KCC Newsletter #42


If you were to peruse through some of the previous 41 KCC Newsletters you’d come across a number of different versions of Cycling in Huddersfield Town Centre. This is the most recent attempt.
It’s purpose is to be a visual description of the practicalities of using a bike to get in and out of Huddersfield Town Centre. It is an attempt to visually describe to highway planners how they could make cycling to the town, for many, an attractive alternative to driving.

There are a number of scheduled schemes in the pipeline that will make it a much improved town centre for cycling. Cross Church Street will finally be a two-way route for cyclists, The Wakefield Road route from Waterloo will link directly with the Railway Station. The southbound route from the railway station to the leisure centre subway will be more direct, and the Leeds Road plans will incorporate some segregated cycle lanes together with a dedicated cyclist’s crossing across the Ring Road. All these should be ‘up and running’ within the next two years.

I have drawn the map to incorporate the above improvements but I have also shown (as broken lines) the routes that still need to be improved if Huddersfield is going to be an easy and pleasurable place for people to ride a bike.

Some of the shortcomings are are more urgent than others. The one-way routes within the town are not ideal, but these are less important than the lack of good connections from outside the town centre.
Examples of these are:
  • The ‘Gateways’ across the Ring Road need to have dedicated cycle controlled crossings
  • A good connection is required between the Colne Valley route at Longroyd Bridge and a Ring Road ‘Gateway’
  • The planned ‘Quietway’ route from Ainley Top finishes at Greenhead Park. A good safe  connection is required to the Town Centre
  • Cycling provision for the Leeds Road plans are severely compromised and a good continuous  route to Bradley is required. This could to done either by using the canal route, or by making a continuously segregated route along the full length of the Leeds Road
Without these improvements Huddersfield Town Centre will not be sufficiently accessible for a great many people who might otherwise use a bike to get to the Town Centre instead of using a car.

 

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                                                                       Cycle Theft

Cycle theft in Kirklees is relatively low compared with many other places in the UK, but this not to say that it doesn’t happen, and that when it does it can be very distressing. Recently a supporter had their expensive bike stolen from outside Huddersfield Railway Station. It was locked with a substantial cable but this did not prevent the theft.
Having your bike stolen is never going to be prevented 100%, but It’s worth thinking carefully about some of the factors that make it more of a target and more vulnerable: Sustrans has a lot of good advice on this link:

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/get-active/2019/everyday-walking-and-cycling/bike-security-advice/

The fear of having a bike stolen seriously affects the whole issue of active travel. According to research by “Bike Life” 21% of respondents said that a lack of safe storage at work or home was why they don’t cycle or cycle less often.

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Twitter and Facebook

In recent weeks some of our new committee members have been very pro-active in getting Kirklees Cycling Campaign on social media. It will hopefully keep us all immediately more informed of local and national news.

Our Twitter link is: @CycleKirklees
The Facebook Link is: https://www.facebook.com/safecycleK

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GP’s to prescribe cycling in new obesity strategy

Has there ever been a time like this for the promotion of the benefits of cycling? The link below gives some early details, but one suspects that Boris will rely heavily on somebody else to put the ideas into practice.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53541866

P. S. I’d just be grateful if my local GP practice would consider installing a bike stand where I could lock up the bike.

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Mirfield to Dewsbury to Leeds

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) are currently in consultation on a road scheme through Mirfield and Dewsbury. Detailed plans can be seen by clicking on the link below:

https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/M2D2L

This scheme is not to be confused with the Sustrans project which aims to make an improved and safer route through Mirfield between Church Lane and WoodEnd Road on the Calder Valley Greenway.

The WYCA plans focus initially on the A644 – Huddersfield Road. The plans to improve cycling provision include  mandatory cycle lanes and controlled crossings. Currently there are only advisory cycle lanes along some parts of the A644 and these are regularly used for car parking and render them out of use for cyclists.
The proposed plans would therefore be a significant improvement if the road markings were enforced. However, there is a great deal of room for improvement on some of the other proposals and you are invited to comment on the YourVoice portal.

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John Lewis – KCC Chair