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.”