KCC Newsletter #26 – March 2019

Halifax to Huddersfield – A629 Phase 4 Consultation

The concept of Quietways was developed in the Netherlands and has inspired similar routes to being developed in London. They use a mixture of existing quiet streets, parks, and off-road tracks, to make cycle routes that are comfortable and less intimidating for the many people who would cycle but wouldn’t contemplate using many of our local roads. It’s objective is to get more people to get active and using sustainable means of travel.

As part of the A629 road improvements, Kirklees Council has commissioned AECOM to design two “Quietway” routes running parallel on either side of the A629 arterial route between Huddersfield Town Centre and Ainley Top. This being the Kirklees part of the route between Huddersfield and Halifax.

Some months ago KCC were invited to look and comment on the initial plans for the two “Quietway” routes in Kirklees. Two members of the KCC committee spent some time riding and taking notes of the detailed proposals. We were, in general, very positive about the designs but we found some issues that we considered impractical, or not thought through sufficiently. We also suggested alternatives that we thought would improve the routes.

After submitting our responses we heard nothing from Kirklees, and we had fears that much of our work would be unheeded. That was until now.

This week saw the opening of the public consultation process for these plans (A629 phase 4) and it was with some trepidation that I attended the event at the Cedar Hotel Ainley Top. On looking at the plans though, I found, to my utter surprise, that a great many of our suggestions had been accepted, and most those that hadn’t, were rejected because  better solutions had been found.

This really is all very encouraging, and something of a step change for the council. If the plans go ahead, and get the approval of cabinet, Huddersfield will have it’s first two well-designed “Quietways” and provide models for further opportunities throughout Kirklees.

Of course it is not perfect yet; there are still lots snaggings to address and improvements to suggest, so please try to give some time to look at the plans and make your comments. None of us by ourselves can spot every potential problem, but the more people that see them and question the designers, the more chance there is that future shortcomings will be avoided.

You can either talk to the AECOM representatives present at a consultation event, or use the opportunity to go online to see and respond to the plans.

An important date for your diary:

Kirklees Cycling Campaign will hold it’s AGM on Tuesday April 9th. There will more information in next month’s newsletter, but in the mean-time, please put this important date in your diaries and ical’s.

With best wishes to everyone

John Lewis – chair Kirklees Cycling Campaign