Proposals for a comprehensive Cycling Network made by Cycle Kirklees
Controversy over long-term closures of Birkby Bradley Greenway
Cycle Kirklees joins Canal & River Trust Consultation on the Colne Valley Greenway
Amazon warehouse plans for Spen Valley Greenway site recommended for approval on Wed 15th March
Our next AGM and members meeting
Next issue April will include a mission statement for local election candidates plus more on our plans for 2023. We will also focus on how active travel has stalled locally and recent cuts of Active Travel England’s budgets
Birkby Bradley Greenway: long-term closure with no alternatives
Local residents expressed concern over the lack of suitable diversion routes provided during the nine-month closure of the Birkby Bradley Greenway in Kirklees. In response to residents and members using the Greenway as a transport route, Cycle Kirklees launched a petition. Its a new part of our opposition to poor treatment of cyclists here and on other planned long-term closure of traffic free routes. See our blog published at the start of the closures.
Cycle Kirklees Aspirations for a comprehensive Cycle Network in Kirklees presented at Kirklees Active Travel Partnership (KATP)
Last month we presented our aspirations for a borough-wide cycling network and now we want your input. Over recent months we have been openly critical of the lack of a cohesive plan. We have seen development proposals for cycle routes that have shown a lack of connectivity to other planned and current cycle routes.
Committee member, Chris Knight presented KATP with a draft proposal for an area-wide network encompassing existing and planned routes which was well received by council officers. KATP includes officers from the Transport team at Kirklees, councillors from all the major political parties (although the Labour representative and cabinet member responsible for transport and active travel Cllr Eric Firth has not attended in the past year). It also includes Sustrans, CyclingUK, and British Cycling but not local delivery organisations like Street Bikes, EPIKS and Ride Kirklees.
Kirklees Council has a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) and has been working on it for several years. Currently it is limited to cycling and walking on the Wakefield Road corridor, Huddersfield, where we await the implementation of plans for reallocation of road space to accommodate cycling and walking.
LCWIP2 is in development across the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and includes only 5 core cycling routes in each local authority. Our proposals for a Kirklees Cycle Network would see all major towns and villages in Kirklees linked through separated cycle tracks and low traffic ‘quiet streets’ with cross-border routes also planned. An aspirational full network plan would allow the council to take advantage of funding opportunities currently missed, update street furniture along with maintenance, and assist with planning new developments.
We will be requesting that Kirklees either develops a similar phased plan for a cycling network or adopts a plan developed by Cycle Kirklees but first we are coming to you, our supporters, to ask for your opinions and local knowledge. The map (link below) shows the current and planned routes already developed by Kirklees Council along with our developed and rudimentary alignments.
We are planning a Zoom meeting for members on Wednesday 19th April at 19.30 to discuss our network proposals and to consider the future of the Greenways. We are also keen to hear of your response to the recent long-term closures of traffic free routes without any alternative diversions.
Our AGM is planned for Saturday 10th June and will involve presentations on some key topics including low traffic neighbourhoods, traffic calming and other safety initiatives. would you prefer a morning or afternoon event?
We are planning a late autumn conference again in mid-November, probably in Batley.
January event on Cycling Networks with Sustrans
On January 24th we had well attended Zoom meeting to hear from Paul Brufell, Networks Manager in the Sustrans North team on cycling network planning for our area.
This proved more of an overview on the National Cycle Network aspirations of Sustrans than we expected, but was useful to see the ‘big picture’. But the event also highlighted some of the current areas of controversy in Kirklees.
The slow progress on the Meltham Greenway, the uncertain future of the Ringway in Heckmondwike and the apparent sidelining of the Fenay Greenway were raised by attendees. Sustrans is responsible for significant parts of the network of Greenways and off-road routes in Kirklees, but appeared to have had only limited liaison with our active travel officers, where significant parts of the work are based. We understand that following this event, a closer relationship between Sustrans and Kirklees Council can be anticipated.
Cycle Kirklees officers join Canal & River Trust (CRT) consultation on Colne Valley Greenway
We joined Craig Grimes (Experience Community) and officers of Kirklees Council and WYCA in an onsite consultation with CRT to assist in selection of accessible routes in two challenging parts of the new section from Milnsbridge to Slaithwaite. The task was to balance the heritage considerations with other priorities – accessibility and environmental protection. Photo: Chris Knight (left) with CRT and EC staff.
Planning News: We objected to plans for large Amazon warehouse development near to Chain Bar (Jct.26 on M62)
In our objection to the proposed large development we cited the projected massive increase in local traffic in areas close to the Whitehall Road (A58) site in Cleckheaton and Scholes village as result of the proposed Amazon development and other housing and employment developments in the immediate area.
There is not only a significant loss of green space and ancient footpaths, but the prospect of significant traffic congestion affecting walking, cycling and air quality in surrounding residential and employment areas and impacting on active travel to two local schools. The Spen Valley Greenway would also serve the site (it runs along the boundary). Where is the recognition of the need for funding for improvements of the Greenway and ongoing maintenance?Kirklees Strategic Planning Committee will consider this proposal on Wednesday 15th March.
Our website is now at www.cyclekirklees.org.uk View our website you about the work we have been doing this year which includes responses to Cycling & Walking consultations and to the Network Rail plans for Huddersfield station.