Cycle Kirklees Newsletter 61

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January 2023
Newsletter No. 61

  • Another Walking & Cycling Networks event with speakers from Sustrans. Online on 24th January
  • Conference report
  • Cycle Kirklees responds to 4 more consultations
  • Comment on Blueprints for Holmfirth & Batley town centres
  • Job adverts 

Next issue February will include our plans for 2003. These include a rally, members meetings, a local election Q&A and an AGM

Join us online on Tuesday 24th January to hear about the local Sustrans contribution

Two speakers for the Sustrans North team, Paul Brufell (Networks) and Lee Thompson, (Partnerships Manager) will update us on their work – regionally on ‘school streets’ and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and locally on managing our Greenways. Reserve your place using the Eventbrite link.
Sustrans is responsible for significant parts of the network of Greenways and off-road routes in Kirklees (with links to Calderdale, Wakefield and Bradford). What is Sustrans expecting to do in future in this area, including a planned upgrade of the Spen Valley Greenway? 

Book Your Place on Eventbrite Now

Part-time comms post to improve information on all forms of cycling 

EPIKS ( is developing an online cycling hub for Kirklees. It’s part of the newly funded Active Travel Hub programme supported by WYCA through City Connect.
EPIKS says it is “seeking an enthusiastic, motivated comms specialist to help inform and encourage active travel. The role will be to establish an online ‘cycling hub’ and to research, compile, edit and post dynamic information on all aspects of local cycling services and activities”. Link on Job Vacancy box.
Closing date for applications is 14.00 on Monday 16th January – our apologies for late notification of this which due to this newsletter being a week late.

Job Vacancy

Report on Improving Local Cycling and Walking Networks event

Participants heard from a range of speakers about the benefits to health and wellbeing of developing a stronger active travel programme – and its importance to sustainable transport in reducing car dependency and harmful emissions.

Leah Stuart (chair, Huddersfield Unlimited Transport Group) showed the importance of getting young children into the habit of walking and cycling to school. She used data maps to demonstrate that a significant proportion of people employed in Huddersfield town centre live within 2 miles of their work. She said that if cycling and walking networks were upgraded and made safer, more people would be willing to leave the car at home.

The conference of sixty people provided an opportunity for cyclists, ramblers and walkers to hear the case for a comprehensive Kirklees network plan for walking and cycling. It was agreed that more coordinated advocacy of active travel, bringing together stronger, informed voices speaking up for walking and cycling, was essential to secure better, safer facilities.

The ‘Improving Local Walking and Cycling Networks’ conference was held with support from Huddersfield Civic Society. There will be a follow up meeting on Zoom on 24th January (see this page) to hear about Sustrans work.

Conference Report

Cycling to Brighouse – our response to planned improvements of A641 

Although our view of proposed improvements on the A641 to Brighouse and Wyke (Bradford) were largely positive, we have some reservations.

This scheme brings lots of benefits to Brighouse, with significant use of separated two-way cycle tracks, creating the start of a cohesive network including a greenway parallel to a main road corridor, and improved junctions.

But south of the M62 there is a lack of any similar “large-scale improvements to on-road cycling facilities”. Instead, the proposals show surface improvements to the current greenway and improved connections to road crossing points.

We highlight a fundamental problem in providing “an indirect, elongated route”. This demonstrates that “cycle routes in Kirklees are planned to create some form of corridor between two destinations, in this case Huddersfield and the (proposed) Bradley Park development, but they do so by keeping active travel hidden out of view.”

Whilst commending a lot of the proposals that aim to improve the Birkby Bradley Greenway, the campaign says “they are not an A641 alternative. We believe they should be seen as a separate project.”

A641 Scheme Improvements Submission

Holmfirth and Batley Blueprints: our comments on the recent consultations

Cycle Kirklees is in favour of most of the changes included in the Batley Blueprint. Reallocation of space to prioritise active modes of travel has proven benefits to the local economy, increasing both the amount of time and money spent in town centres that facilitate walking and cycling. There are some welcome proposals for one-way streets, some removal of parking spaces but the retention of two-way traffic through the town centre is a missed opportunity. The full submission will be on our website from 16th January.
Photo: A walkabout in Batley after viewing the exhibition and talking to officers 

Our View of the Batley Blueprint

Holmfirth centre is dominated by traffic, both moving and at times standing, and this includes a significant volume of HGVs. Traffic from 5 directions converges in the compact town centre. The combination of constant traffic, narrow footways on major shopping frontages, and the absence of cycling infrastructure creates an unpleasant, intimidating and dangerous environment for cyclists, pedestrians, buggy pushers and disabled people, including wheelchair users. Pollution levels are high, particularly on Victoria Street where there is frequently standing traffic in both directions.

In our submission on the Holmfirth Blueprint we welcomed the initiative. We suggested a combination of measures to deliver footway and footpath improvements, pedestrian and cycle priority. We also stressed the need for traffic reduction measures and improved public transport.

We support restrictions to through traffic in Hollowgate (see photo) to facilitate access to properties and a street that is taken over by cyclist and walkers. The changes we advocated could improve conditions for all road users and benefit the local economy and contribute to attracting visitors to Holmfirth.

Our Views on the Holmfirth Blueprint

Mixed response to Huddersfield Railway Station Connections Revised Plan

The revised plans for the Huddersfield Railway Station Connections show some really positive changes in many areas – with slower speed limits, narrowed lanes, more direct pedestrian crossings and two-way protected cycle tracks providing safe crossings of the Ring Road. In our submission we suggested removing some of the proposed shared footways and making cycling routes more direct. (Our photo shows earlier investigations of key junctions by CK officers.) 

This fits well with improving facilities for multimodal travel. Both cycling and walking work well for longer journeys when joined up with rail transport. However, we feel the railway station is only one of many significant destinations in and close to the town centre. We want to see the development of a network plan which will require an awareness of all major trip origins and generators.

Our Views on Huddersfield Connections Revised Plans

Planning News: We call out plans for large housing and industrial development at Chidswell.
In our objection to the proposed large development at Chidswell (near Dewsbury), Cycle Kirklees joined Leeds City Council and Highways England in expressing reservations about the likely impact of a highly car dependent development of about 1500 houses between Ossett, Dewsbury and Haigh Moor (Leeds). We think the plans are inadequate in meeting our active travel targets.
With outline planning for a large new housing development and an industrial estate agreed, there is not only a significant loss of agricultural land and green space (see photo) but the prospect of significant traffic congestion affecting surrounding residential and employment areas.
The Chidswell Action Group ( is crowdfunding for a judicial review following the approval by Kirklees Strategic Planning Committee in December. Read our submission using the link. 

Link to Cycle Kirklees Objection

Our website is now at
View our website you about the work we have been doing this year. This includes responding to Cycling & Walking consultations and to the Network Rail plans for Huddersfield station.