2018 newsletters – in reverse date order
Newsletter 22 2018
Kirklees Cycling Campaign
Newsletter No. 24 – December 2018
and welcome to Newsletter No 24 from Kirklees Cycling Campaign.
John Lewis – Chair KCC
If there is one thing that all local cyclists and would-be cyclists can agree about, it is the need to have a good cycle route between Cooper Bridge and Brighouse. At present the only direct route is by using the A644 – one of the most hostile roads in West Yorkshire.
Over the past two or three decades promises of a making a route have come and gone, but now, at last, there seems to be a real possibility of it being realised.
This is almost entirely due to the new road plans proposed for Cooper Bridge, which are aimed at reducing the severe congestion and pollution in this area of employment and housing development.
A combination of “cycle proofing” (whereby cycle provision has to be included in a major road development) and the compulsory purchase of privately owned land, has made a cycle route through to Brighouse a real possibility and Kirklees have publicly announced that they will be working with City Connect to try to achieve this.
Consultation on the Road Plans is now open, and will remain so until 18th January. It is, however, only the first stage of a process that will be going on for the next two years. This first stage of consultation is only asking for views on the various merits, or otherwise, of three possible road options. Further information is available via this link:
The various road options will almost certainly have have an impact on what route might be used for cyclists. It is important, therefore, that Kirklees receives a large number of responses highlighting the need and importance of a good quality cycle route. Please try to contribute a short response to the consultation if you believe that Kirklees should be constructing a cycle route. A large number of responses indicating this will enable them to argue the need for this to WYCA.
Huddersfield Narrow Canal:
On November 30th the ribbon was cut formally announcing that the surfaced route between Longroyd Bridge and Milnsbridge is open. It is not perfect but it is a significant improvement, and has opened up a new all-weather route for cyclists.
It now means that the towpath is surfaced between Chapel Hill and Milnsbridge; and plans are now underway to continue this up to Slaithwaite.
This will make a pleasant alternative to using the Manchester Road, and will hopefully encourage more local people to get on a bike.
There are still problems, of course. When one gets to Longroyd Bridge or Chapel Hill cycle provision stops, and access to the town centre or the university is difficult and discourages new cyclists.
Kirklees Cycling Campaign has proposals to improve this. Hopefully these can be on the agenda for negotiation when the “Southern Gateways” road plan consultation comes out in 2019.
Kirklees Cycling Campaign
Newsletter No 23 November 2018
Welcome to Newsletter No 23 from Kirklees Cycling Campaign.
- As always, lots going on planning for the future. Here’s a selection:
John Lewis (chair KCC)
The DFT recently required all local authorities in the UK to design a Local Cycling and Walking Plan (LCWIP) for their area.
The work towards creating LCWIPs over West Yorkshire has started with some very and experienced professional help; but is going to be a long time, and take a lot of work, before a comprehensive plan is achieved for Kirklees. Keep a look out in future newsletters as to how things are progressing.
For those that would like to see a more advanced model plan, one only has to look over the Pennines at Greater Manchester. The link here shows Chris Boardman fronting up a team that are an example to us all.
Many people in Kirklees (both people who cycle and those that don’t) might have heard of “City Connect”, but are not really sure who they are and what they do.
Below is a link to find out more:
A Highway Design Guide for Kirklees
“The emphasis should be on ‘people movement’….Walking and Cycling should be considered the most important modes of transport, as they increase human interaction, contribute to well-being, and are the most sustainable forms of movement……”
No! this is not me banging on about why we should use bikes, but is a passage (one of many with similar sentiments) from the proposed Kirklees Highway Design Guide that is due to be part of the Local Plan. It is the document that Highways and Housing developers will have to conform to when submitting plans to the council for planning approval. It’s currently available for public consultation until 30th November. If approved it could have a significant impact on developing a decent local cycling network. To have a look at it and make your comments, use this link to the council’s website:
Leeds Road – Consultation:
The phase 1 plans ( Northumberland Street to Old Field House Lane) are now available for viewing and consultation. This has big implications for better cycling, particularly as KCC have requested a decent cycle track from Huddersfield town centre to the NCN 69 using the A62 (Leeds Road). Find out more details, and how to respond to the plans, by following this link:
NCN – Mirfield
Improving the NCN 66 at Mirfield is one of KCC’s ‘wish list’ items. The abrupt end of the traffic-free section from Ravensthorpe onto the A644 trunk road is a far cry from Sustrans stated ideals. This has now been recognised, and is now being listed as a ‘regional activation project’ in the Sustrans National Cycle Network Review report. The report was released this month, and was the subject of a parliamentary reception at Westminster to officially launch it (pity it had to compete with the Brexit announcements).
Making the Network accessible and safe for all, is one of Sustrans’ two new strategic priorities. The report lays out what they want to happen over the next 22 years.
Go to: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/PathsForEveryone. For more info.
There’s thanks for you!
After all this heavy stuff we probably need something to smile at:
Kirklees Cycling Campaign. Newsletter Number 22
Hello everyone and welcome to some local cycling news and views
– John Lewis Chair
Huddersfield Narrow Canal:
Good News! It is now possible to ride traffic free on a surfaced route between Chapel Hill and Tanyard Road/Factory Lane at Milnsbridge. Whilst waiting for the final completion of the route one can access Market Street via Tanyard Road.
Even better, there now appears to be funding available to continue the surfacing, as far as Slaithwaite, and the planning for this is taking place.
City Connect, Sustrans and the Colne Valley Greenway action group and councillors must all take credit for pushing this project forward.
This project covers the rivers Holme, Colne, and Calder within Kirklees and is spearheaded by Jeff Keenlyside.
The idea is for local groups of all persuasions – including local businesses, schools, and various other community groups to adopt and care for a part of the river and its banks. Over time it is envisaged that the whole areas can gradually be linked up to create a linear park that can be walked and cycled. Jeff is currently making a lottery bid to help with funding.
Much more information can be found on the Greenstreams website:
The recent World Health Organisation announcement is the latest of a never ending list of warnings about the health of our society. 1 in 4 of us are not taking enough exercise. Our life styles often result in us being inactive for too many hours in the day.
Need we say more??????
A629 Road Plans
Following on from what was said in Newsletter 21 some KCC committee members have been exploring in more detail the possibility of developing one or two ‘Quietway’ routes that run parallel to the A629. The aim is to connect up existing routes through parks, bridleways, and residential roads and to make a continuous cycle route that will encourage more local people to use a bike – either for a short journey or as part of a longer one.
The residential roads on these routes would have to be adapted so that a definite priority is given to the cyclist and pedestrian.
Difficulties may lay ahead in achieving this. Cabinet members and councillors would have to give some political commitment to this principal and some may not feel comfortable doing so.
Kirklees Cycling Campaign has never been anti-car – most KCC supporters are motorists as well as cyclists or would-be cyclists.
The prospect, however, of ever increasing motor traffic on our roads and residential streets over the coming decades causes concern. Road improvements have the tendency to improve traffic flow initially, but after a while they often encourage more vehicle use and result in further traffic hold-ups.
We should be looking for ways to limit or reduce the continual growth of individual vehicle use, and one way to do this is to encourage people to use their car a little less frequently and to use their bike a little more often instead. To make this happen, however, the local roads and streets need to be made more ‘encouraging’ for bike users. We hope that our decision makers will understand this, and feel able to take the difficult decisions that sometimes disadvantage the motorist in the short term.
These cards have recently been printed to publicise KCC and to increase the support for the campaign. If you would like to have some to hand out to potential supporters just let me know.
Anyone using the Sustrans Greenways such as Spen Valley and Penistone might not always be aware that the lack of litter and the control of overgrowth is thanks entirely to teams of Sustrans volunteers who work regularly and tirelessly on behalf of us all.
On behalf of us all Thankyou!
Newsletter Number 21 – August 2018
Hello and welcome to Kirklees Cycling Campaign Newsletter No.21.
This edition is devoted to plans for cycling in the area around the A629.
John Lewis – KCC chair
Back in the early 1970’s – around the time when the Huddersfield Ring Road was being constructed – something significant was happening in The Netherlands. The politicians across the North Sea were being persuaded to begin to make special provision for cycling in their road plans. Since that time more than 40% of the Dutch population have regularly ridden bikes because there are designated places for them to ride. Year on year the Dutch invest a significant proportion of their transport budget on infrastructure for cyclists, which is why they have such a comprehensive network. This has not stopped them investing in roads for motor transport and it has not prevented the population being owners of cars. It has meant, however, that the car is used much less because, for a lot of the time, a journey on a bike is more practical. The bike has become a very useful and positive part of their culture.
In the decades since the 1970’s, until very recently in the UK, there has been little or no investment in cycling infrastructure, but there has been an ever increasing use and dependence on the motor vehicle. There has been significant financial investment in road building in this period, but it never seems to cope with the continual increase in vehicles on the roads.
More recently we have become more aware of the health implications of a car dependent culture as well as the detrimental effect it can have on our communities, whether they be villages or towns.
Some KCC committee members have recently been looking in detail at the possibility of designing ‘Quiet’ cycle routes that run through residential streets on either side of the A629. These streets currently experience considerable amounts of through traffic from vehicles avoiding the main roads in an effort to shorten their journey time. There is further concern that the current Kirklees Council plans to improve the A629 will only increase this pressure on the surrounding residential streets unless traffic management is put in place. There are calls from various quarters to have a plan that prioritises these streets as places to walk and cycle, rather than being ‘through routes’ for motor traffic.
KCC are among those who are proposing that motor traffic is managed carefully in these residential streets and that:
- A restricted number of roads and streets should be designated as link roads between the A629 and the A640, while all the others should be designed to be used as access for residents and their visitors. Modal filtering measures could help in achieving this.
- The area of the streets on either side of the A629 should become a designated 20mph zone.
When looking at cycle routes within this context it becomes apparent that we are in a small way proposing a change in our culture. A slight shift away from the decades since the 1970’s. A slight shift towards the thinking in The Netherlands. We know that there are a number of Kirklees councillors that would support measures to encourage more cycling but we suspect that there are a number of cabinet members and other councillors that have yet to be persuaded, so there is probably work to do.
We are proposing that the ‘Quiet Cycle routes should be:
- Suitable for a 12 year old who has been trained and has
successfully passed Bikeability level 2.
- That they should be continuous routes where the cyclist doesn’t have to resort to riding on the pavement or have to dismount in order to cross busy roads.
We do not pretend that our proposals will appeal to all existing cyclists, but we are hopeful that it will appeal to the majority.
We know that cyclists come in all levels of ability and tolerance. There will be some who will prefer to continue to ride along the A629 because they want the most direct route, even if they have to put up with heavy traffic and the occasional near miss. By contrast there will be others who will only ever ride their bike on Greenways and pedestrian pavements. Many of us are in somewhere in between these two states.
Our proposals would make for quieter residential streets that will encourage more cycling and walking and make the streets better places in which to live. Whilst the routes are not always in a perfectly straight line, they broadly follow the main trunk routes. Journey times might be a minute or two slower for a cyclist, but not much more than that. Many cyclists will ‘pick and mix’ – using some parts of a route and choosing their own route for the rest of the journey. To encourage more people to ride a bike, however, it is important for them to know that their route is free of hazards if they have the skills to ride on quiet roads.
These routes – if they were to materialise – would give even hardened cyclists the opportunity to use a less stressful route, and it would give those with less experience the opportunity to use a bike more often.
We are in a relatively early stage of talks with Kirklees Council but we hope that our proposals will be met with a positive response.
This is just a last minute reminder about our rescheduled AGM.
Please try to come if you can:
7pm Wednesday 5th September
‘The Sportsman’ St Johns Road, Huddersfield
Kirklees Cycling Campaign
Newsletter No 19 June 2018
Hello Everybody and welcome to Newsletter No 19.
The main part of this newsletter is devoted to a description of some the cycling projects that we might possibly see realised in the not too distant future. But before that there are three notices:
Huddersfield Narrow Canal
In Newsletter 18 the forthcoming closures of the HNC were mentioned but without specific details. The closures are due to the City Connect project of surfacing of the towpath between Longroyd Bridge and Milnsbridge.
Thanks to Gilly Dukes, who wrote to CRT, the following reply was received regarding information on towpath closures.
Please see a table below showing the towpath closures. This is our plan at the moment, but things might change slightly depending on progress.
Notice of AGM and General Meeting
The Kirklees Cycling Campaign AGM will be held at 7pm on Wednesday 18th July at The Sportsman St John’s Road. Hudders-field. The AGM will be followed by a General Meeting that is open to all supporters.
Any supporters wishing to have a particular item on the agenda for the general meeting should email details of the item to Bill Hunter (KCC secretary) asap.
Please try to come to the AGM if you can.
Public Consultation of Kirklees’ Plans for A629 (Halifax Road)
The above link gives details of where you can see the plans for road changes to the A629 between Huddersfield Town Centre and Ainley Top. At present it is a very unsatisfactory and often a hostile route for cyclists.
As chair of KCC I will shortly be writing a response to the project, but If you are at all familiar with this road please try to see the plans and respond to them on an independent basis.
The consultation closes on June 29th.
CYCLING PROJECTS IN KIRKLEES
Below is a selection of some of the more promising projects involv-ing cycling provision in Kirklees. For some of these KCC is regular-ly talking and negotiating with Kirklees Council Highways with Public Health, as well as with local councillors when it is useful to do so. For other projects KCC is taking a more supportive role in helping local interest groups realise their objectives:
• A high-quality cycle route between Huddersfield Station and NCN69 at Red Doles Lane. This is linked to the Leeds Road Smart Corridor project. The route uses Leeds Road & involves a Ring Road crossing for cyclists at Northumberland Street. It is progressing well. It is financed by West Yorkshire Transport Fund and is part of a Kirklees project to get traffic moving more freely along Leeds Road. It is encouraging that Kirklees have been very amenable to adding cycling and walking into the mix and agreea-ble to our proposal for a protected route to NCN 69.
• Cross Church Street – making this two-way for cyclists, and a Ring Road crossing for cyclists from University main entrance to Zetland Street (linking it to Cross Church Street). This will make a better route into the town centre from the Holme Valley and the Colne Valley. This also looks promising. Kirklees have persuaded City Connect to finance an element of this scheme. In broader terms Kirklees is trying to make better physical links be-tween the University and the Town Centre together with further development of the night economy in the town. At the moment City Connect is not able to access the finance but it is relatively opti-mistic that it will materialise.
• A quality cycle route between Huddersfield Town Centre (HTC) and the Colne Valley Greenway route. Hopefully this can be linked to ‘Huddersfield Gateway’ project which is also fi-nanced by the West Yorkshire Transport Fund. However, as this is in the early stages of planning, Kirklees are not yet in a position to start negotiating cycling provision with KCC.
• The Missing Link at Cooper Bridge. The connecting Mirfield with Brighouse by a cycle path at Cooper Bridge on the NCN66 route has been long overdue. An uncooperative landowner has, up to now, prevented this route being a reality. With Kirklees’s new road plans to free up the Cooper Bridge bottleneck, negotia-tions with the landowner for the cycle route stand a much greater chance of being realised. There is still some way yet to go, but, be-cause this is also a project using finance from the West Yorkshire Transport fund, it is reasonable to expect that one can be optimis-tic about the cycle route. It will not only link Mirfield to Brighouse but will also allow an undemanding cycle route between Hudders-field and Brighouse and and thus also open up the Calder Valley from the Colne Valley.
• A629 (Halifax Road). Yet another West Yorkshire Transport Fund financed project with the aim of reducing traffic queues be-tween Huddersfield Ring Road and Ainley Top. There is currently a public consultation about the plans (see notice above). As chair of KCC I will be responding to the consultation, but individuals are encouraged to respond on an independent basis. This is a ma-jor route linking Kirklees to Calderdale. It has major implications for cyclists and pedestrians as well as motorists.
• Colne Valley Greenway. Developing an all weather cycle route from Milnsbridge to Slaithwaite and Marsden, together with some parallel routes on the north side of the canal. If realised it would be a valuable leisure and commuter route from Marsden to Hudders-field Town Centre. It has the strong support of local councillors who are part of an organised steering group. The current problem however is finance as the steering group will currently struggle to find the £10,000 required for an in depth feasibility study. Rural development grants from the EU are available for the section be-tween Slathwaite and Marsden but in the light of Brexit this is probably unlikely. It is difficult, at the moment, to see where the fi-nance can come from but we await a nice surprise.
• Calder Valley Greenway at Mirfield. At the moment cyclists travelling from Dewsbury to Bradley, or Huddersfield on NCN66, are routed onto the busy Huddersfield Road at Mirfield. This pro-posal is to establish a, much needed, off-road route keeping it con-sistent with the rest of the NCN66. The proposal is at an early stage, and to proceed it needs a local support group along the lines currently enjoyed by the Colne Valley Greenway proposal. This Mirfield link also has no obvious financial resources at the present time. The project would not necessarily be hugely expensive (probably less than £1m) but there are no obvious sources for this. Perhaps what is more important however, is that the project needs a co-ordinated group with local political support to give it a realistic chance of being realised.
• The Queensgate Car Park in Huddersfield Town Centre is com-ing to the end of its life. When it does, KCC are proposing that the existing underpass is used as a cyclists crossing of the Ring Road and linking to Holme Valley and Colne Valley routes from the town centre. Some cyclists already use this route on an unofficial basis. but if the car park wall were pierced at the basement level a more bespoke and direct route could be established.
Holme Valley Routes and extending Meltham Greenway.
There is a well organised local group devoted to developing cycle routes in the Holme Valley. Routes that are an alternative to using the A616 and the A6024 and would encourage more local people to use a bike for short journeys. Some of these routes are already es-tablished whilst other potential routes require agreements from land-owners for permissive use or purchase. Finance for developing ex-isting tracks will most likely have to come from Section 106 orders where housing developers are required to finance leisure or active travel routes. The Meltham Greenway also has a long established lo-cal action group and has recently benefitted from some Section 106 money to enable it to be extended it towards Netherton. The real challenge for the future will be to continue it on to Lockwood. Ei-ther along the route of the original railway track or by a parallel route.
The nine projects above are not the total picture, but they look at the moment – to be the ones most likely to be realised over the next few years.
John Lewis – Chair Kirklees Cycling Campaign
Kirklees Cycling Campaign www.kirkleescyclingcampaign.wordpress.com
Newsletter No. 18 May 2018
Hello everyone and welcome to Newsletter number 18 from Kirklees Cycling Campaign. – John Lewis (Chair)
Department for Transport’s review of Cycle Safety
As part of its Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) the DFT is currently making a major comprehensive review into Cycle Safety. We await to see whether it materialises into important legislation, but it has the potential to completely change the culture of driving and riding on the roads in the UK.
The DFT has a stated aim of wanting cycling and walking to be the normal forms of transport for anyone over the age of 11 who makes a short journey. It understands, however, that perceived or real safety concerns for cyclists, are a major barrier towards achieving this aim.
It is currently in a stage of consultation and is inviting submissions from everyone until the 1st June. Details can be found at:
www.gov.uk open consultation Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy safety review: call for evidence.
CyclingUK has taken up the challenge and has started to compile a very detailed and comprehensive response to the subject.
Broadly speaking it has been organised under the headings of: Safe roads and junctions
Safe road users
Safe system management
It really is an excellent comprehensive blueprint for safer cycling. Details of this can be found at:
There is also the opportunity on this page to make a simple response to the DFT consultation.
We will all have our individual concerns about particular aspects of cycle safety. Statistically, three-quarters of cyclists’ collisions occur at or near junctions.
British Cycling has been at the forefront of advocating a change in UK law for turning traffic, and making it mandatory to give way, as is the case in most other European countries.
In urban environments “Copenhagen Crossings” – such as those recently installed in Waltham Forest – could be a significant help in changing our current driving and riding habits when turning left.
Huddersfield Narrow Canal
As part of City Connect phase 2; work was due to have started on March 26th on HNC to surface the towpath between Longroyd Bridge and Milnsbridge. It will mean closure of part or all of the route for at least 16 weeks. More detailed information about the closures are due to be put on the City Connect website: cyclecityconnect.co.uk (although, at the time of writing, there is no up to date information).
Free Adult Bike Training courses
If there is someone you know, who would like to learn how to ride a bike on the road in traffic, tell them about this. City Connect is currently offering free training in Kirklees. Details can be found on the City Connect website: cyclecityconnect.co.uk
Trans-Pennine Express – Changes
From 20th May anyone wishing to travel with a non-folding bike on Trans-Pennine Express trains will have to book in advance. Further details are available on their website:
April 21st Space for Cycling Event
Our thanks to everyone who took part in the KCC event in St Georges Square on April 21st.
We are grateful to Gideon Richards for taking so many photographs for us, and a large selection of these will shortly be displayed on the KCC website.
Special thanks are also due to the 16 Councillors and candidates who put pledges in the ‘Ballot Box’.
We had excellent coverage from the Huddersfield Examiner, and it marks a significant step in raising the profile of cycling on the political agenda in Kirklees. This is important if councillors are to understand why good quality cycling provision should be fundamental and fully integrated into the council’s planning.
Following on from this, it is strategically important in getting a projects passed by cabinet and council if a particular councillor can take responsibility for it, and take a lead in getting a measure approved. We are hoping, for example, that Rob Walker will be able to take on such a role in promoting and extending the Colne Valley Greenway route.
We seem to have got into some confusion about committee meetings. This matter was discussed at the March committee meeting in an effort to clarify the situation for everyone, and the clarifications are set out as follows:
The committee meetings are essentially what they say they are. Committee members are approved at the AGM and get invited to a monthly meeting where they discuss and make decisions on an agenda that has been set by themselves. Other supporters are welcome to attend committee meetings, but as they will not be individually invited to attend, they will have to to find the venue, time and date from the KCC website. If a supporter wishes a particular item to be discussed at a committee meeting this is also welcome, but they will need to inform the secretary in advance.
Kirklees Cycling Campaign http://www.kirkleescyclingcampaign.wordpress.com
KCC Newsletter No. 17 – April 2018
Hello everyone, welcome to KCC Newsletter number 17 and please note the new website address. – John Lewis (chair)
Often our newsletters are simply listings of a variety of information and events. Sometimes they are a bit different and this Newsletter is one of those. It’s simply focused on two items:
- The Space for Cycling event in Huddersfield on 21st April
- Information relating to personal data protection and photography.
Saturday April 21st – “Space 4 Cycling” Event in Huddersfield
This is a crucial event to try to raise the profile of cycling in Kirklees and to get important political support from councillors prior to the local elections in the first week of May.
Details of what’s happening is attached in the PDF here:
Kirklees Cycling Campaign
Space 4 Cycling Event in Huddersfield
Saturday 21st April
The Programme Outline:
10am Bike riders meet up at Magic Rock Brewery Huddersfield (on corner of Willow Lane and St Johns Road) where there is free car parking available for those that need it.
10:15 Commence a short half hour group ride in and around the town centre (bikes and riders are encouraged to look festive)
11:00 Riders arrive in St Georges Square where they will be met by other supporters of ‘Space for Cycling’.
The politicians/local councillors and candidates who are present or their proxies will be then be thanked and photographed putting their pledges of support for Space for Cycling in Kirklees into a large mock ballot box. (This done to the ringing of bike bells, and others sounds of approval from the onlookers).
11:30 After a brief thank you to everyone from the organisers,
the crowd disperses. Some people on bikes will want to ride back together to Magic Rock brewery where they’ll have some alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage, and possibly some food, before making their ay home.
We are hoping for a good range of different cyclists with different types of bikes. Families with children are especially welcome.
We’re also hoping that there will be an good number of non-cycling and ‘would-be’ cyclists among the supporters.
There will be a pop-up table in St Georges Square for new supporters to register and receive future information and newsletters.
KCC will only use photos of children taken at the event if they have the parent’s permission.
It will be assumed that other people attending are happy for KCC to take photographs of them and possibly use them for KCC publicity purposes. Should this not be the case, please let it be known to the person at the supporters registration table in St Georges Square and we will act accordingly on the instruction.
What to do
Please try to come. Either on a bike or just turn up for an enjoyable half an hour in St Georges Square.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is, that we get a decent crowd of people to make it known to politicians that better provision for cycling is long overdue in Kirklees; and that we support the councillors who are prepared to back our cause.
I’ve already had some promises from my local councillors that they will attend but if only half a dozen people on bikes turn up it will be an almighty flop and councillors will conclude that there are no votes in supporting cycling.
Come with children and friends and family. They don’t all have to ride a bike to support “Space for Cycling”.
Could everyone please also try to write a short email your local councillors/candidates and MP and ask them to support “Space 4 Cycling”.
Send them the attached programme and get them to try to attend the event. Write a personal note, or – if you wish – cut and paste any of the material posted here as a template for your email.
Local councillors will normally only respond to requests from local people living in their ward so KCC is reliant on individual supporters from all over Kirklees to ask their local councillors/candidates and MP’s for support.
Many will say that they unable to get to Huddersfield on April 21st. Particularly if their wards are some distance away.
If they say that they support Space 4 Cycling, but can’t attend the event, ask them if they will nominate a person to make proxy pledge to be put in the Ballot Box on their behalf.
Some of us will be unclear as to what “Space 4 Cycling” means. Many politicians will be even in more in the dark, and will need some help about what it means and some reasons why cycling provision should be implemented.
It was a concept initiated by Cyclenation and CyclingUK, and tries to be a neat way of packaging all the various forms of cycling provision that are necessary if we are to encourage more people to use bikes.
I’ve made a list of some of the things it can mean on the following attachment. Feel free to plagiarise, or make your own list to send to the councillors and candidates, so that they have a better understanding.
Space For Cycling
We want our political leaders to make cycling a safer and attractive option for everyone in Kirklees.
Provision for cycling should be universal, providing a safe, convenient and enjoyable transport choice for people of all ages and abilities, for their everyday journeys.
What does it mean? Some examples:
Segregated routes for cyclists on busy roads.
Traffic management in town centres to make cycling and walking simpler and easier.
Developing ‘quiet routes’ where cyclists and pedestrians are able to use roads that are not ‘through routes’ for motor vehicles.
Adopting the British Cycling Proposal for all road users to be legally bound to give way when turning. Bringing the UK in line with many other European countries and halving the accidents to cyclists.
Motor vehicles abiding by Highway Code 163 giving cyclists a gap of 1.5m when overtaking.
Developing canal paths, bridleways and unused railway lines to create off-road traffic-free routes.
Integrating good cycling and walking provision into Kirklees’s future road plans.
Unlocking cycling’s potential to be the primary, routine local transport choice will bring great improvements to everyone’s quality of life – not just the people who start cycling – and will help address many of the serious environmental, public health and local economic development challenges that the UK faces.
Over the past decades we have got used to using the car for just about every journey we make. Car journeys of three miles or less are common. If our roads were made more suitable, it would encourage many of us to use a bike for our short journeys. We’d all benefit if we did this. Roads would be less congested and our active travel would help us to be healthier and have a better quality of life.
In May there will be new laws relating to data protection of personal information.
As KCC holds lists of supporters email addresses, the KCC committee has recently been organising procedures that try to make everybody’s details more secure. For the moment these may only be a temporary measures. When we have a fuller understanding of the new law some further modifications may have to be made.
The main points are:
- Only the Chair and Secretary has a list of individual supporters.
- The names on the list will only be used to contact individual supporters and will not be passed on to anyone else or any other body without the permission of the individual.
- emails sent on a group basis will always be sent as Blind Copies.
- If any person on the supporters list wishes to be deleted from the list of KCC email addresses, they only have to make the request via the contact page on the website and their personal information will be permanently deleted.
Photographs are a very valuable publicity tool in promoting organisations such as The Kirklees Cycling Campaign. It is recognized, however, that there are people who, for various reasons, don’t wish to be photographed.
The committee is still in the process of making a definitive procedure, but in the meantime it has been agreed that:
- Photographs of children will only be used if they have the consent of their parent or guardian.
- Adults who do not wish to have photographs of themselves used by KCC should inform the organisers at an event where photography might be taking place and KCC will act accordingly.
Newsletter No. 16 – March 2018
Welcome to the KCC March 2018 newsletter listing some local cycling news and information.
- John Lewis chair KCC
Major Schemes for Roads in Kirklees
There are a number of major road schemes currently being planned in Kirklees and financed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Fund Plus. Many of these plans provide opportunties to improve roads and junctions not only for motorists but for cyclists and pedestrians as well. They have the potential of making a number of safer and more comfortable cycle routes and thereby encouraging more people of all ages to cycle in greater numbers.
Kirklees Cycling Campaign are responding to consultations on a group basis but individual responses are very important.
All the major projects with up to date information are listed on the Kirklees website under ‘major plans’. If you live near to or use any of the roads listed please try to make a response, however brief. The more comments Kirklees MBC get from people asking for better conditions for cycling, the better the chances of changing our local roads. If nobody sends in comments the council will not feel obliged to make changes.
To find out more about these schemes go to:
The A62 (Leeds Road) Smart Corridor Phase 1 and Huddersfield Southern Gateways are both open for initial public comments but only until Friday 23 March
A62 Smart Corridor
This is one of the major plans currently out for consultation.
Kirklees Council is in the early stages of developing a major plan for Leeds Road between the Huddersfield Ring Road and Cooper Bridge. It has coincided with a KCC proposal to have a dedicated cycle route linking Huddersfield Town Centre and the Birkby – Bradley Greenway (NCN69) using a route via Leeds Road.
KCC representatives recently had a very positive meeting with Council Officers and it was agreed in principal to include the KCC proposal when developing the Smart Corridor project.
We have learnt from past experience that plans for cycle routes can prove very challenging when they involve using road space for cyclists that could otherwise be used for the motor vehicle.
We are, however, at this stage, optimistic that a protected cycle track along Leeds Road is a real possibility.
Two possible routes can be seen on the following attachment:
Change of KCC Website address:
At the end of March we are changing the KCC website. When this happens we’ll send out a quick email to everyone giving the new website address.
Space 4 Cycling Event Saturday 21st April
On April 21st groups all over the country will be organising events to raise the profile of cycling.
KCC will be organising an event in Kirklees so please save the date and join in. More details in April.
Cyclists often enjoy riding off-road, of course, Gordon McMinn has been doing a lot of work encouraging this in Kirklees. This is Gordon’s account of what he’s been doing:
Ride Kirklees is a relatively new mountain bike advocacy group that is aiming to improve access for off road riding around
Kirklees, promote mountain biking as a sport and to create a community of like minded people who want to encourage others to take part.
The group started after a successful application for the funding of a purpose built mountain bike trail at Oakwell hall was granted. The initial funding was for £50,000, but after meeting with a number of trail construction companies and receiving quotes for the build, it was realised that more funding would be required. It was also suggested that in order to make the trail a community asset, getting local riders involved would be essential. Ride Kirklees was set up in order to look at ways of raising extra funds for Oakwell, and get the mountain biking community together. The group was initially set up on Facebook, a very quickly reached 100 members from across Kirklees, Calderdale and the Peak District. There are currently 181 members in the group
sharing ideas, thoughts and raising issues that need action – exactly what was intended!!!
The group is still in its infancy, and is slowly building momentum to be a voice for mountain bike riders. We have had meetings with a number of people and organisations offering to help on ‘dig days’ to improve access. This includes discussions with the ROW officer and the National Trust to help repair the Easter gate pack horse trail. We have also received conformation of a further £10,000 of funding for the Oakwell hall trail, and have submitted a bid for a further £30,000, which will ensure a quality trail will be built.
Oakwell Hall trail.
The Oakwell trail is going to be a 1.5km blue graded trail offering a family friendly ride for all ages, but will also have enough features to make it interesting for riders of all abilities. It will be
located in some of the underused woodland that runs alongside the M62, and is accessible from the current bridleway that runs through the site. The idea is that it will act as a place for people to get into mountain biking, be a place for riders to improve their skills and a meeting place to then access the network of trails in the area. It will be the first purpose built ‘official’ trail in Kirklees and will attract people from the surrounding areas to visit.
The contract for the construction of the trail has gone to tender, and a meeting to review the proposals has been set, with members of Ride Kirklees being on the selection panel. So construction of the trail will start in the near future.
Further info can be found on the Facebook page and at http://www.ridekirklees.wordpress.com
The Next Easy Ride
The weather put paid to the planned easy ride in March. Hopefully the sun might come out for our April one.
Meet at 9:00 am 7th April at Huddersfield Railway Station for an easy paced ride to Sowerby Bridge via Lindley Moor, West Vale and Calder Valley Greenway. We’ll have a break in the station cafe made famous in BBC drama “Happy Valley” before making our route back with a few variations. There are hills but you’re allowed to walk up them. We’ll be back in time for lunch.
This is a joint ride with Huddersfield CTC.
eBike demo day
Although it’s over in Hebden Bridge, those people tempted or curious about ebikes might be interested in an opportunity to try one out at the blazing saddles event on Sunday 25th March. More details are on the website:
Newsletter No 15 – February 2018
Hello everybody and welcome to February’s newsletter of local cycling news and information.
Before the listings, however, just a reminder a reminder that if you know anyone, who might be interested in personally receiving these newsletters, just forward this one to them, and let them know that they only have to go to the website to get subsequent ones. We will be happy to add them to our mailing list if they give us their email address.
– John Lewis – Chair
- Cycle Training:
City Connect is running a limited period programme of free cycle training for anyone from age 16. Bikes are provided at no extra cost, and training locations are across West Yorkshire during the daytime and evenings. The sportshub at Leeds Road is one of the venues.
All levels of training are available from novice to advanced. Please spread the word to anyone who might be interested. Visit:
or call 01274 753 556 for more information
- New Network Quality Map
KCC has recently produced a new ‘tube style’ map for Huddersfield Town Centre. The previous map was a vision. This one tries to map out the reality of the current situation in the town centre from the perspective of a cyclist. It categorises the type of road or track into different colours and tries to do a similar thing with the various types of junctions.
There are also marked areas where there is a ‘desired’ route. Areas, that for one reason or another, make difficulties for the cyclist. There also one-way roads marked that also often make a destination difficult or impossible.
These difficulties do little to encourage more cycling. We continue to work at trying to persuade the decision makers to adopt a coherent plan for cycling in the town centre and beyond. This map is but one of our methods.
- El Uso de la bicicleta
Whilst on the theme of urban cycling here’s a jolly little YouTube video from Mexico. You won’t need much Spanish to get the message.
- Waltham Forest
I recently had the opportunity of spending a couple of days in Waltham Forest and observing the process of their Mini-Holland project.
I know that this newsletter is supposed to be about things local, but there really is a lot that we in West Yorkshire can learn from what they have done, and are doing, in Waltham Forest.
One of the most impressive things to me is the comprehensive planing that underpins everything. Their design document which can be seen via the website (attached) is far too extensive to be read by the merely casually interested. It is however such an excellent model for all cycle planning and – in my opinion – should be required reading for local councils when thinking about their own forthcoming Local Cycling and Walking Delivery Plans (LCWIPs).
Is the website address where you’ll find much to glean without even having to visit the borough. Just for starters we now have some new cycling planning terminology:
“Blended Copenhagen Crossings” are constructed on all side turnings from the main roads. They reinforce Highway Code 170 by giving definite priority to pedestrians crossing the side road and cyclists on the segregated cycle routes. “Modal Filtering” closes many roads to through traffic and creates conditions to encourage cycling and walking. It reverts residential areas back to being places to live and socialise rather than just being thoroughfares for motor vehicles to use as rat runs.
Space for Cycling
To be able to construct segregated cycle tracks on the extensive network of busy main roads, in the borough, space for motor vehicles is being reduced. Carriageway widths for bus routes are often as narrow as 3.2m. But as there was rarely space for a dual carriageway this has made little difference to the road capacity. It has just made more intelligent use of the road space.
The targets for encouraging more cycling are extremely ambitious but given the recent increase in bike use (507% between 2000 and 2014) it would appear to be achievable.
These comments of mine are only the tip of the iceberg of a world class project. Have a glance at the website to get a better picture.
- Off-Road routes:
At our last committee meeting we were joined by Gordon McMinn who has been instrumental in developing an off-road/mountain bike course at Oakwell Hall and is looking to develop other sites in Kirklees.
Up to now our small group of active members has not been able to give time to this area of cycling. We hope, that from now on, KCC can support Gordon in his projects. I’m sure that he would welcome any help from those interested in developing bridleway routes. You can contact him through the website.
- Easy Ride in and around Huddersfield.
A chance to get to know a few routes that you might not be familiar with, or just an opportunity to get out and socialise. Meet 10 am outside Huddersfield Railway Station on Saturday 3rd March for a short easy ride of about 10-15 miles.
(This is one of Huddersfield CTC’s monthly easy rides)
The next KCC Committee meeting is at :
7pm on 21st February at The Sportsman St John’s Rd Huddersfield
All supporters are welcome to attend
Kirklees Cycling Campaign – kirkleescyclingcampaign.com
January 2018 Newsletter no. 14
A Happy New Year to everyone and welcome to the latest newsletter from KCC.
Given that it’s the first one in 2018 it seemed appropriate to reflect a little on the past year in the hope that some lessons might be learnt for the next 12 months.
To that end I hope that you will forgive my indulging in a little soul searching before resuming the more usual newsletter format next month.
Just before this however, two news items need to be briefly mentioned:
- The Milepost Café on Spen Valley Greenway –which was closed last October
has re-opened – albeit with a different name.
- The next KCC committee meeting is: 7pm 18th January 2018 at The Navigation Tavern, Mirfield. All supporters welcome.
Please note different venue, we are hoping to be more inclusive for all Kirklees’ supporters and intend to meet in different parts of the borough over the next year)
– John Lewis (Chair KCC)
Reflections on Huddersfield Town Centre
It is conventional wisdom amongst cyclists to believe that Kirklees Council have only themselves to blame for not developing an acceptable plan for Huddersfield Town Centre. That Kirklees, exerting its (Yorkshire?) stubbornness, has rightly forfeited the £1.25M, that will now be used elsewhere in the region.
After speaking to some of the Kirklees officers, involved in the project, I am now not so sure that this is a fair assessment. It has prompted me to reflect on how we came to get where we are at the present time.
My conclusion is that all parties involved in the project: The Infrastructure Group (a group formed from the Kirklees Cycling Forum) City Connect, the City Connect Advisory Group (CCAG) as well as Kirklees Council, have, together unwittingly, run the project off the rails.
The focus of malcontent amongst Kirklees Highways officers revolves around their design of a high quality protected cycle route from Huddersfield Railway Station to the NCN69 Greenway at Willow Lane via St John’s Road.
The design for this route came about because City Connect had previously criticised Huddersfield Town Centre plans as not being ambitious enough.
Officers now complain that, when they produced this ambitious scheme, it was not supported by City Connect.
The original plan for Huddersfield Town Centre was based on a SUStrans feasibility study made in 2013. This plan centred on the concepts of:
(a) for cyclists to move freely within all parts of a town centre that had only light vehicular traffic (permeability).
(b) a number of cycle-friendly crossing points of the Ring Road to enable cyclists to enter and exit the town centre safely and easily (severance).
Successful, value-for-money cycle projects are more often, however, single strategic routes that will have a popular take-up. This is, no doubt, why it was suggested by City Connect officers that Kirklees expand their vision and draw up plans for a route along St John’s Road to NCN69.
The Infrastructure Group was reluctant to oppose this suggestion by reason of the fact that it was suggested by the body controlling the purse strings. Nevertheless, on reflection, I see this as a key mistake made by, both the Infrastrucure Group and City Connect, because the St John’s Road route took the focus away from the original concept.
It meant that the Advisory Group, and everyone else involved in the project, were not focussed on developing the principles of permeability and severance, but were spending hours discussing and disputing about the detailed infrastructure of a route that was totally outside the scope of the original concept. We were all getting distracted by detail and not seeing the overall purpose of the plan. We arrived at the production of an impressive ambitious plan, but in reality we had been diverted away from the intended project.
Perhaps, in hindsight, the town centre plan was not such a good idea to put forward for City Connect funding. With regard to severance there is the question as to how much could be done with £1.25M to make a Huddersfield a cycling hub and satisfy City Connect criteria.
How many high quality Ring Road crossings (not just toucans and routes on shared space) could be constructed? Would Kirklees have been amenable to radical measures control/reduce vehicle traffic over and above what it had started by installing the bus gates?
It seems to me that the bus routes through the town centre make significant difficulties – particularly in Kirkgate/Westgate and Market Street. I am of the opinion that – in many cases – the buses could be re-routed to use the Ring Road to access and exit the bus station. History tells me, however, that this is another issue that could take some time to persuade council officers and politicians, let alone some of the vociferous readers of The Examiner.
I am of a mind that it is a plan that is best delivered gradually over a period of time. A plan that needs to make trial ideas before finally committing trying out one thing at a time, rather than making a sudden transformation and risking a backlash. I believe that there needs to be a growing and noticeable increase in cycle users in the town centre before justifying further, more radical decisions.
To have made the original project a success from City Connect funding seems to me, in retrospect, a difficult mountain to climb. It might have been helpful if City Connect had, early on, spelt out some of the difficulties to Kirklees Council and the Infrastrucure Group and suggested that the plans be revised. But then, perhaps, City Connect themselves, hadn’t yet identified all the difficulties that were going to come along. I cannot remember discussing these at any CCAG meeting – we were all too busy pouring over detailed plans.
It might have been better, in retrospect, to have put the town centre plans to one side and just opted for the alternative of a simple strategic route. A route that would have given good access to the town centre from an established route that was cut off from the town. The St John’s Road route seemed – at the time – to fulfil that criteria. But in reality there were significant problems with it. These couldn’t always be seen by those that only knew the route as a line on a map.
I would like to think that a better alternative is the one now proposed by Kirklees Cycling Campaign. It starts at Huddersfield Railway Station and links to NCN69 at Red Doles Lane/Bridge No. 11 via Northumberland Street, Leeds Road and the Huddersfield Broad Canal. It is simple and straightforward and I believe that it satisfies a number of criteria.
- Encourages more use of NCN69.
- Accesses a number of strategic destinations.
- Makes a safe two-way crossing of the Ring Road for cyclists at Northumberland Street.
- Taps into and improves the fairly well used route of Leeds Road. (PTC)
- Makes a start to Kirklees Highways’ aspirations to have protected cycle lanes on Leeds Road.
- Encourages more use of the Huddersfield Broad Canal towpath.
- Doesn’t need to reduce road space for motor vehicles. This part of Leeds Road already has a mandatory cycle lane and has ample width.
- Provides an example for subsequent strategic routes to and from the town centre.
- Has good potential as a leisure, shopping and commuter route.
However the opportunity for this to be funded by City Connect has passed. Kirklees Cycling Campaign has, however, proposed it to Kirklees and it is under consideration along with proposals for a slow role-out of measures in and around the town centre.
To give an idea of size of the task a “Cycle Network Quality” map of HTC is attached.