Have your say to improve conditions for cycling and walking in Kirklees

We are asking residents to highlight how conditions can be improved for cyclists and pedestrians so more people can travel in a more active and greener way.

As part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, we want to understand which areas can be improved across the region to help people travel more easily by bike or on foot, and to provide more space to travel safely while social distancing.

Kirklees is taking part in a West Yorkshire-wide engagement where residents can have their say on how to improve conditions to encourage more people to travel actively.

The West Yorkshire Safe streets for walking and cycling – interactive map will allow you to highlight issues that you are experiencing when travelling by bike or on foot and to suggest where improvements could be made to make these journeys safer, including increasing space for social distancing.

Read more about active travel in West Yorkshire: Safe streets for walking and cycling

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has been a terrible and difficult period but it has also taught us a lot.

We have a real opportunity here to completely rethink the way our towns and villages work. With so many turning to active travel during these unprecedented times, I hope that something we take away from this is a renewed focus on supporting people to walk and cycle.

If we are to do this, we need to think about barriers that might be standing in the way. We need to build on the appetite people have shown for cycling, running and walking by immediately addressing some of these barriers.”

Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Greener Kirklees, said:

“We’ve seen such a huge increase in the amount of people cycling, walking and running in recent months and we want to continue to encourage this.

Active travel has huge benefits on both the health of individuals but also the environment and we have seen air pollution drop during the lockdown period.

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.”

We have already revealed immediate changes it is making to Huddersfield and Dewsbury Town Centres to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians.

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.

Using some of its allocation of this money, we will be making some changes straight away in Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

As part of its priority to tackle the Climate Emergency, we are throwing our weight behind these types of initiatives.

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.

Huddersfield Town Centre

Within the next three-four weeks a cycle route through Huddersfield Town Centre will be in operation, through the temporary pedestrianisation of a number of roads.

A number of streets will allow access for cyclists and pedestrians only including; Firth Street between Wakefield Road and Colne Road, Cross Church Street, Church Street, Wood Street, Byram Street and Market Place.

Northumberland Street (between Lord Street and John William Street) will become one-way (eastbound) to allow cycles to travel eastbound.

John William Street will be narrowed to one lane and parking bays will be coned-off. Temporarily to provide parking for disabled drivers and taxis.

New cycle lanes will be introduced at St Johns Road in both directions from Fitzwilliam Street to the Ring Road. There wil also be a new cycle lane at Colne Road along the southern section of gyratory.

Signage will be installed to help make cyclists, pedestrians and drivers aware of the temporary changes.

There is also plans to introduce a cycle parking zone and an e-scooter hire facility to St George’s Square.

Dewsbury

A number of changes are also set to take place in Dewsbury Town Centre.

There will be a temporary trial conversion of Dewsbury Ring Road to make the nearside lane between A635 Leeds Road and A638 Bradford Road/Northgate for cyclists only.

Halifax Road between Northgate and Dewsbury Ring Road will also be closed to motor vehicles.

Long Causeway will also be closed to all traffic except buses between Dewsbury Ring Road and Town Hall Way to further improve access for cyclists and pedestrians.

Longer-term

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

We 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.

46 comments

  • Cameras on the Green-way to stop the anti social behavior. No parking in cycle lanes and more of them.

  • Please do not tidy paths by removing undergrowth, nettles and brambles. The wildlife needs food ,shelter and nesting sites.

    • Disagree, paths need tidying in urban areas. Nettles and overgrown vegetation look unsightly, are potentially dangerous and make leaving 2m gap impossible

  • In my opinion spending money in towns is a waste of money since the most hazardous journey is getting there. In other words maximum value for money is to create or improve feeder routes. A example is the quickest off route from Kirkheaton to Huddersfield is fine for walkers but not cyclists. I think you need to involve Joe public more than you perhaps can at the moment
    John Taylor

  • Take the old train line from Meltham to lockwood and turn it into a cycle highway please.

  • I really welcome the improvements to infrastructure to encourage people to travel by bicycle even if temporary in the first instance . I ride frequently in town and will be interested to see how the changes work in practice. Currently cycle use in Huddersfield is minimal. I am intrigued by the intended provision of e scooter hire. This could be very popular but nor currently legal

  • it seems very difficult on the Greenway for cyclists and walkers to share that space as I have often found the cyclists are very inconsiderate and use it more like a race track with little regard for walkers. Perhaps a dual line one for walkers and one for cyclers would be better as there seems plenty of space to widen the paths.

  • If I was to use this interactive map to highlight all the issues for cyclists I’d be there a week and miss half of them. If you need the public to tell you where the problems are then you need to get out and cycle more yourself. A 10 mile cycle in any direction from the town centre and you’ll experience how shocking the roads are. Leeds road out of town is just a mess. So that’s one big massive line. You recently spent ages resurfacing it and just made it worse for cyclists as all the debriefing the new tarmac ended up in the cycle lane!

  • Make it compulsory for bikes to have a working bell ,the number of times my wife and I hav had to jump out of the way of speeding bikes no warning come from behind you, I’m 75 and find it so annoying, thanks David Reid,

  • Extend The Greenway from Meltham, to Huddersfield, make the whole route accessible to pedestrians and cyclists

    (I’m unable to get your map to work properly)

  • We need a safe way away from car drivers they cut you up don’t give you any room and the cycle lanes from mirfield to hudd just stop, one minute on pavement then on road then they disappear all together the paths are overgrown need cutting back then try to get to brighouse past the old cornmill pavement dreadfull never cleaned no room on road.

  • There is a Kirklees wide Public Space Protection Order in place banning bbq’s, Chinese Lanterns and open fires of all kinds. It is a waste of time because it is not publicised and it is not enforced. Recent fires at Deer Hill x 2, Digley Reservoir and Castle Hill prove that Kirklees Council are only paying lip service to a growing problem.

  • More dog poo bins and signs to remind people not to leave dog poo about

  • Whilst improvements in the town centre are welcome it is getting to the town that needs to be addressed. There are 5 main feeder routes in to Huddersfield and none of them could be considered safe or even reasonable for pedestrians or cyclists. This is where the Government grant money should be spent bus adequate parking for bicycles in town

  • How about completing the link between the Spen Ringway and Spen Valley Greenway through Heckmondwike.

  • Yes, but what is the Council going to do about the many known problems, letalone any more that you ask to report now? What is your plan to link existing cycle routes, eg the Bradley Greenway to the routes inside the town centre that you have suddenly decided to improve – the gap here is well known?!

  • Ensure that homeowners cut hedges back to their boundary walls where they overhang over public pavements

  • Spen Valley Greenway is far too intimidating for a single female to use, definitely needs some kind of protection

  • Great that you are looking to improve cycling and walking routes and facilities. I’d just make five general comments beyond those that are about specific routes:

    – you need to aim for a strategic network of CONTINUOUS safe cycling and walking routes that link the main journey origins and destinations, rather than bits and pieces here and there.

    – Maintenance of routes is vital. Cyclists actually avoid many of the cycle route stretches now and cycle in the main part of the road instead because the cycle routes have rougher, slower surfaces and more debris and obstacles. It feels like the roads are maintained and the litter on them is brushed into cycle routes!

    – Cycle routes tend to be put in where roads are wide so it is easy to designate space (but where they are not needed so much as cars give you room) but then end when it gets to a narrower stretch where the route is most needed!

    – How about changing the priority and wait time settings at pedestrian crossings? Too often you are waiting for the green man for ages and dash across early out when there is a bit of a gap. Then frustrated cars wait needlessly 30 seconds later with nobody at the crossing. Making lights go green instantly for pedestrians, unless they’s just been green before would speed up the time for some walk journeys, send a positive signal about walking, and make it safer for walkers and less frustrating for drivers. All at very low cost!

    – How about a commitment to have safe walk and cycle routes to all schools and 20 mph zones for a circle within a few hundred metres around them, plus secure and covered cycle parking at all secondary schools and colleges?

  • I think its getting harder for walkers to get around these days, not one day goes by I can’t walk on the pavement because of some careless person who decides to park on the full pavement making me have to use the roads which is dangerous

  • We also need to look at how this affects the town businesses. Whether we like it or not people do need to come into town just to nip to the bank or one shop, or get some lunch and if we make it impossible the businesses ultimately will loose out and people just won’t bother coming into Huddersfield!! Will this be taken into consideration and will there be any short stay Parking at all?

  • Has anybody thought about the business on Firth street and the other streets around Huddersfield they are closing for the 3 bikes a day that will use them???

  • Could be a nice idea to improve the cycle paths on the canals, canals seem ti be the shortest way between towns & keeps people of the roads., & also educate the fishermen who stick out there long poles because they think the canals belong to them only.

  • Hi there
    I am concerned that if public transport is not part of the future plan then older or disabled people will be forgotten like they have been during lockdown. Governments have often not liked public transport but with an ageing population many who use it were once able to cycle or walk but now have to depend on public transport.

    Also good flat surfaces to walk on would help make walking more enjoyable, as someone who us visually impaired I often find myself having to walk on pavements that are either uneven or dodging puddles this can be caused by poor resurfacing or block drains on the side of roads which create large puddles at street crossing points

    Also you might like to contact tandom trackers this is a group for blind people who want to go out on bikes they may be of help

  • I think it would be good if the Greenways could safely get into town, the busy ring road is off putting – that way we might be able to attract people to ride into town – have a coffee & ride home.

    I also agree that the Greenways need to feel safe – dogs on leads etc &
    They need to be more attractive so attention to fly-tipping & general rubbish picked up.

  • Improve pavements- often they are a hindrance to walking because of trip hazards – broken paving stones, mounds caused by tree roots, cars parked on them. Many people are put off walking because of the danger of falling.
    This applies throughout our towns & villages as far as I can see.
    Reduce spending on roads which encourages car use.

  • I would cycle into and around Town a lot more if:
    1. Protected cycle routes in/out of Town were identified (not cycle lanes that people just park in which are a total waste of time and money)
    2. Secure cycle parks were available (e.g. see the ‘bike hangars’ being developed in London, see Tfl website)
    3. Publish safe cycling route maps on the Kirklees website

  • Please look into extending the Meltham Greenway through to nether moor road in Netherton. There is a really high level of local support and several people willing to chip in and help in anyway they can. It would be amazing for the area

  • I would like to see the Greenway extended from Meltham to Netherton and beyond if possible. Once at the end of the Greenway cyclists and walkers have to continue on a busy road. This road has no street lights so makes walking and running on the pavement dangerous and also dangerous for cyclists and horse riders using the road. The extended greenway would be a much safer, healthier, greener option for all users.

  • We have problems getting out of our village, due to overhanging branches, mud, water, debris, weed growth, broken tarmac/flags etc. Have to walk on road which is dangerous ! (Been complaining to Council for past 10 years now (approx) !)

  • Jules Vickerman

    Safe cycling and walking routes cut emissions, improve health and alleviate public transport at a time of social difficulty. These need to be accessible for everyone, with more people out walking I’ve noticed how difficult some field styles are to negotiate for some people to the point of exclusion. A healthier population benefits us all and improves mental wellbeing.

  • The closure of Firth Street does not seem to have been thought through fully. What about the traffic which comes from St Andrews Road and goes straight across to Firth Street? At the moment you cannot turn right at the junction to get on to Wakefield Road and up on to the ring road, if you could,this will create more traffic on the ring road and cause more congestion on Chapel Hill for traffic travelling in the direction of Holmfirth and Meltham. As it stands Traffic will have turn left on to Wakefield Road then right onto Somerset Road to enable them to turn right onto Maple Street then right on to Kings Mill Lane then right onto Newsome Road/Colne Road, this too will also cause more congestion to already congested roads.

    Will the University Car Parks on Firth Street be closed and what about the businesses which operate along the road?

    The road does not connect any other cycle lanes and the only purpose I can see for this suggestion is for the University Students who do not seem to be able to use the pedestrian crossing, numerous ones, already in place down the street.

    Better safer routes into the town centre are needed before we make some of the changes planned. More secure cycle storage is also needed, I would love to come into town on my bike but at the moment don’t feel safe riding on the main roads or leaving my bike for someone to take.

  • Anthony Monaghan

    The bulk of comments are all about the feeder routes into the town centre which are putting cyclists off for safety reasons, I agree with these. The same could be said for foot ways which are poorly maintained and often blocked by pavement parking, appalling for anyone elderly or disabled. Providing infrastructure is part of the solution but the Council also needs to work with motorists and the police to educate drivers and provide an overall safer environment, in our towns and villages. Enforcing traffic rules if necessary. I’ll also add my voice to the need to finish the Meltham Greenway, it’s frightening on Huddersfield Road. CPO the land if necessary.
    I will add to the active map but please take the above comments from everyone into consideration, there is a strong ground swell of opinion from pedestrians and cyclists that things need to change now.

    • Hi Anthony, thank you for your feedback, we appreciate everybody’s feedback on this matter and will take everything to consideration. ^CP

  • Anthony McGrath

    This would be amazing for Netherton!

    It is currently a drive through village for those going to Meltham but as a walking and cycling stop and with the opening up of a very old Tunnel it could really transform the place for
    The better.

    I would love to see this happen!

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