Kirklees Cycling Campaign Newsletter – November 2017 #13

Proposed Amendment to Constitution

At the AGM on 22nd November there will be a proposal to amend some of the existing constitution.

The two versions – existing and proposed – can be found on the campaign website.

The reason for the proposed change is that the committee would prefer not to have a campaign group membership subscription and all that that entails. Instead the proposal is that the group has ‘registered supporters’ and that the registered supporters vote at the AGM and special meetings as to how the campaign group functions.

The current committee have managed, so far, to keep the campaign group functioning with only small amount of money. This has been needed to pay for the website and has been donated by individuals from the committee.

If the amendment were passed, we may prefer, in future, to revert to a free website or would ask registered supporters to put a few coins in a bucket at a meeting to finance a website with ‘bells and whistles’.

Numbers are very important if the campaign group is to have influence on decision makers. It is felt that individuals are more likely to join the group as a ‘registered supporter’ than if asked to pay a membership fee.

To join as a ‘Registered Supporter’ all that would be required is to register their email address. Should they no longer wish to be associated with the group they need only to notify the secretary of their wishes.

In the end though, it is for the people at the AGM who will decide what structure they prefer.

Mile Post Café

For those that don’t already know, the Mile Post Café on the Spen Valley Greenway will be closed for the foreseable future. Hopefully it won’t be for ever!

Pinch Points in Honley

We have been consulted about a proposal to install a pedestrian island on Meltham Road Honley. The local councillors would like a safer road crossing for pedestrians to access the recreation ground.

The problem is that the current proposals involve making ‘pinch points’ with a width of 3.1m and 3.4m. This would make cycling through these very difficult particularly in the uphill direction out of Honley.

I have requested that an alternative type of crossing be proposed.

Streetlife 1

20s Plenty in Sheffield

In addition to one third of its residential streets, 20mph will be the legally maximum speed for nearly all of Sheffield’s city centre.  Cycling will suddenly get a lot easier and more people will be encouraged to use a bike when using the city.

Whilst Kirklees has small scattered pockets of 20mph zones the council appears to be standing firm against making it the norm in residential streets.

There is so much to be gained from reducing traffic speeds on streets that are not main arterial routes. Streets suddenly become communities, air pollution drops, local people start to have a feeling of well-being, parents can feel more secure about their children riding their bikes and playing independently outside, and it becomes possible for many more of us to use a bike and get a bit of exercise.

Let’s hope that the resistance to 20mph zones don’t last too long.

Streetlife 2

Continuing with the theme of safer streets Ian Bangay has contributed the following thoughts:

The Council is holding a set of meetings around the area. This is to inform residents of play facilities in Kirklees and to get feedback. There is a generic meeting and also a chance to see what is to happen locally. There is an interactive element, but from what I understand of the Cleckheaton one it’s not that interactive, as some people tried to broach a discussion on changes to a local park with some vigour.

It is a concern, as reported via social media, that people are left with the impression that that the Council would sooner see children playing in the park and not on the streets.

Personally I feel this is something that should be resisted and is well out of line with what walking and cycling campaign groups across the country have been promoting. If we want a healthy environment where children can play on quiet streets, and are not corralled into fenced off artificial environments, where people can cross the road with less fear of being knocked down by a thoughtless speeding driver, I think that view needs to be aired at those meetings and in the online survey.

For children wanting some independence and to walk to a nearby park to meet and play, the streets must also be safe enough to use. Whilst younger children may play escorted by a parent, there comes a time when it is appropriate for them to become more familiar with their neighbourhood and to branch out. Residential streets should be safe enough to allow this.

Residential streets are for living in, not a set of rat runs. The reported view seems to reinforce the notion that streets are for cars and so are inherently dangerous. We need to address that insidious creep of the motor vehicle – that’s not anti-car, it’s anti-car-dominance, which is not the same thing.

If this view was reported accurately and even Kirklees parks are putting out such negativity, the mountain to climb is big indeed. If you can attend one of the meetings please try to do so.

AGM – Final Reminder

Please try to make it if you can: 7:00 pm Wednesday 22nd November at The Sportsman Huddersfield