2017

Page for newsletters from 2017 – in reverse date order

November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March2017
February 2017
January 2017

 


November 2017

 

 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign – kirkleescyclingcampaign.com

November 2017 Newsletter no. 13

 

 

Welcome to Newsletter 13. A round up from the Kirklees Cycling Campaign of some of this month’s news. – John Lewis (Chair)

 

Proposed Amendment to Constitution

 

At the AGM on 22nd November there will be a proposal to amend some of the existing constitution.

 

The two versions – existing and proposed – can be found on the campaign website.

 

The reason for the proposed change is that the committee would prefer not to have a campaign group membership subscription and all that that entails. Instead the proposal is that the group has ‘registered supporters’ and that the registered supporters vote at the AGM and special meetings as to how the campaign group functions.

 

The current committee have managed, so far, to keep the campaign group functioning with only small amount of money. This has been needed to pay for the website and has been donated by individuals from the committee.

 

If the amendment were passed, we may prefer, in future, to revert to a free website or would ask registered supporters to put a few coins in a bucket at a meeting to finance a website with ‘bells and whistles’.

 

Numbers are very important if the campaign group is to have influence on decision makers. It is felt that individuals are more likely to join the group as a ‘registered supporter’ than if asked to pay a membership fee.

To join as a ‘Registered Supporter’ all that would be required is to register their email address. Should they no longer wish to be associated with the group they need only to notify the secretary of their wishes.

In the end though, it is for the people at the AGM who will decide what structure they prefer.

 

Mile Post Café

 

For those that don’t already know, the Mile Post Café on the Spen Valley Greenway will be closed for the foreseable future. Hopefully it won’t be for ever!

15 November I am lead to believe that it has now re-opened, last weekend. ( Ian)

 

Pinch Points in Honley

 

We have been consulted about a proposal to install a pedestrian island on Meltham Road Honley. The local councillors would like a safer road crossing for pedestrians to access the recreation ground.

 

The problem is that the current proposals involve making ‘pinch points’ with a width of 3.1m and 3.4m. This would make cycling through these very difficult particularly in the uphill direction out of Honley.

 

I have requested that an alternative type of crossing be proposed.

 

Streetlife 1

 

20s Plenty in Sheffield

 

In addition to one third of its residential streets, 20mph will be the legally maximum speed for nearly all of Sheffield’s city centre.

Cycling will suddenly get a lot easier and more people will be encouraged to use a bike when using the city.

Whilst Kirklees has small scattered pockets of 20mph zones the council appears to be standing firm against making it the norm in residential streets.

There is so much to be gained from reducing traffic speeds on streets that are not main arterial routes. Streets suddenly become communities, air pollution drops, local people start to have a feeling of well-being, parents can feel more secure about their children riding their bikes and playing independently outside, and it becomes possible for many more of us to use a bike and get a bit of exercise.

 

Let’s hope that the resistance to 20mph zones don’t last too long.

 

 

Streetlife 2

Continuing with the theme of safer streets Ian Bangay has contributed the following thoughts:

 

https://kirkleestogether.co.uk/2017/10/03/play-strategy-consultation/

 

The Council is holding a set of meetings around the area. This is to inform residents of play facilities in Kirklees and to get feedback. There is a generic meeting and also a chance to see what is to happen locally. There is an interactive element, but from what I understand of the Cleckheaton one it’s not that interactive, as some people tried to broach a discussion on changes to a local park with some vigour.

It is a concern, as reported via social media, that people are left with the impression that that the Council would sooner see children playing in the park and not on the streets.

Personally I feel this is something that should be resisted and is well out of line with what walking and cycling campaign groups across the country have been promoting. If we want a healthy environment where children can play on quiet streets, and are not corralled into fenced off artificial environments, where people can cross the road with less fear of being knocked down by a thoughtless speeding driver, I think that view needs to be aired at those meetings and in the online survey.

For children wanting some independence and to walk to a nearby park to meet and play, the streets must also be safe enough to use. Whilst younger children may play escorted by a parent, there comes a time when it is appropriate for them to become more familiar with their neighbourhood and to branch out. Residential streets should be safe enough to allow this.

 

Residential streets are for living in, not a set of rat runs. The reported view seems to reinforce the notion that streets are for cars and so are inherently dangerous. We need to address that insidious creep of the motor vehicle – that’s not anti-car, it’s anti-car-dominance, which is not the same thing.

If this view was reported accurately and even Kirklees parks are putting out such negativity, the mountain to climb is big indeed. If you can attend one of the meetings please try to do so.

 

 

AGM – Final Reminder

 

 

Please try to make it if you can:

 

7:00 pm Wednesday 22nd November at The Sportsman Huddersfield

 ——————————–

 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign – kirkleescyclingcampaign.com

 

October 2017 Newsletter no. 12

 

Welcome to Newsletter 12. A round up from the Kirklees Cycling Campaign of some of this month’s news. – John Lewis (Chair)

……………………………………………….

AGM – new date:

Please note that the date for the KCC agm has been changed to:

– 7:00pm – 9:00pm Wednesday 22nd November 2017 at The Sportsman John William Street Huddersfield

Please try to get to this if you can.

Berry Brow – update:

There are now some additions to the measures reported in last month’s newsletter. Highways are also going to increase the signage on the southern approach to Berry Brow. There will be some 30mph signs with increased visibility. There will also be “Give Cyclists Space” signage.

A route between Huddersfield and Halifax:

Last month’s newsletter reported the new cycle and pedestrian route on the new housing development at Lindley Moor. After my questioning the route exit and entrance at Lindley Moor Road, Kirklees Highways have replied by saying that there are plans in place to make a safe entrance and exit.

This led me to think that perhaps not all cyclists realised the potential of this few hundred metres of surfaced track that was previously only a very narrow and muddy right of way. It now makes a safe key link for a very good route from Huddersfield to Halifax or to the upper Calder Valley, and is a good alternative to using the Ainley Top – Elland route.

Put simply, one can reach Crossland Road by a variety of routes from Huddersfield Town Centre. Having used the surfaced track and arrived at Lindley Moor Road, one can then either take the road opposite and descend Kew Hill and Hollins Hey Road OR go down Old Lindley Road, on to Jagger Green Lane and Holywell Green. From here, there is a direct route via Rawroyds and Green Lane and over the viaduct at West Vale. (1st timers will have to look hard for the turnings to the viaduct from both Green Lane and Saddleworth Road as it’s not yet signed). From there it’s but a short distance down Stainland Road to Salterhebble and the Calder Valley Greenway. If Halifax is your destination then you can take the Hebble Trail from Salterhebble.

– Many readers will also know routes that are not so widely known and that they might like to share. If so, please send a copy for a subsequent newsletter. You can send it via the website.

 

Easy Rides:

All local clubs have rides programmes for their members. People who are not necesarily regular cyclists or club members might not be aware about the Easy Rides run by Huddersfield CTC every first Saturday in the month. They are usually rides of a couple of hours starting at 10am. Details of all this winter’s rides can be found on the club’s website: huddersfieldctc.org.uk

 

(Members of other local clubs might also like to publicise particular rides in subsequent newsletters. If so, please send the details to the KCC website).

 

On Saturday 4th November the Easy Ride will start 10 am at St George’s Square – Hudderfield Railway Station and I will be leading it at an easy pace in and around Huddersfield Town Centre and beyond. The pace will be very undemanding and the distance will be between 10 and 15 miles. Not suitable then for fitness training, but ideal for anyone who wants to find some useful quiet and hitherto unknown routes. Everyone is welcome, young people especially – CyclingUK member or otherwise.

There is a lot of work to do to make Huddersfield a cycle-friendly town, but many don’t always realise that quite a lot of useful, non-hostile routes already exist if you know where to go.

Calderdale’s Cycling Strategy:

 

Just launched; this can be downloaded from Calderdale’s website: https://www.calderdale.gov.uk.

(The Kirklees Cycling Strategy still seems to be holed-up somewhere!)

A Colne Valley Greenway?

 

This month some Colne Valley Councillors took the initiative of resurrecting the project to develop routes in the Colne Valley for all users (walkers, horseriders, cyclists etc.)

A meeting of interested parties was held at the Town Hall and a small working party was charged with the task of taking the idea forward. After a feasibility study, and identifying the source of funding, this could be the beginning of a realistic project to make a surfaced track all the way to Marsden.

Spen Valley Ringway:

The application for planning of housing proposals near Cleckheaton has made it possible for the Spen Valley Ringway idea to be resurrected. Council leader David Sheard appears to be in favour so watch this space.

NPIF bids  ( Northern Productivity Investment Fund)

 

A development plan by Kirklees Council, supported by Huddersfield University and The Kingsgate Centre has recently been rejected funding from the Northern Productivity Investment Fund.

Bids to develop cycling routes in Leeds and Bradford were successful from this fund. Whilst one can only speculate on the reasons for the rejection, one can see from the plans that it fell far short of comprehensively integrating cycling provision in the town centre.

WYCA District Sub Committees

Kirklees are having to re-advertise for candidates for their transport committee as too few people initially applied.

If you have a small piece of time in your lives to attend the quarterly meetings of this committee please consider putting yourself forward as a candidate. At the moment the agendas tend to be predominately orientated around bus transport and there is a real need for cycling to be given a profile on these committees. Details on how to apply can be found on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority website or by emailing: governanceservices@West Yorks-ca.gov.uk

You can also phone: 0113 251 726

 


 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign

– kirkleescyclingcampaign.com

Newsletter no. 11 September 2017

Hello everybody.
Welcome to number 11 newsletter from the Kirklees Cycling Campaign. Quite a lot in this one.
Just a reminder that if you ever want to check out on previous newsletters, they can always be found on the campaign website (details above)

– Best Regards – John Lewis Chair

Lindley Moor – New Cycle Path

The new housing development on Lindley Moor gave Kirklees the opportunity to deliver an extremely useful and very wide (4m) shared-use surfaced track for pedestrians and cyclists between Crossland Road and Lindley Moor Road.
It is hoped that there are plans in place for a safe entrance and exit at Lindley Moor Road.
For cyclists coming to and from Lindley via Crosland Road it cuts off a corner and – more importantly – avoids a dangerous blind summit on Lindley Moor Road with some unexpected pinch points that cannot accommodate HGV’s and cyclists side by side.
Welcome though this is, it doesn’t address the danger for cyclists riding between Ainley Top and Outlane. The permitted speed has been reduced to 50mph but it remains a serious hazard if HGV’s coming up behind cyclists are not driving cautiously when they approach the summit.

It has been pointed out that this situation could have been avoided by negotiating land from the housing developers and constructing segregated cycle lanes on both sides of the road at the blind summit. Cycling representatives were not, however, consulted at the planning stage and officers and councillors were unaware of the risks involved.

It is another example of a missed opportunity to improve local roads for cycling. Procedures need to be put in place so that there is consultation with cycling representatives early in the planning stage.

Berry Brow
The Kirklees highways proposal to make some modifications to the road at Berry Brow was previously circulated.
To put it briefly, the proposal is to take out some of the cycle lane on the northbound approach to Berry Brow, and to reduce the width of a traffic island. Kirklees think that these measures will make it safer for cyclists.
Many thanks are due to those who spent time and thought in contributing to the consultation. It doesn’t look as though our responses have made much difference to the original proposal but it was nevertheless very useful for Highways to see a range of opinion from local cyclists.
Most of us would argue that both motorists and cyclists need to be aware of the imminent narrowing of the road space, and the problems that could arise should motor vehicles attempt to overtake cyclists when approaching the unseen pinch point bollard.
A ‘road narrows’ sign would be a good start together with a more visible 30mph sign.
I have made a further attempt to persuade Highways to concede to these measures.

The aim of taking out the cycle lane when approaching Bery Brow is to encourage cyclists to move out into the middle of the lane (“into primary position”) and to avoid being overtaken. Hopefully more and more cyclists will feel confident enough to do this. There will be some that won’t, however, and ‘hug the gutter’ either through lack of confidence or because this stretch of road is not familiar to them and they are unaware of the imminent danger.

Low Moor Station – contribution from Ian Bangay

It was with some interest that I viewed the opening of a new rail station beside the Spen Valley Greenway in Low Moor, just on the southern edge of Bradford – handy for exploring Kirklees id coming from Bradford, London bound trains and a handy link to Huddersfield.
Access to Huddersfield on public transport is poor from this part of Kirklees.

The station opened with some fanfare on April 2nd – and a few raspberries would not have gone amiss. On the city side there is a fine ramp for access for groups of cyclists, those in wheelchairs, those with buggies and people who cannot manage steps. On the south side, near Victoria Park there is an access – a direct one – to the adjacent Greenway. I know this because the we page tells me so. However this access is steps only. There is a groove to be installed to make it easier to bring a bike – or SOME types of bike – up to platform level. Many people find these fiddly to use or do not have the coordination to handle a bike up them.

For wheelchairs users or those with buggies, this is not a solution. If alighting on the south side and unable to use steps, you need to use 2 lifts and add half a mile to your journeyto get round to the park and then onto the Greenway or down to Oakenshaw. This means walking along the path by the busy main road, which at times, sees lorries and vans obstructing he pavement.
This is something that designers might easily have foreseen. Raising the issue with Northern Rail brought the eventual reply: “The Southside/Manchester platform is not an entrance/exit to the station”. So we have an access but it is not an official access.

It is among West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s (WYCA) responsibilities to provide integrated travel solutions. Many aspects of Low Moor seem to be in keeping with a 21st century station. In terms of overall access, however, it falls short of what a modern station should provide.

I await further information from those charged with the construction and maintenance of this facility and hope that better is to come.

 

News Digest – contribution from Bill Hunter

Latest news from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) website:

Investment committee backs almost £9 m funding for local schemes – including £570,000 to examine improvements to A629 Halifax Road at Ainley Top.

Comment – This is part of a major programme of improvements between Huddersfield and Halifax. The scheme aims to reduce polution at Ainley Top by keeping traffic moving rather than queuing. All well and good, but we need to ensure that the scheme includes significant improvements for cyclists through early involvement in the design process.

Work starts on phase 1 of the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway, the first project to be delivered within phase 2 of the £60 million West Yorkshire wide programme of cycling infrastructure.

Comment – Great news for Cas and Wakefield. Such a shame that City Connect in Kirklees has stalled because of a lack of ambition by Kirklees Council.
All that we currently have is:
Surfacing of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath to Milnsbridge – scaled back from the original proposal to Linthwaite – and way short of Slaithwaite – our proposed endpoint.

Help Shape the Future of West Yorkshire Transport

WYCA is seeking members of the public in Kirklees to serve on its District Consultation Sub-Committees.
The meetings are held quarterly and can influence decision making of all types of transport including cycling. The period for applications from Kirklees residents has been extended due to the lack of response.
If you can, please consider getting involved in this decision making process and making an application.
Phone: 0113 251 726
or email: governanceservices@West Yorks-ca.gov.uk
Further details can be found on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Website.

Question Time in Kirklees

On Thursday 12th October local political leaders will be taking place in a ‘Question Time’ style event at The Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield.
A panel of councillors will be answering questions from local people.
It is an opportunity to put relevant questions – including those that refer to Transport -to local leaders and to hear their replies and promises. You need to register to take part and more details can be found on the website:
democracycommission.org.uk

Upcoming KCC Meetings

7pm Wednesday 18th October – Committee Meeting
7pm Wednesday 8th November – AGM

Both meetings will take place at “The Sportsman” St John’s Road Huddersfield
Please try to set aside time to attend the AGM if you can, and bear in mind that supporters are always welcome at committee meetings.

…………………………………………………………………..

 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign – kirkleescyclingcampaign.com

 

Newsletter no. 10 August 2017

 

Welcome to this month’s newsletter with some of what’s afoot in Kirklees.

Due to my ‘sense of time’ this August newsletter is dangerously near September and it’s not too far until our first AGM date. – John Lewis (Chair).

 

Berry Brow

The A616 approaching Berry Brow has long been a well-known and potentially dangerous, stretch of road for local cyclists.

Some thanks is due to Kirklees Highways in trying to improve this and proposing some new road configuration. Thanks are also due to the people who responded to my request to comment on the proposals. There was a general consensus that, whilst well-meaning, the Kirklees proposals didn’t go far enough in addressing the problem and a number of suggestions were put forward.

These comments, along with my own, were all sent to highways and we are awaiting their reply.

Mirfield – the missing link

Ever since its opening the Calder Valley Greenway has made do with a very unsatisfactory route in Mirfield between Church Lane and Woodend Road.

NCN66 changes abruptly between these two points and pitches the cyclist from a quiet off-road route onto busy roads without cycle lanes or controlled crossings. This is not a situation that is going to encourage new cyclists, and is a situation that SUSTRANS wishes to improve.

Earlier this month a group of KCC people met up with Rupert Douglas of SUSTRANS to explore some possibilities of making a better cycle route between these two points. A number of options were narrowed down, and a proposed route will be outlined to Kirklees at our next meeting with them.

 

Huddersfield Town Centre

 

Now that City Connect has put Kirklees’ cycling plans on the “Reserve List” there is only the remotest of possibilities that any of the proposed plans for Huddersfield Town Centre will be implemented. This may appear depressing, but given the nature of the plans it may not be such a bad idea. It will hopefully bring home to Kirklees that unambitious plans will satisfy no one, and that if more cyclists are going to be encouraged into the town centre it needs a plan that is both comprehensive and ambitious.

 

It so happens that Norwich is in the process of making its city centre a friendly place for cyclists and has made a comprehensive plan from which Kirklees could learn many lessons.

 

KCC Committee Meeting

 

The next committee meeting will be at:

7pm on Wednesday 20th September

at The Sportsman St John’s Road Huddersfield

All are welcome to attend.

 


 

 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign

 – kirkleescyclingcampaign.com

 

Newsletter no. 9 July 2017

Welcome to this month’s newsletter giving some local news affecting cycling in Kirklees. Please remember that contributions are always welcome

– John Lewis (chair)

  

Huddersfield Town Centre

 

Some of you might have noticed a sudden increase of cycle route signage in and around Huddersfield Town Centre. The signs look good but they often tend to promise more than what turns out to be the reality. It’s true to say that there have been some recent improvements, but there is an awful lot more to do in the small space that is Huddersfield Town Centre.

When the cycle lane contraflow in Ramsden Street first appeared The Examiner ridiculed it saying it was a “The Cycle Lane to Nowhere”. Two years on there is disappointment in Kirklees Highways that the cycle lane is hardly used, and people are beginning to question whether it was money well spent. It seems that the council thought that the construction of 100 metres of contraflow cycle lane would encourage hundreds of cyclists to suddenly start using Huddersfield Town Centre. They seem to ignore the fact that – at the moment – The Examiner’s headline is largely correct.

Whilst the headline didn’t seem to understand that without the contraflow lane cyclists would be prevented from riding up Ramsden Street it still begs the question ‘where would the cyclist be coming from?’

The answer should be – ‘from the Holme Valley and Queen Street South but the Ring Road currently severs this route at the top of Queen Street South and the current options to get to Ramsden Street from there are either:

(i)         a series of pedestrian crossings into Alfred Street

OR

(ii)        to use the Queensgate Car Park subway and carry the bike up the steps.

Many cyclists do not know of the existence of these two options, but even those that do, are not enthusiastic as they hardly encourage simple straightforward cycling. This is a major reason for the sparse use being made of the contraflow cycle lane in Ramsden Street. One would like to think that the car park route under the ring road could be made more cycle friendly making it a straightforward route to the civic centre/leisure centre area.

Even with these improvements there would still need to be a comprehensive network of routes to encourage people to see the advantage of using a bike in the town centre. This comprehensive network was supposed to be part of the City Connect plans but the WYCA transport committee has relegated Kirklees Council plans to a ‘reserve list’. (see also the forebodings mentioned in newsletter no. 8). Given the funding restraints City Connect is unlikely to provide the required finance.

Over the next couple of years a complete rethink is needed to decide on the best ways to encourage cycling in Huddersfield and the means of funding to carry it out. We hope that KCC can have a positive influence on this.

 

CS1

It is easy to complain about things, but it is not always so easy to devise solutions.

If the man on the Clapham omnibus is asked why there are not more people using bikes he will almost certainly say that it is because it is too dangerous on the road.

However the reasons are often more complex than this.

If, for example, one looks at the CS1 route between Bradford and Leeds one can see a route – perhaps with the exception of the Stanningley Bottom section – that is safe enough for one’s child to use to get to school everyday. However, if you stand alongside any part of the route between 8:30 and 9:00 on a weekday morning you will be struck by the sparse numbers of cyclists using it. You will probably see more cyclists in Leeds City centre in 5 minutes than you will see in an hour riding along CS1. Speak to many local people and they will berate you with fury because WYCA seems to have spent £millions on a white elephant.

If we are to move forward in the quest to encourage more people to cycle more often, it would seem to be important to investigate the reasons why CS1 is not full of cyclists on a morning commute. In addition to the money, an awful lot of time, thought and hard work has gone into its construction and promotion but this should not be a cause for being in denial about the outcome one year on.

Is it the nature of the route or the infrastructure? Is it that there is not the enthusiasm for commuting on a bike in Yorkshire? If so why not? These are but some of the questions that should be being asked. If new cycling infrastructure is not successful in getting more people out of their cars then funding is unlikely to be available for future projects.

Possible future local routes

 

KCC committee members are currently in the process of developing routes in the Holme Valley and also exploring how best to link up the Calder Valley Greenway route through Mirfield. We are working with Sustrans and CyclingUK and hope to have some productive discussions with Kirklees in the near future.

 

KCC Committee Meetings

 

Just for clarification, KCC committee meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend. The dates are posted on the KCC website. The next one is:

7pm on 9th August 2017 at The Sportsman St John’s Road Huddersfield.

 


 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign – kirkleescyclingcampaign.com


Newsletter No. 8 June 2017

Welcome to the June 2017 Newsletter with some of the recent local news.

Meeting with Kirklees Officers:

On 19th June we finally got our meeting with Kirklees Officers. Our suspicion is that this was helped by The Huddersfield Examiner’s article about the length of time we were waiting for a reply to our request. So thank you to “The Examiner”.

The reason for the request was to present the KCC network maps and to begin to discuss a future strategic plan for cycling in Kirklees. Both Highways and Public Health were represented. We argued that little was currently being done to encourage an increase in numbers of people cycling in Kirklees. It currently has one of the lowest number of commuter cyclists in the UK.

If the situation is to change there needed be more finance and space for cycling. New cyclists need to feel that they can ride safely on local roads.

The officers seemed surprised when we said that we expected finance for projects to be made available from the West Yorkshire Transport Fund. This involves an economic case being made to the DFT to access the fund. Kirklees Highways seemed to consider that the economic case was reserved for motor vehicles and thought that it would be difficult to make an economic case for cycling.

As a result of this discussion KCC committee members are currently engaged in researching material that makes the economic case for cycling, of which there is quite a lot, including material from the DFT itself. When we have gathered it all together we will present it to the council.

 

It has to be said in passing, however, that we are disappointed that Kirklees has not done this already without our assistance. That said the meeting was a positive one and KCC were asked to identify 3 priority projects from the network plans and a meeting to discuss these was pencilled in for September.

 

Updated Maps on KCC website

 

If you’ve got a moment have a look at the updated versions of the two current Network Maps – one Kirklees wide and one detailing Huddersfield town centre. They are in the ‘Update’ section of the website at he moment.

I hope that you’ll agree that they are a lot clearer and easier to read. They are not ‘set in stone’, and from time to time will need further modifications. They do, however, represent a base line for discussion and making plans for the future. We hope that they will be the basis on which the future Local Cycling and Walking Plan (CWIP) will be structured.

 

 

Huddersfield Town Centre Bus Gates

 

After the significant petition against the Bus Gates the local politicians seemed to be feeling vulnerable. Kirklees Officers are currently being exercised by making detailed assessments of the effect of the Huddersfield Town Centre Bus Gates. Amongst the various assessments will be a measure of air quality and the loss of trade – or otherwise – of local retail outlets.

A stop has been made to any development plans involving the town centre and City Connect 2 cycling plans have got caught up in this. This is why City Connect consultation took place for the upgrading of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal but there was no similar consultation on the Huddersfield Town Centre plans, as it is at present ‘under wraps’.

Consultation on the Council’s Cycling and Walking Strategy is also being held up by the Bus Gates monitoring though we have yet to understand why this should be so.

 

City Connect Huddersfield Town Centre

 The time period for City Connect projects are drawing to a close and most of the other regions in West Yorkshire and York have costed their plans and are ready for construction. This is the point when hard decisions have to be made, as enough finance is unlikely to be available for everything, and cuts will have to be made somewhere.

It will come as no surprise that Kirklees proposals for Huddersfield Town Centre are looking extremely vulnerable.

Those who were present at the Friends of City Connect meeting at Kirklees College nearly two years ago will remember WYCA personnel spelling out that the plans were considered not of a sufficient standard to merit CC funding. The response to this from Kirklees was a dogged defence and there was no attempt to revise the plans.

It does not bode well.

Champions in local Clubs – A Request

 Local cycling clubs exist principally to socialise on bikes by participating competively or having leisure rides. Many are very strong in numbers and active in participating in a variety of activities involving cycling. Their members are – by and large – not particularly interested in spending time campaigning for more space for cycling.

By contrast, at the Bradford Conference last month Jonny Clay, Director of Cycling at British Cycling was at pains to say that British Cycling was committed to working with other cycling organisations, such as Sustrans and Cycling UK, to pressure the government and local authorities to make our roads more cycle-friendly. Chris Boardman, of course, has been very vocal about this issue on behalf of British Cycling and the Olympic cycling stars have also done their bit.

The Kirklees Cycling campaign is looking to establish links with local clubs in Kirklees. We believe that the campaign will be stronger if it has their support and input, and we would like to find one or more persons in each club to be a Champion

for the kind of things that Jonny Clay was talking about. There is no obligation to spend a lot of time and energy away from the normal club activities. All a champion need be is a point of contact with KCC and a receiver of the Monthly Newsletter. If they can disseminate the information and encourage others to go to the website and sign up for the free newsletter then that’s even better.

If you are a club member who supports what KCC is doing or knows someone who might be willing to liaise with us please let us know. Contact details are on the website.

 

Spread the Word

 Finally, another plea to spread the word that we exist. Please tell your friends and acquaintances about Kirklees Cycling Campaign and encourage them to go to the website to sign up for the free monthly newsletter.

 


 

Kirklees Cycling Campaignhttp://www.kirkleescyclingcampaign.com

Newsletter No. 7 May 2017

 

Space for Cycling Ride – Report

 

The undemanding ride on 22nd April around Huddersfield Town Centre in the sunshine was covered in great style by the Huddersfield Examiner and included a personal interview.

Unfortunately we didn’t fill the streets with cyclists, and our numbers were little more than those that might be found on a weekly club ride. What was nice to see, however, was such a strong showing from children with their parents (six of them).

It is early days for the KCC, and it was probably expecting a lot for a big turnout for this event. It does have to be remembered though, that small numbers mean that Kirklees Council (Politicians and Officers) will find it easy to ignore road improvements for cyclists.

At the moment we have a Highways Department that shows no signs of wanting to engage with us on developing a long-term cycling strategy, and politicians who have given no commitment to increase the proportion of cycling expenditure from the local transport fund.

 

New Website Address

 

In an effort to make it easier to access we’ve got ourselves a new website. Its address is easy to type in and easier to remember – www.kirkleescyclingcampaign.com

 

Colne Road

 

Kirklees Highways attempts at cycling infrastructure in Colne Road, Queen Street South and Queensgate have featured in previous newsletters and are also on www.cyclescape

The council have not responded to these concerns despite it being made aware of them for many months.

In the light of this the KCC committee have proposed the following:

 

– That cyclists are recommended to use the carriageway along Colne Road instead of the shared use pavement.

This is usually safer as the pavement doesn’t have sufficient sight lines for a cyclist travelling at 10mph or more. Using the carriageway prevents the potential collision between cyclists and HGV’s emerging from their premises. There have already been reports of ‘near misses’.

The exception to this recommendation is if the cyclist is prepared to travel at walking speed (4mph). Adults with children, for example, may decide/prefer to ride on the pavement if they are cycling very slowly and with caution.

 

This signed cycle route calls into question the judgements, not only of Kirklees Highways, but also of the people behind the safety audit that allowed the implementation this measure.

 

 

 

Meeting Request – latest

 

On 1st April KCC requested a meeting with Kirklees Highways to make a presentation of the group’s Cycling Network Maps. It was hoped that this would be the beginning of a process to develop a comprehensive Cycling Network plan in Kirklees. The DFT will shortly be making this a requirement for every council in the country (CWIP).

 

The latest news is that there has been no meeting invitation from Highways and it seems to indicate that they do not want to work with KCC.

 

This is a particularly depressing state of affairs. Kirklees Council seem to be content with the status quo and feel no need to improve local roads and encourage more people to cycle.

Whilst sports and weekend leisure cycling has grown substantially in recent years, and many local clubs have large active memberships, Kirklees remains at the very bottom of the national league for numbers of people using a bike for everyday use. Without a significant input of vision and finance from the council, roads will continue to get more dangerous for all cyclists, local people will continue to use their cars for the very shortest of journeys, and children will reach adulthood without the skills needed to be able to independently ride a bike on the road.

 

Bradford: Cycle City Active City

 

In contrast to the inactivity of Kirklees, Bradford has made a step change in its ambition to increase the numbers of people cycling. Councillors, officers and local activists have worked together to produce a comprehensive cycling strategy and a long-term network plan. See: www.cyclebradford.org.uk/about-cyclebradford/strategyplan

On May 11th and 12th it organised an impressive two-day conference bringing decision makers from many different parts of the country and abroad to speak. Chris Loveday who attended has written a comprehensive account – (see enclosed attachment)

Three highpoints, for me personally, included:

– The transport planner from Hamm in Germany describing his achievements and difficulties over the last ten years.

– The transport planner from Nottingham stressing the importance of local political support for the construction of the segregated cycle route through the town, and

– The head of British Cycling announcing his intention to work with the likes of sustrans and Cycling uk to achieve a national policy of cycling for everyone.

 

Conferences such as these, however, have a habit of preaching to the converted.

There appeared to be few politicians amongst the delegates and there didn’t seem to be anyone from Kirklees on the Friday (the day that I attended).

 

West Yorkshire Police – Close Pass initiative

 

Many will be aware that this initiative recently started in north Leeds. The area was chosen because of its high number of cycle accidents.

An unmarked lycra clad police officer rides up and down a stretch of road and will radio on to colleagues if they experience a vehicle passing at a distance of less than 1.5metres.

A pretty unpleasant way of spending a day at work I would think!

 

 

Secret Cycle Superhighways

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p052zgp6

 

The cycle campaigner Carlton Reid has recently discovered 300 miles of forgotten segregated cycle routes that were built in Britain in the 1930’s. Click on the above link to find out more.


 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign – http://www.kirkleescyclingcampaign.wordpress.com

Newsletter no.6 April 2017

The Open Letter

The newsletter for March was taken up with the open letter to the two cabinet leaders responsible for highways in Kirklees. Some of you may have seen large parts of it printed in the ‘Huddersfield Examiner’. This led to Pulse Radio requesting a short interview.

The response from Cllr McBride was summed up in the phrase that our differences were “not as great as I presume”.

The response from Cllr Khan ‘reminded’ me that her responsibilities were for ‘repairs and maintenance’ (perhaps suggesting that the contents of the letter did not apply to her). After a couple of further emails between us she agreed that there was a lot of opportunities to improve the road conditions for cyclists at the time of making repairs or maintenance and that she would instruct officers to proceed with this approach.

We now wait to see whether any action will follow the words of the two cabinet leaders.

 

Cyclescape

This is a new tool for highlighting problem places for cyclists. Go to:

www.cyclescape.org

and search Kirklees Cycling Campaign amongst the listed local groups. After going through the process of joining the group you can look at the issues listed and vote for the ones you think are important. The more votes the bigger the priority. You can also add to the discussion or highlight a new issue that you think ought to be on the list.

Many groups all over the country are beginning to use this tool. If there are enough local users and participants it will become invaluable in highlighting the road conditions for cyclists in Kirklees.

At the moment we are still having teething problems with it (I managed to put up the wrong photo for an issue and now can’t find a way of taking it down). I feel though that, in time, it has the potential to be able to map all the issues in the area. Have a look at it and see what you think.

Meltham Greenway – a work in progress (A contribution from Bill Hunter)

The Greenway is a railway path on the former Meltham line, closed in the 1960s. It diverged from the Penistone line just beyond Lockwood station, passing through Beaumont Park and 2 short tunnels under Netherton, followed by a fairly straight section with a combination of embankments and cuttings to Healey House and sMeltham Mills, terminating on Station Road, adjacent to Morrisons supermarket in the centre of Meltham.

At present only 2 short sections of the line are legally accessible and in a fit state for cycling and walking – within Beaumont Park, thanks to the Friends of Beaumont Park, where it is easily accessible from Meltham Road; and from Huddersfield Road at Meltham Mills to Morrisons and Station Road, this largely due to the efforts of the Friends of Meltham Greenway. In Beaumont Park the Greenway

There are now good prospects for opening up the section between Healey House and Netherton, thanks to recent residential development at the former, and proposed development at the latter, with appropriate planning conditions to ensure access, and developer contributions of land and funding.

This section will enable residents of the Healey House development, and employees at the adjacent business park to walk or cycle the 1km or so directly to Netherton and its schools, shops and the health centre, without using the main Huddersfield Road.

The next phase should logically be the “missing link”, also of about 1km, between Healey House and Meltham Mills. Developer funding is unlikely to be available for this section, so other sources will need to be identified. Looking even further ahead, the link from Netherton through the tunnels to Beaumont Park presents major challenges, but is achievable in the longer term. The full length of the Greenway is a proposed route in the Kirklees Local Plan, so that is at least a start!

Tell us about the greenways you use, or the ones you would like to be created. They don’t have to be railway paths, just off road routes.

Merit of the Month

Kirklees Council, for surfacing a footpath in Meltham, between Wessenden Head Road and Calmlands Road, using a material based on shredded waste tyres. Not an obvious cycle route, but this would seem to be a green and suitable treatment for other paths and tracks which are, or could become, established cycle routes.

Cycling exposure and risk of cycling in West Yorkshire: 2011-2016

This recent piece of research by Jean Siakeu is referred to on one of the KCC website pages, and it makes particularly depressing reading for those of us living in Kirklees.

In 2011 the census registered how people travelled to work. Subsequently researchers using these statistics made a table of towns and cities in the UK and gave the percentages of the population who regularly cycled to their place of employment. In this table Huddersfield was third from bottom with well under 1% commuting by bike.

Now, it seems, that numbers of all Kirklees cyclists have declined since 2011.

Not just that. Whilst numbers of cyclists have gone down, numbers of cycling accidents have gone up.

All this is in direct contrast to the other regions in West Yorkshire where cycling numbers have increased and accidents have proportionally reduced.

More Bike Parking at Huddersfield Station

Platform 1 on the station at Huddersfield now has about double its previous capacity of bike racks to lock and leave your bike while you go off on the train without it. The new enclosed area also has a facility to inflate your tyres. It a little more inconvenient to wheel the bike further down the platform when the old racks are full, but at least you can be sure of a rack when you enter the station. There is now room for about 100 bikes. When a few more people realize how much more convenient and reliable it is, to ride to the station, we may well be asking for more racks before too long.

 

Meeting Request to Steven Hanley (Kirklees Highways)

A request was sent to Steven Hanley on April 1st for representatives of KCC to meet some members of the Highways team.

The KCC committee said that they would like to make a presentation of their network maps and hoped that this would be the beginning of a process to develop a comprehensive cycling network plan for Kirklees.

It was also said that KCC would like to discuss with highways some other areas of concern. These were:

Using road maintenance and repair schedules to improve roads for cyclists.

Proposals for Halifax Rd

Proposals for Meltham Greenway

The recent ‘cycling infrastructure’ in Colne Rd, Queen St South and Queensgate.

As of the date of writing this (14/04/17) KCC has not received a response to this request.

 

Saturday April 22nd – Space for Cycling Day

10 am Huddersfield Railway Station – St Georges Square

Just to remind everyone that this an attempt to show the council that cyclists need space on the roads in Kirklees and another way of asking for a minimum of 5%-10% of the annual local transport budget to be given towards making our roads safer and easier to use.

I’m hoping that Cycling UK is going to supply us with a placard or two, but feel free to tie a balloon or two on your bike or try out a bit of face paint. I hope that we can get some good photos to share with the press and social media.

It is a family friendly easy short ride in two parts.

 

Part 1. – Is a slow one-hour ride in and around the town centre that will hopefully be enjoyable for everyone, and a spectacle for those shoppers and others who see us pass by.

 

Part 2. – Is a one-hour guided tour some of Huddersfield’s “Problem Places” for cyclists. They cover:

difficult or dangerous spots.

inept/unhelpful council cycle infrastructure.

examples of some current problems of not being able to get from one part of the town to another without being forced onto the Ring Road.

key places for a cycle network in and around Huddersfield.

Please try to come to one or both of these events. Make it difficult for the Council to continue to ignore cycling in its transport policy and show them that it matters to you.

 

Best wishes to everyone

John Lewis

– Chair Kirklees Cycling Campaign


 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign


Newsletter No. 5 – March 2017

 

An Open Letter to Cllr McBride and Cllr Musarrat Khan

 

This month two representatives of the KCC met the above Cabinet leaders to discuss some issues involving cycling in Kirklees. Cllr McBride is responsible for Economy, Skills, Transportation and Planning while Cllr Musarrat Khan responsibilities are for highways and neighbourhoods.

 

The meeting was very cordial and there was the promise of some continuity of dialogue in the future. Nevertheless KCC representatives came away from the meeting with the impression that there is a tremendous gap in our respective positions. This open letter is being sent to the two councillors that we met, to help improve better understanding and communication:

 

Dear Cllr Khan and Cllr McBride,

 

Thank you for meeting us on March 14th and for listening to some of our concerns.

We appreciate that you want to make better provision for cyclists but after reflecting about our discussion we feel that there is a big difference between ourselves as to why and how these good intentions can become a reality.

 

We think that it would help you to understand the Kirklees Cycling Campaign better, if we responded, in this open letter, to some of your arguments regarding the difficulty of improving the conditions for cyclists on the roads in Kirklees.

 

We understand your view that our roads are already very crowded and that congestion can result in significant economic costs to the local economy.

Where we differ is the solution to the problem.

Your solution is to improve traffic flow, by measures such as road widening and improving junctions, so that the roads can accommodate a greater capacity of vehicles. We acknowledge that this can sometimes alleviate a problem, but often this solution produces further problems by encouraging more traffic on the highways and causing additional congestion elsewhere along the route.

Our solution is to find ways of reducing the number of vehicles using the road network, or at least to prevent any further growth in motor traffic.

We say this because, for many decades, a great many major road improvements developing greater capacity have been quickly followed by a growth in the numbers of vehicles using the network, the result of which has been to negate the potential benefits of the highways improvements. Put simply, constructing more road space often encourages more traffic to use it.

 

The decision to encourage the reduction of car use is not easy for a politician who sees a great number of potential votes from motorists. There are, however, examples of political figures have successfully taken this action. Ken Livingston was prepared to weather a veritable onslaught of outcries when he introduced the London congestion charge, but few subsequent politicians would suggest today that it would be better to abolish it. There is much further to go yet, but Londoners are – bit by bit – realising that it is possible to travel many of their journeys by means other than their private car. They are walking, cycling and using public transport more often. As a result of reducing the dominance of the private car, there is beginning to be development of more pleasant neighbourhoods for people to live and socialise.

 

The Kirklees Cycling Campaign urges you and the council to rethink its policy on transport. It asks you to establish cycling as an important part of the transport strategy for Kirklees. We are not anti-car; most of the members of Kirklees Cycling Campaign are car owners and users, but given that thousands of journeys made in the car are three miles or less we know that the bicycle can play a big part in us using our cars less than we do at the present time. It can be regular commute to work or to the station. It can be trip to the shops or to see some friends. At the weekend there is the opportunity to spend time with friends or family exploring our wonderful countryside.

 

For thousands of short journeys a bike is – easier, quicker, more reliable, cheaper, healthier and more environmentally friendly. Despite these advantages it is no secret why cycling is not – at the present time – a common means of transport. There is a general perception that it is dangerous. A network  of  roads  that are seen as safe and easy for cyclists to use are expensive to build and will take many years to accomplish. Your political will and courage is needed for the process to start.

 

 

PLAN – INVEST – BUILD

 

This is the process that can begin to get more local people cycling more often, and help free up road space for other motorists.

 

  1. PLAN – The planning of a core network has been started by Kirklees Cycling Campaign, and it is hoped that you can encourage the designers and decision makers in Kirklees Highways to have a constructive dialogue with us about what has been achieved so far. We would hope that, between us, we can develop a finalised plan that will show the ambition for the next twenty years.

 

  1. INVEST – We want you to commit to spending a reasonable amount of your transport budget on cycling, with a base of at least 5-10%. This starts getting a network underway and creates a stronger case when making applications for further funding. Cycling is a good investment. The UK Government estimates that for every £1 invested in cycling £5.50 is returned in social benefit.

 

  1. BUILD – As you can see from the Kirklees Cycling Campaign network maps the network will generally consist of three main forms of provision:

 

Protected space: on main roads with fast and/or heavy to medium traffic flows.

 

Quiet roads and streets: where traffic flows are light and/or 20mph limit and where cycles and motor vehicles can mix. Traffic volumes can be reduced on chosen routes by installing a couple of carefully sited bollards.

 

Routes free of motor traffic:  where routes are often shared with other users along canal towpaths, NCN greenways, tracks, routes through parks and other open spaces. They can also be designated routes through new housing and other developments.

 

We hope that this outline has given you an idea of the process of how the council can encourage more people to cycle and to change the way that many of us make some of our journeys . We thank you for spending time listening to us last week and for reading this letter. We know from the statements in the Kirklees Local Plan that you   would like to see “more people cycling more often”. The Kirklees Cycling Campaign will help you, in any way that it can, to achieve this end.

 

 Yours Sincerely

 

John Lewis

Chair – Kirklees Cycling Campaign

 


 

Newsletter No. 4 February 2017

 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign – news from the Chair

 

 

Hello everyone. Welcome to No. 4 Newsletter of the Kirklees Cycling Campaign listing some of the current news.

 

 

Cycling Network Maps

 

After an awful lot of work and teething problems the maps are now more or less ready to be presented to the council. Many thanks to the many people who helped with suggestions after seeing the early versions of the maps. They will inevitably be edited and modified in the years to come, but at least they set a benchmark for what needs to be done.

There are two ‘tube’ maps one for Huddersfield Town Centre and one for the rest of Kirklees. Most of the routes currently exist but a great many of them are sub-standard in terms of being able to cycle safely and/or easily. The maps present a vision for what Kirklees ought to be like in 20 years time and aim to be a strategic network of cycle routes.

 

They don’t show every road or track in Kirklees or the myriad of routes that can be linked to the routes on the maps. Existing roads which are considered unrealistic in making space for cycling routes are also not included. The routes on the maps are that KCC thinks the council should focus on in a incremental 20 year plan. The finance coming from a FAIR proportion of the funds available to the council for transport projects.

 

Both Bristol and Bath Cycling Campaign groups have produced similar maps, and have had them adopted by their respective councils.

 

It is hoped that these maps will likewise, be adopted by Kirklees Highways as part of their cycling and walking strategy. To this end, members of the committee will be meeting the following people early next month:

-Peter McBride (Kirklees Cabinet Member for transport and strategic planning)

and

-Allison Milbourne (Kirklees Officer responsible for Health and co writer Kirklees’ Cycling and Walking Strategy).

 

Richard Hadfield – Chief officer for Highways already has copies of the maps and we are awaiting his response.

 

N.B.    I am currently struggling with how to let everyone see the updated ‘tube maps’ as they are only legible if I send them as a very large file, and this means that many people’s systems reject it. If all goes well they will shortly be put up on the Huddersfield ctc website. Could it also be put up on other club websites? Huddersfield Star Wheelers, Holmfirth CC etc?

Paper copies will be available at meetings and I will continue to look for ways to send them out to all members and supporters.

 

 

City Connect 2 Update:

 

  1. Huddersfield Narrow Canal

The plans are now the subject of a consultation exercise. The KCC committee will be making a formal response on behalf of the group but you are also urged to make a personal response.

Visit: www.cyclecityconnect.co.uk/projects/huddersfield-narrow-canal-improvements

 

Some things to bear in mind are the unsatisfactory end of the route at either Longroyd Bridge or Colne Road.

KCC are proposing a long term solution to this by making a direct segregated cycle route to the Railway Station via Outcote Bank. This would start with a bridge crossing the canal near Earnshaws. (this is on the KCC ‘tube map’)

Another factor is the need for a track that is as wide as possible. Without this pedestrians and cyclists are likely to come into conflict.

 

Continuing the route to Slaithwaite seems also to be a very popular proposal.

 

The route would become Sustrans NCN69  i.e continuing the Bradley Birkby route. This makes an even greater need for there to be a good cycle-friendly on-road route through the town centre linking the two parts.

 

Martin Bolt has also recommended that your local councillors be copied in to your responses.

 

Of course, the canal route is not for everyone. Many cyclists will prefer speed rather than tranquility and will continue to use the A62. For many, however, this route would make a very pleasant alternative. A gentle 20 minutes from Slaithwaite to Huddersfield town centre could be a big encouragement for many people to start using a bike to get to work or for a ride with the family at the weekend.s

 

  1. Huddersfield Town Centre

 

The town centre plans are not progressing well. Public consultation is being further delayed – possibly until June. The reason being cited for this, is the implementation and opposition of the Town Centre Bus Gates.

 

There is also a very real threat that City Connect will not accept the plans devised by Kirklees Highways as they do not fall into the brief of being ambitious projects. If the threat becomes a reality City Connect will withdraw the funding from Kirklees and will use it to finance more ambitious projects in other parts of West Yorkshire.

 

  1. Cooper Bridge link to Brighouse

 

Nothing new to report!

 

 

 

sMeltham Greenway:

 

Some good news here. Section 106 money is available from one new housing development near Netherton and is on the way to being resolved in another development.

It looks as though there might be a real possibilty of developing a new stretch of the Greenway near Netherton, and this could put further pressure, in the future, to make link between the two stretches. Thus making an entire greenway section between Meltham and Netherton.

 

Space 4 Cycling Day – 22nd April

 

Please make a note of this date in your diaries and icals. It’s been nominated by Cycling UK/Cyclenation as a day to promote Space4Cycling.  It’s a Saturday and hopefully we can can make something of an event in Huddersfield Town Centre and/or elsewhere, if there is enough take-up.

More information when the committee has had a chance to get some ideas together, but please feel free to make suggestions.

What is of overiding importance is to have a large number of cyclists and other people participating. We’re only going to get change if politicians feel that it’s in their interest to support the campaign. Small numbers can be brushed aside, large numbers mean votes.

 

Items for the Newsletter

 

Please remember that any items for the newsletter will be gratefully recieved. Just send them to me by hand or email.

Please also spread the word about the campaign group and encourage them ask for the newsletter.

 

 

Thank you for reading this.

More news next month.

Best Wishes  – John Lewis (chair)

 



 

Kirklees Cycling Campaign Newsletter No 3. January 2017

Newsletter from the Chair

Happy New Year everyone and thank you to all those who managed to get to the general meeting on Wednesday 18th January. I hope you were not too dismayed by my lack of chair skills.

The constitution was approved so we are now a bona fide organisation, but the issue of our aims was raised again and I felt that we all ended up feeling a little muddled on the purpose of the Campaign Group. This was, in no small part, due to me being inept at ‘thinking on my feet’.

There will be as many answers to the question “What are its Aims? or What is it For? Probably as many answers as there are members of the group, but it is right for people to know what they are being asked to support so perhaps you’ll allow me to express a few thoughts on the subject. Hopefully a little better than I did on Wednesday evening.

The stated aim of the group in the constitution is to “promote cycling of all kinds in Kirklees”. A very general aim that encompasses just about anything. But at any period of time there will be more specific aims and objectives that the committee and/or membership will want to pursue. The current focus is on the Kirklees Network Maps but in a month or two we will inevitably be campaigning on another issue – it could making our views known the Kirklees City Connect Plans, the 1.5metre trials in West Yorkshire, or supporting British Cycling’s proposals regarding turning left into side streets. Just three possible contenders. But one thing at a time, and at the moments it’s Network Maps.

Network Maps

The Network ‘tube maps’ are a vision for the future and are already receiving some enthusiastic comments from many quarters. But they are still ‘work in progress’ and more detail is required before they’re ready to presented to the council.

The Kirklees Cycling Campaign’s “Cycle Network Map of Kirklees” is a plan for the next twenty years. The intention is to illustrate what the council’s aims and objectives ought to be. If Bristol City Council is prepared to adopt their local campaign group’s network plan why should Kirklees Council deem to be different?

Priorities

All the improvements required in the network plan can’t happen overnight. The plan is a vision for the next twenty years and this begs the question of where do we start?

At Wednesday’s meeting it was minuted that individual members be invited to propose their own personal priorities for improvements to the network.

They are asked to give up to five suggestions that involve relatively small expenditure and five priorities for larger schemes using larger sums of finance. Members are asked to send in their proposals to Bill Hunter (Secretary) and the committee will start to sift through them in February.

We may find that this turns out to be a not very good way of trying to set priorities but let’s give it a try and see what happens.

Some members priorities will not involve any finance but will hi-light the need to campaign about an issue e.g. The 1.5metre rule or parking on cycle lanes.

Small expenditure might just be a dropped curb, a toucan crossing or putting in some bollards to make it a ‘quiet street’.

Big projects might be constructing the Fenay Greenway, connecting up the Calder Valley Greenway at Cooper Bridge or Mirfield or putting in cycle friendly traffic lights at the Leeds Road junction with the Huddersfield Ring Road.

Contributions to the newsletter

Last month’s contribution from Bill Hunter generated a lively debate and added

some variety to my monologue. I’m hoping that – starting next month – the newsletter

will have some short pieces giving details of members’ regular commutes or

favourite rides. They will inevitably highlight some of the difficulties to be resolved

on the roads of Kirklees, but hopefully it will not all be negative.

On a recent visit to London I was encouraged to see a council poster fixed to every

other lampost in Southwark giving 5 reasons why, for many journeys, riding a

bike is better than taking the car.

I’m not sure now whether I can remember all five but they must have included

reasons such as – getting to one’s destination more quickly, being more convenient,

helping one to be healthier and more active , not contributing to air polution

and CO2 emissions, not having to wait around for buses, is cheaper, no parking

problems, gives one a sense of freedom and well-being, helps to reduce

road traffic, is a great way to spend time with your mates ……… is that five??

Latest News

The City Connect plans for Huddersfield Town Centre are due for public consultation

in March.

Items for consultation will be far fewer than the number of projects proposed after the

DFT grant was approved. Available information can be seen on the City Connect

website (just Google “People of City Connect”)

Although the bid for the DFT money was made by City Connect; the individual

councils of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority have autonomy for their projects,

a situation that has sometimes proved to be difficult for both parties.

There are still efforts being made to keep the Cooper Bridge project from passing into

oblivion.

The Kirklees Cycling and Walking Strategy is also due to be put out for consultation

in March.

Support

Finally, can I ask everyone to encourage their friends and colleagues to support the campaign group. It costs nothing (at the moment) and there is no obligation to spend time and effort working or attending meetings. But we do need names of people who think that the campaign group is a good idea and who are happy to support us. They may be cyclists of all persuasions or they may be ‘would-be’ cyclists but are not comfortable riding on the roads in Kirklees. They may be parents or grandparents who would like to see children be able to ride to school on their bikes as they do in Barcelona or Copenhagen.

We have around fifty supporters at the moment. This is a good start, (we’ve only been going a couple of months) but to be able to influence the council, local MP’s and the press we ought to be aiming to have a couple of hundred supporters in our first year. If each of us could get one or two people to sign up as a supporter we’d be well on the way towards this target.

EDIT: A contact form is now added to the site.

Best Wishes for 2017

John Lewis (Chair)