Just go slow, you cyclists!

Cyclists on the Rochdale Canal aquaduct over the River Calder at Hebden Bridge.
Cyclists on the Rochdale Canal aquaduct over the River Calder at Hebden Bridge.
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A controversial plan to put railings on a 200-year-old wall has been thrown out by a planning committee.

Experts had recommended 50 yards of metal fencing along a stretch of the Rochdale Canal towpath at Blackpit Lock, Hebden Bridge, to stop cyclists falling 20ft into the River Calder below.

They also suggested resurfacing the towpath to make it safer for cyclists. Although the committee agreed to resurfacing, they said the railings should be abandoned.

A written report had warned the committee that not fitting a railing because of the heritage status of the parapet could not be defended in court.

Anne Holdsworth, Calderdale Council’s environmental projects officer, told the committee a threefold increase in the number of cyclists meant the risk of someone toppling over the wall had increased.

But the committee rejected the suggestions, saying cyclists would be travelling slowly at that point and railings would be detrimental to its appearance.

Councillor Martin Peel said: “Health and safety have gone overboard on this.”

Councillor David Hardy agreed, saying: “It’s Big Brother telling us what to do again.” The committee suggested the new towpath be lowered slightly to give the wall more chance of protecting cyclists.

Do you agree with their decision? E-mail yoursay@halifaxcourier.uk