Image of undeveloped route on Spen bottoms

Enhancing access and biodiversity in Spen Bottoms

We have responded to a WYCA consultation on Spen Bottoms near Cleckheaton. Cycle Kirklees has expressed support for changes to improve access to areas of green and blue space and made proposals aimed at improving and expanding the cycling networks. 

The Spen Bottoms project aims to protect biodiversity by expanding woodlands, managing habitats, and supporting wildlife. The plans also aim to restore the Cleckheaton Viaduct, creating heritage trails, and spotlighting local history. 

In our submission we supported improvements to the surface along Valley Road and the Mann Dam Viaduct which will be a benefit to people walking, wheeling and cycling. 

We would like to see access between the Mann Dam Viaduct and Spen Lane to the east upgraded to a cycle path. This would provide a ‘quick-win’, making easier travel between Cleckheaton and Gomersal.

We support the addition of a south-east link to Spen Lane. Potentially this leads to an extension of the Spen Ringway from Royds Park. As Kirklees Council currently has not developed an area-wide LCWIP, Cycle Kirklees has created our own (a draft version can be found at In it we have included aspirations for a further development of greenway along the old railway alignment through to Cliffe Lane. Finally, by providing cycle access from Mann Dam viaduct to Cliffe Lane would allow for future connectivity towards Birkenshaw, Birstall, and Oakwell Hall.

We note the plans to upgrade play areas, support community activities, and include accessibility will help to attract more visitors. For people arriving by cycle at Spen Bottoms we request that cycle parking is provided (in the form of Sheffield stands) at the car park and at other key locations through the project area.