Campaigners have stepped up their fight against plans to make a Lindley street one-way as part of a scheme to tackle congestion and boost cycling.
Public consultation ends on Tuesday November 23 into a series of road changes as part of a scheme to ease congestion on the A629 Halifax Road between Huddersfield and Halifax.
Phase 4 of the scheme involves taking cyclists through Lindley and proposals include turning Occupation Road into a one-way street, which has proved unpopular with local people.
Dr David Heathcote, of Lindley, took the fight to the heart of Kirklees Council when he raised questions at last week’s full council meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall.
Dr Heathcote asked: “Who was consulted on the proposal to develop the active travel route that will convert Occupation Road in Lindley to a one-way system, and what other options were considered?”
Reading from a prepared statement, Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet member for regeneration, responded: “The public consultation for the A629 Phase 4 is currently in progress. It started on the 26th of October and it will be completed on November 23rd. Prior to this flyers were sent to 160,000 households across the consultation area, posters having been displayed widely.
“An alternative route via Thornhill Road and Acre Street was considered but rejected because it couldn’t provide adequate cycling opportunities and Acre Street is the route that ambulances take to A&E.
“Thus it was considered Occupation Road a better route for cyclists and reducing potential conflicts with ambulances.
“There will be further targeted information near Occupation Road such as face-to-face online workshops.
“Highways have taken consideration of the views of councillors, environmental bodies, emergency services, landowners, business residents and cycling groups. In short, every effort I think has been made to engage.”
In a follow-up question, Dr Heathcote said: “We surveyed residents around Occupation Road and, when asked if they wanted the one-way system, a stonking 86% objected.
“And 92% haven’t completed the consultation because they were not aware of it. So I think the council hasn’t got the mood of local residents right. I would ask whether the Cabinet would work with residents rather than do to them.”
Clr McBride said the council had “taken steps in order to involve the public and is continuing to do so” and all views would be taken into consideration.
After the meeting Dr Heathcote said he didn’t believe the council was following Government guidelines to encourage so-called “active travel” as very few cyclists use Occupation Road.
He added: “Active travel is vital to our health, environment and economy and we have to get it right.”
The consultation runs until midnight on Tuesday November 23 and can be found at Section D: https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/a629-halifax-hudds