Action plan to promote and get more people cycling in Calderdale

Calderdale Council is encouraging people to get on their bikes
Calderdale Council is encouraging people to get on their bikes

Measures to promote cycling in Calderdale ranging from bike lockers to delivering cycleways were discussed when an action plan was reviewed.

Bringing health and air quality benefits, Calderdale Council is working to promote cycling and a number of key transport schemes currently being developed or under way have a cycling element.

Transport Planner Tom Jones told the council’s Cabinet Transport Working Party that an action plan had been formulated earlier but the intention now was to bring it back to the working party on an annual basis so it could be reviewed.

“The key issues discussed in there could potentially be referred to the Cabinet,” he said.

This autumn’s update sets out nine objectives, three each for people, places and activity, with an “issue” and “opportunity” analysed for each.

Priorities include funding, cycle security and safety, training for children and adults, developing wayfinding routes, ensuring cycling infrastructure is integrated into main routes, cycle trails and Halifax town centre and supporting cycling organisations.

Individual items raised included the campaign to re-open the former rail tunnel at Queensbury, potentially a cycle route, and progress towards “close pass” policing, where drivers could be pulled up if they do not allow a safe 1.5 metre space when passing a cyclist.

Graham Joyce of Calderdale Cyclists’ Touring Club said issues discussed at a recent cycle forum in the borough included problems with parking for cycles, for example removal of lockers in Hebden Bridge and “long-shot” options for Queensbury Tunnel.

Chairing the forum, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said Queensbury Tunnel presented engineering and financial challenges but preparation should be made for opportunities.

Mr Jones said the problems with bike lockers – there had been thefts from some in Calderdale – needed addressing,

Coun Scullion said many cities had something similar to the “left luggage” system for cycles.

Coun Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) asked if anything could be done about parked cars blocking cycle lanes but Mr Jones said where markings showed a broken white line there was no legal jurisdiction, otherwise it was important to have enforcement.

In terms of where cyclists could improve, the issue of a minority of riders fluctuating between the road and pavements, where pedestrians could be at risk, was a concern, said Coun Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf).

And Nina Smith of Upper Calder Valley Renaissance’s Sustainable Transport Group asked if cycling groups could remind their members that 20 miles per hour speed limit zones applied to them.