Over recent years Calderdale CTC has become more active in campaigning for better provision for safe cycling across the district. Essentially, this means improved infrastructure, reduced speed limits on some roads, safer road junctions, driver awareness and cycle training. We work with Calderdale Council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, West Yorkshire Police and others to achieve our aim of getting more people cycling and doing so safely. Apart from the camaraderie of club cycling, people are becoming more aware of the health and environmental benefits of cycling as a means of exercise and transport… hence the term ‘active travel’ (walking and cycling).We undertake this work in conjunction with our national body, Cycling UK, who work with national Government and others to further the interests of all cyclists.

Things took a big step forward in Calderdale when our Council agreed to develop a Cycle Strategy, which was approved in 2016, together with an Action Plan. A new Cycle Forum was established to oversee the implementation of the Action Plan, bringing together the Council (officers and elected members) and the local cycling community. Both the Chair (Greg Elwell) and the Vice Chair (Graham Joyce) are CUK/Calderdale CTC members with the Forum meeting every few months, supported by Council officers .  Greg  represents  the Forum on a new West Yorkshire Active Travel Advisory Group, which will oversee future walking and cycling projects and funding streams.

The Cycle Forum is open to all cyclists to attend and contribute to the discussion (currently via Zoom). However, if any CTC member wishes to get more involved and help shape the future agenda, this would be most welcome. Cycling UK have developed a network of ‘Cycle Advocacy Network’ to fulfill  this role and provide a point of contact with our national body. For more information see: Campaign News | Cycling UK .

Locally, the current focus is on some of the infrastructure priorities in the Cycle Strategy. Over the last year or so, consultations have taken place on designs for some major road projects, including: A58 and A646 Corridor Improvements, A629 Halifax to Huddersfield and  Town Centre cycle routes. We have also contributed to new route designs for Halifax to Illingworth and Bradley to Brighouse.

Over the next couple of years we should see these projects move from design stage to implementation. With meaningful input from cyclists we should see significant improvements for cyclists on some key routes in the future. But that is only a start and a lot more work needs to be done to make Calderdale a safe and attractive place for cycling. Get in touch with us for more information or how to get involved with the Cycle Forum and our campaigning work.

Graham Joyce (Vice Chair, Calderdale Cycle Forum)