
The road safety meeting in Leeds with the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner took place on Monday 14th November. The reports from most of the attendees were positive with the Police and Crime Commissioner prevailing on the police to trial a Close Pass initiative in West Yorkshire. It appears that West Yorkshire is the only authority at present moving on the initiative established by West Midlands Police. Cycling UK National Office was also in evidence at the meeting though there was criticism that no links with local campaigners were made prior to the meeting.
Kirklees Local Plan Consultation
The plan is now currently open for a further round of consultation. I’m hoping that we might be able call upon the expertise of some of our group members and make a group response to the plan before consultation closes in December.
J D Lewis -11/2016