Welcome to number 11 newsletter from the Kirklees Cycling Campaign. Quite a lot in this one.
Just a reminder that if you ever want to check out on previous newsletters, they can always be found on the campaign website (details above)
Best Regards – John Lewis Chair
Lindley Moor – New Cycle Path
The new housing development on Lindley Moor gave Kirklees the opportunity to deliver an extremely useful and very wide (4m) shared-use surfaced track for pedestrians and cyclists between Crossland Road and Lindley Moor Road.
It is hoped that there are plans in place for a safe entrance and exit at Lindley Moor Road. For cyclists coming to and from Lindley via Crosland Road it cuts off a corner and – more importantly – avoids a dangerous blind summit on Lindley Moor Road with some unexpected pinch points that cannot accomodate HGV’s and cyclists side by side.
Welcome though this is, it doesn’t address the danger for cyclists riding between Ainley Top and Outlane. The permitted speed has been reduced to 50mph but it remains a serious hazard if HGV’s coming up behind cyclists are not driving cautiously when they approach the summit.
It has been pointed out that this situation could have been avoided by negotiating land from the housing developers and constructing segregated cycle lanes on both sides of the road at the blind summit. Cycling representatives were not, however, consulted at the planning stage and officers and councillors were unaware of the risks involved.
It is another example of a missed opportunity to improve local roads for cycling. Procedures need to be put in place so that there is consultation with cycling representatives early in the planning stage.
The Kirklees highways proposal to make some modifications to the road at Berry Brow was previously circulated.
To put it briefly, the proposal is to take out some of the cycle lane on the northbound approach to Berry Brow, and to reduce the width of a traffic island. Kirklees think that these measures will make it safer for cyclists.
Many thanks are due to those who spent time and thought in contributing to the consultation. It doesn’t look as though our responses have made much difference to the original proposal but it was nevertheless very useful for Highways to see a range of opinion from local cyclists.
Most of us would argue that both motorists and cyclists need to be aware of the imminent narrowing of the road space, and the problems that could arise should motor vehicles attempt to overtake cyclists when approaching the unseen pinchpoint bollard.
A ‘road narrows’ sign would be a good start together with a more visible 30mph sign. I have made a further attempt to persuade Highways to concede to these measures.
The aim of taking out the cycle lane when approaching Bery Brow is to encourage cyclists to move out into the middle of the lane (“into primary position”) and to avoid being overtaken. Hopefully more and more cyclists will feel confident enough to do this. There will be some that won’t, however, and ‘hug the gutter’ either through lack of confidence or because this stretch of road is not familiar to them and they are unaware of the imminent danger.
Low Moor Station – contribution from Ian Bangay
It was with some interest that I viewed the opening of a new rail station beside the Spen Valley Greenway in Low Moor, just on the southern edge of Bradford – handy for exploring Kirklees id coming from Bradford, London bound trains and a handy link to Huddersfield.
Access to Huddersfield on public transport is poor from this part of Kirklees.
The station opened with some fanfare on April 2nd – and a few raspberries would not have gone amiss. On the city side there is a fine ramp for access for groups of cyclists, those in wheelchairs, those with buggies and people who cannot manage steps. On the south side, near Victoria Park there is an access – a direct one – to the adjacent Greenway. I know this because the we page tells me so. However this access is steps only. There is a groove to be installed to make it easier to bring a bike – or SOME types of bike – up to platform level. Many people find these fiddly to use or do not have the coordination to handle a bike up them.
For wheelchairs users or those with buggies, this is not a solution. If alighting on the south side and unable to use steps, you need to use 2 lifts and add half a mile to your journeyto get round to the park and then onto the Greenway or down to Oakenshaw. This means walking along the path by the busy main road, which at times, sees lorries and vans obstructing he pavement.
This is something that designers might easily have foreseen. Raising the issue with Northern Rail brought the eventual reply: “The Southside/Manchester platform is not an entrance/exit to the station”. So we have an access but it is not an official access.
It is among West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s (WYCA) responsibilities to provide integrated travel solutions. Many aspects of Low Moor seem to be in keeping with a 21st century station. In terms of overall access, however, it falls short of what a modern station should provide.
I await further information from those charged with the construction and maintenance of this facility and hope that better is to come.
News Digest – contribution from Bill Hunter
Latest news from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) website:
Investment committee backs almost £9 m funding for local schemes – including £570,000 to examine improvements to A629 Halifax Road at Ainley Top.
Comment – This is part of a major programme of improvements between Huddersfield and Halifax. The scheme aims to reduce polution at Ainley Top by keeping traffic moving rather than queuing. All well and good, but we need to ensure that the scheme includes significant improvements for cyclists through early involvement in the design process.
Work starts on phase 1 of the Castleford to Wakefield Greenway, the first project to be delivered within phase 2 of the £60 million West Yorkshire wide programme of cycling infrastructure.
Comment – Great news for Cas and Wakefield. Such a shame that City Connect in Kirklees has stalled because of a lack of ambition by Kirklees Council.
All that we currently have is:
Surfacing of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath to Milnsbridge – scaled back from the original proposal to Linthwaite – and way short of Slaithwaite – our proposed endpoint.
Help Shape the Future of West Yorkshire Transport
WYCA is seeking members of the public in Kirklees to serve on its District Consultation Sub-Committees.
The meetings are held quarterly and can influence decision making of all types of transport including cycling. The period for applications from Kirklees residents has been extended due to the lack of response.
If you can, please consider getting involved in this decision making process and making an application.
Phone: 0113 251 726
or email: governanceservices@West Yorks-ca.gov.uk
Further details can be found on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Website.
Question Time in Kirklees
On Thursday 12th October local political leaders will be taking place in a ‘Question Time’ style event at The Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield.
A panel of councillors will be answering questions from local people.
It is an opportunity to put relevant questions – including those that refer to Transport -to local leaders and to hear their replies and promises. You need to register to take part and more details can be found on the website:
Upcoming KCC Meetings
7pm Wednesday 18th October – Committee Meeting
7pm Wednesday 8th November – AGM
Both meetings will take place at “The Sportsman” St John’s Road Huddersfield
Please try to set aside time to attend the AGM if you can, and bear in mind that suporters are always welcome at committee meetings.