Plans continue for a greener and more active Kirklees

We’re working hard on plans to encourage more residents to to walk and cycle for work and leisure beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government wants to reduce the amount of people relying on public transport and cars so has made £2billion available to support projects such as cycle and walking routes via the Active Travel fund.

What is happening in Kirklees?

As part of our priority to tackle the Climate Emergency, we’re throwing our weight behind these types of initiatives and are looking to benefit from this pot of Government funding.

The use of public transport and motor vehicles in Kirklees has substantially reduced during the coronavirus pandemic. The effects of these changes can already be seen with roads clearer and a notable reduction in air pollution and the council is keen to build on this beyond the current lockdown period.

There are many physical and mental health benefits of walking and cycling and it is important the council wants to enable as many residents as possible to enjoy these benefits.

What is being planned?

The council is currently working on a number of initiatives to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians, including improvements to roads. There will also be work to encourage and enable behaviour change and to better promote active travel as a choice.

All of these initiatives are reflected in our local Walking and Cycling Strategic Framework and this will help us to underpin our response.

What we’ll focus on

Our plans currently under consideration are to work on safety issues arising from insufficient pedestrian space for safe walking, including crowding at points of restriction at town and village centres and schools.

They will also look to create more space for safe local exercise around local parks and provide green alternatives to cars and public transport for key workers which may involve cycling facilities on key routes.

 

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council said: “For as terrible and as difficult as the coronavirus pandemic has been, it has also taught us a lot.

“One of those key lessons is that there is a genuine appetite for cycling, running and walking not just in Kirklees but across the world. I hope that something we take away from this is a renewed focus on travelling in an active and environmentally friendly way.

“As a council we have two main roles and that is to make sure people who want to cycle or walk to work can do so in a safe way and also that we actively promote this as an option to people.

“We have already seen a huge rise in the amount of people walking, cycling and running outdoors which comes with significant health benefits and we have also seen air pollution drop. It would be wrong not to want to build on this and to do more to encourage people to travel active and travel green.

“Our Huddersfield and Dewsbury Blueprint regeneration plans have greener forms of travel running right through them. This is further supported by our commitments to tackle the Climate Emergency and to make Kirklees completely carbon neutral by 2038.

“Active and green travel has been right at the top of our agenda for some time and now is the time to take that commitment even further.”

 

21 comments

  • Can we convert the old meltham to Huddersfield train line into a cycle highway?

    • Hi Alain, This route is not in public ownership and there are a lot of physical obstructions and private landowners along with it. Where there are opportunities we are already actively pursuing them. Thanks, ^CP

    • We started that about 2006 Alain sadly the Greenway network has not progressed much since

    • Does this mean the Park Mill Cycle track project at Clayton West will be accelerated through to completion? This would help the enthusiastic if misguided, illegal users and diggers of tracks in Cliffe Woods and privately owned Riding Wood legitimise their activities.

  • Mr Frank Fowler

    It OK to get people TO WALK / RUN more but allot of lovely foot paths that lead to wonderful views are not maintained by KMC any more.
    Hedges over grown blocking path blackberry bushes grown across paths , trip hazard and some nasty wounds to legs when blackberry spiky growth gets wrapped around legs. There is rubbish left by drug pushers and there clients / drinkers and dumped cans ,house hold waste and take away boxes and bags even food.
    Birds can eat some food but what is left the mice and rats eat. They are some very healthy looking mice and large rats in these areas.
    I know some are water rats but most are not . These rats will kill nesting ducks and swans.
    These areas in my younger days were me and friends would go and play / sunbath . We would pick black berries then eat some and take some home to make some jam for breakfast toast.
    This is not going to happen today has the children would have to take cutting tools and first aid kit to get there. Plus they would not be allowed to go walking with cutting tools. Adults would have to be with them.
    These paths are miles long and it would take them a week to get there.
    So take lots of food and water ,tents and sleeping bags.

  • Great news. The green, outdoor, leisure areas of Kirklees are it’s best features. To make the most out of them would truly be accenting the dignity and splendour that this area has to offer!

  • Please give some serious consideration to extending the greenways. Simply start with low cost access paths with greenway upgrades later. Excellent example would be former railway line from Deighton to Kirkburton.

    • John, Syngenta ( as it was at the time) agreed to an upgrade of the pubic footpath around the periphery of their plant in about 2007, at about the same time Morrisons were interested in upgrading the path behind their Waterloo store These were passed to Kirklees cycling and highways staff and sadly they were not delivered The Govt emphasis at the moment would be another opportunity, but sadly Kirklees is lagging behind our neighbours in engaging with users and the community

  • I would love to see more cycle ways but the owns we have are overgrown,nobody looks after them,canal paths are brilliant but Evan these since the floods are dreadful so great idea,but we need to look after the ones we have

    • Hi David, as we get more details about funding opportunities, we will also look at ways we can use our own resources to keep our existing footpaths and greenways in the best condition we can. Thanks ^CP

  • Thank you this is great news I regularly cycle to work over to eland from netherton on my e bike.Before the virus struck it was a bit hairy and it would be great to keep a level of feeling safer on new cycle paths. Please don’t just paint a white line do this properly. And also can you trim the plants that grow into the cycle lanes more often I’m especially thinking of the route out of lock wood towards honley as they invade the cycle lane and force cyclists into the road during the summer the lanes a bit of a joke

  • Please can you improve the footpaths at the top of Hare Park Lane? During lockdown I have used it to reach Hearts head church and beyond . There are lovely views from there. I don’t have to drive to get a good walk. However, the footpath is so treacherous I broke 2 ribs due to the old broken tarmac surfaces causing me to trip. Since then I have walked on the road but obviously that is potentially hazardous too.Especially now that there is more traffic on the roads. Lots of others waking around there. It’s a lovely area with ancient sites anDpicturesque cottages.

  • Please consider improving footpaths at the top of Hare Park Lane which are so bad I have to walk on the road.

  • Mark O'Donoghue

    Might want to stop building on green belt land in Lepton/Fenay Bridge if you want to be taken seriously about Kirklees becoming a greener and safer place to travel and exercise. We can’t do that when you destroy the land we go for walks in and replace it with houses and tarmac.

    Urban sprawl is also a concern when future housing development will join Lepton, Fenay Bridge, Highburton and Kirkburton.together as one big urban construct. Something to think about or your plans will feel like a sham to a lot of people.

  • If you are serious about encouraging cycling then you need to stop the parking in the cycle lanes, such as the one in Mirfield from Knowl Road to Parker Lane. People in this area are afraid to use the greenway because of yobs who spit at people as they pass, what can you do about that. Historically you may be afraid yourself to tackle such problems, because…

  • This opportunity to access government funding should be the chance for Kirklees Council to put into action the development of the Spen Valley Ringway, which has featured as a proposal in the previous and current Local Plans. It would compliment the existing Spen Valley Greenway (national cycling route), which is very well used, and open up the opportunity for children in parts of Cleckheaton, Littletown and Heckmondwike to use as a traffic free route to schools in the valley. It could be joined to the Greenway at both ends to create a traffic free circular route around the whole of the Spen Valley, which has one of the most heavily used roads – the A638, in Kirklees.

  • Has the Council considered changing some or all of its fleet of vehicles to electric?

  • It would be great to see the route at least from Meltham Mills to Netherton completed however I am aware of the land ownership issues. We have been waiting a long time for a cycle route to avoid Huddersfield Road on this section. As an alternative there is a wide verge all the way from the existing section of Greenway to Netherton. Couldn’t this be used to form a cycle path at a fraction of the cost and delivered fairly quickly?

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