Kirklees Cycling Campaign Newsletter #38 – March 2020


Road Plans for Leeds Road

 

Consultation on the Road Plans for Leeds Road are still open for local residents.  Details of how to respond can be found at:

major.transport@kirklees.co.uk

 

Below are the comments made by myself (John Lewis) writing as Chair of KCC:

 

Dear Shabir Pandor, Peter Mc Bride and Kirklees Highways Planners,

 

Please find my comments to the Leeds Road ‘Smart Corridor’ proposals.

– These are additional to my previous comments relating to the earlier consultation:

 

  • The basic principals of the scheme are not in line with the Leeds City Region Climate Change Emergency policies. It will also make it even more difficult to achieve the Government’s target of zero carbon emissions by 2050.

 

  • To achieve the above targets, there needs to be a Leeds Road traffic scheme that encourages LESS car use. If this were achieved the fewer vehicles would result in shorter journey times which happens to be the objective of the current project.

 

  • Historically, projects with the aim of freeing up road blockages result in GREATER numbers of vehicles using the road space. This is because the initial faster journey times encourage more traffic. Before too long, on this evidence, the Leeds Road will become congested again.

 

  • The scheme ought to be seeking and incorporating alternatives to reduce car use. The proposals assume that ALL motor transport is a priority and it fails to recognise that a very big percentage of car journeys are three miles or less. This is about a twenty minute journey by bike. It also has the added benefit of giving much needed exercise keeping keep us healthy and less of a demand on the NHS.

 

  • Better alternatives to using the car include markedly better and cheaper Public Transport and better comprehensive facilities for Active Travel (Cycling and Walking). Getting more people to cycle will not be achieved by half-measures such as proposed in this scheme. In the current scheme cycling facilities are planned only where they do not impede the plans for motor traffic. The scheme fails to achieve the aim of encouraging more cycling because it is so severely compromised.  It is not a continuously safe cycle route from Huddersfield Railway Station to Fieldhouse Lane and beyond to Bradley, and there are no future plans for it to become so. This route can only be called acceptable if it is suitable for a school pupil who has Bikeabilty level 3. Constructing protected cycle lanes for only a part of the route is going to achieve nothing in terms of getting more people to cycle as a means of transport. Would the proposers of this scheme encourage their 12 year old child or grandchild to use this route to go to school? 

 

  • I would suggest the proposers of this scheme visit some examples in other towns and cities throughout Europe to see how it could be done.

 

 

  • For the past two years Kirklees Cycling Campaign have repeatedly proposed that a continuously safe cycle route from Huddersfield Station to Bradley could be achieved by surfacing the canal towpath from near the Great Northern Retail Park to Lock Number 9 at Red Doles Lane. A short link could then be improved to the NCN69 route to Bradley. This proposal has long been ignored.
  • Another more radical alternative to encourage Active Travel would be to have continuously protected Cycle Lanes along the entire length of Leeds Road from Huddersfield to Bradley. This would mean reducing the amount of proposed space designated for motor vehicles other than Public Transport. This would be the acceptable proposal in The Netherlands or Denmark. Similar successful radical proposals have also been achieved here in the UK in Waltham Forest.

 

 

Resumé:

 

The proposed scheme is outdated and compromised and will cost millions of pounds. It is my view that it will achieve little towards getting a sustainable transport system for Kirklees and is a missed opportunity.

 

 

 

Yours Sincerely

 

John Lewis

(Chair – Kirklees Cycling Campaign)