Cycle Kirklees Newsletter 53

In this issue:

  • Barriers for cycle routes – time for a rethink about accessibility
  • E-cargo Bikes for Employers
  • Wakefield Road A629 Consultation Report 
  • University’s E-bike Promotion Stalls
  • Greenways news  – Colne Valley Greenway, Fenay Greenway, Meltham Greenway
  • Kirklees Active Travel Partnership
Ask Questions of Your Local Election Candidates
Download the Survey Here

Barriers for cycle routes – time for a rethink about accessibility

Around 1 in 5 people in the UK live with a condition that affects their physical ability but whatever your abilities, accessibility is often underestimated as a key issue in making cycling for transport of people and goods mainstream. How can we make active travel attractive to new-comers and normalised in our communities if physical barriers inhibit the transition? If a modal shift to mass walking and cycling is ever going to take place, we must recognise and address this obstacle to encourage and enable more walking and cycling.

The Wilton Greenway could potentially be part of such a healthy cycle network as it would provide a safe, traffic-free route between Batley and Birstall – but sadly the route is blocked to many by restrictive access barriers. There has been correspondence back and forth between Kirklees Council and CycleKirklees members for a couple of years now. The issue has even been raised at the Council’s cabinet meeting. Whereas there has been some ‘progress,’ the changes being made are still 20 years behind the times.

E-Cargo Bikes for Employers?

EPIKs is planning demonstration events for employers of a number of different e-cargo bikes later in the summer. One is planned for Dewsbury as part of a “summer of cycling events” to be announced in May. The other is proposed for Huddersfield.  
EPIKs will be also operating a trial of an e-cargo bike in the Holme Valley, initially offering a free delivery service. If you would like to volunteer for this project or are interested in the employers demonstration events, contact Kim Warren  

Wakefield Road A629 Consultation Report Published

The publication of the consultation report on the Wakefield Road Walking & Cycling proposals has again led to sensational media reports of opposition to any redesign of the road space to accommodate walkers and cyclists. This is despite the fact that this route “has more potential for uplift of cycling activity than any of the other strategic routes into the town”.
In response to media coverage, Kirklees Cycling Campaign said: “The A629 Wakefield Road Walking & Cycling proposals are a serious attempt to provide new infrastructure to facilitate active travel. This is an important addition to strategic cycling routes and would make a significant contribution to reducing pollution from motor vehicles.
“It provides a direct and relatively easy-gradient route for cyclists travelling between Fenay Bridge, Waterloo and Huddersfield town centre. It has more potential for uplift of cycling activity than any of the other strategic routes into the town. As a major route into Huddersfield it links many residential neighbourhoods in Kirklees; there is also additional planned housing that is likely to add to traffic flows in future years.
“We strongly favour the reallocation of road space to provide dedicated cycling routes for commuting, education, shopping, leisure, parcel and goods delivery and other functions like take away foods. We believe it is capable of replacing car use for many local, shorter journeys as well as longer journeys.”
We now await details of the designs for junctions at Shorehead and Waterloo.

Greenways news

We welcome the start of surfacing and some construction  work to create an extension to the Colne Valley Greenway – from Milnsbridge to Slaithwaite – managed by the Canal & River Trust. We’ve got to hope that dumping and fly-tipping on the route is better managed than on the first section.

Fenay Greenway

We are keen to see Kirklees Council reinstate Fenay Greenway as a project that is part of its strategic routes. This is more important than ever now that there is increased housing development proposed in the immediate vicinity. It should be a real amenity to householders and provide a traffic-free link to the A629 Wakefield Road improvements. It would be a real pity if all the work undertaken on its feasibility in past years was forgotten.

The acquisition of the land and delivery of the Greenway will be down to the Council, who initially need to identify the Greenway as a specific project for development. Only then can developer contributions be secured through the planning process for this and any other sites in the vicinity. Contributions related to this proposed scale of development should be substantial.

Meltham Greenway

Crosland Factory Lane, Healey Houses to Station Road/Netherton Fold
The implementation of this section of the Greenway is dependent on the residential development of the former Netherton station and farm site at Station Road. The development of 19 dwellings is well underway, with all of phase 1 now sold and construction proceeding with phase 2.

The approved layout shows a link from the estate road to the disused railway which passes to the rear of the dwellings. Kirklees Council has already created an access to the Greenway from Crosland Factory Lane (see photo) and has surfaced and landscaped the first 200 metres to the limit of its land ownership, leaving approximately 800 metres which will be made available on completion of the station development.

University discontinues its e-bike promotion

We are informed by EPIKs that the plans to continue with Try An E-Bike events and an e-bike staff loan scheme in 2022 – both of which were inaugurated in 2021 – have been shelved due to staffing shortages. Progress towards becoming a Bike Friendly Employer has also been put on hold. 
EPIKs was in discussion with the University of Huddersfield Sustainabilty Team for six months from autumn 2021 about a continuation of these successful schemes. When it appeared the university was unwilling to fund future activities, EPIKs withdrew its proposals. The EPIKs programme in 2021 was funded by City Connect (WYCA).
To raise the level of “everyday cycling” in Huddersfield, CycleKirklees, feels is vital that the university plays a more active role in promoting cycling and walking. We would like to hear from university employees who agree. 

Kirklees Active Travel Partnership – time for action

CycleKirklees has been asked to suggest items for the agenda for the third meeting of forthcoming Kirklees Active Travel (Cycling & Walking) Partnership meeting on 19th May. 
There is one agenda item on Strategy, we want to prioritise but if you have views, please let us know.
The full 8 points we have proposed for the agenda are outlined on our web site. There are a lot of issues that we think we need more information and in some cases we want to challenge the approach of WYCA and Kirklees Council.

Comment on the Priorities for Local Cycling