Newsletter No. 64
In this issue:
More protests about Greenway closures and diversion
Launch of Walk Wheel Ride Kirklees online
Heckmondwike Blueprint consultation
Latest on Holmfirth Blueprint
AGM update with a call for your ideas on Navigating Huddersfield on a Bike
Leeds Road (Huddersfield) cycle tracks close to completion. We inspect the results.
A group of 5 adults and 3 children (aged 12, 9 and 8) cycled (and one walked) the new Leeds Road (A62) Cycle Route on 26th May. Whilst the segregated parts of the route and the dedicated facilities at the junction of Southgate/Leeds Road were popular, the group also identified a number of limitations in the scheme. Having compiled a ‘snagging’ checklist of items easy to rectify, we also documented several design issues we want improved in future schemes.
After the inspection a detailed dossier was sent to the project team responsible for the upgrade. Following completion of the scheme, later this month, the group will meet officers on site for another inspection. We will publish a more detailed analysis of the scheme on our website late in June.
Chris, Chas and Bill from Cycle Kirklees, were joined by Leah Stuart, chair of Huddersfield Unlimited (Transport Group) and Geoff Hughes (Huddersfield Civic Society) – and three children.
Blocked traffic-free routes: more protests about Greenways closures and diversions
Cyclists and walkers continue to complain about inadequate alternatives to the closures of our Greenways. Cycle Kirklees is making further representations to Kirklees Council about two more closures. We are seeking better advance publicity, clearer designation of alternative routes and above all a planned approach to disruption of these key transport and leisure routes.
We have already carried reports of poorly managed closures on the Birkby Bradley Greenway. Responses from Network Rail (managing the Transpennine Route Upgrade) who required the closures, and Kirklees Council, demonstrated a failure of both organisations to recognise cycling as a form of transport.
Members using the Colne Valley Greenway (Huddersfield Narrow Canal) have told us they are concerned at lengthy closure by Canal & River Trust of a section near Milnsbridge. This has been caused by an unsafe building adjacent to the canal. The alternative route is poorly signed and includes a cycle track on A62 Manchester Road which is largely blocked by car retailers.
Closure of the Calder Valley Greenway has signs indicating access to Leeds Road is not possible (see photo of current signs). But there is a permitted alternative route via the Huddersfield Broad Canal – to both Leeds Road (with access to the Stadium and town centre) and Colne Bridge.
Cllr Martyn Bolt (Mirfield) has lodged a detailed complaint about closures to the Greenways for discussion at the forthcoming Kirklees Active Travel Partnership meeting, where we will be represented.
Walk Wheel Ride Online Kirklees Launch
Heckmondwike Blueprint aims to improve cycling through town centre
Cycle Kirklees will be responding this week to the Heckmondwike Blueprint proposals (see SWOT analysis below). You can make a contribution to the consultation by 19 June using kirklees.gov.uk/heckmondwike-blueprint
Co-chairs, Chris Knight and Chas Ball recently attended a consultation event and did a ‘walkabout’ to look at the potential benefits for cyclists and pedestrians of the town centre plans. Our submission will appear on our website by 15th June.
Holmfirth Town Centre Blueprint
Kirklees Council first published its Town Centre Access Plan in March 2019 and has undertaken three consultations as the project has evolved. It is now at the heart of the Holmfirth Blueprint, a comprehensive improvement plan for the town centre. The initial objectives were to create a more attractive environment, ease traffic congestion, improve efficiency and journey times for all, and create better access for local residents, employees and businesses. A package of measures including wider pavements, improved crossings, and changes to parking, most notably an extended Huddersfield Road (opposite the library) car park consequent on demolition of the Market Hall.
Having scrutinised the proposals in fine detail, Cycle Kirklees believes that the plans are fatally flawed. Improving traffic flow will only encourage more traffic, such that after a few years it is counter-productive. Traffic reduction and the promotion of ‘active travel’ and public transport should be at the heart of the proposals. In addition, measures to discourage inter-regional traffic, in particular HGVs, should be prioritised. Not only does the flow of HGVs slow other traffic, it threatens the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
Implementation of the proposals is likely to start later this year. We are looking forward to the installation of secure cycle parking in the plot opposite the Fair Trader – although we are not sure it will look like this (see photo). Cycle Kirklees’ most recent submission to Kirklees Council on the proposed Blueprint was made in December 2002 and is on our website.
Cycle Kirklees AGM on Tuesday 18th July
Our AGM will be on Tuesday 18th July at 19.00 in the cafe at New North Road Baptist Church (near railway station, Huddersfield). Secure bike parking provided.
This is the programme for the evening:
19.10: A presentation (plus Q&A) on the Walk Wheel Ride (Kirklees) online hub by Antony de Heveningham (EPIKS)
19.30: AGM with reports, elections and discussion of future priorities and tactics
Papers will be published by 3rtd July with an invitation for you to join in the committee or support our work in other ways.
20.00: A Workshop on Navigating Huddersfield on a Bike with maps and suggested routes in and out and across the town from different neighbourhoods and venues.
We are planning to map the best 8 – 12 routes that facilitate safer and easier access and will post something on our web site in late June.
Your navigation hints for routes from different locations to enter and leave the town centre or to cross the town are invited. Please send to