Bid to get people on their bikes

Legacy: The plan hopes to build on the success of the Tour de Yorkshire.
Legacy: The plan hopes to build on the success of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Brighouse has been identified as a pilot area for improving Calderdale’s walking and cycling infrastructure to build on the legacy of the Tour de France.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Working Party heard transport planner Tom Jones outline two schemes to push the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Programme forward.

The project aims to build on the success of the Tour de France Grand Depart which energised Calderdale and with subsequent years – including 2019 – seeing the borough involved in the Tour de Yorkshire, also the recently introduced Calderdale Cycling Strategy and West Yorkshire Combined Authority goals, whether these affected arterial routes or more local journeys.

The council has also adopted policies aimed at improving health, including tackling air quality and developing walking and cycling routes to encourage people out of their cars.

Mr Jones said in terms of cycling Brighouse had been chosen for its population density, being Calderdale’s second centre after Halifax, and taking into account journeys people are currently making.

He said: “There is a lot of potential for development in the Brighouse part of the world.

“It is important from a cycling perspective, that those journeys are protected as we move forward with housing and major transport schemes.”

In terms of walking, the initial focus will be on Park ward in Halifax, chosen because of its proximity to the town centre and its population density, meaning there is likelihood of demand there.

The ward is on the edge of a major investment area – the town centre – but screened off and separated by the A58/Burdock Way major route for vehicles into Halifax. In terms of the whole Calderdale district, key journeys are being mapped.

Community involvement in developing the schemes is critical, said Mr Jones.

Consultants are now starting to produce reports.

Working party chairman Coun Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) said that speaking about the issue at the last Brighouse Town Board meeting it was said it is an amazing chance to use local knowledge to develop a local cycling scheme.

He said: “The ambition is eventually to move into other areas – the funding didn’t extend as far as that.”