Calderdale aims to become more cycle-friendly

It will soon be the centre of attention for the cycling world as part of the route for the upcoming Tour de Yorkshire.

Friday, 31st March 2017, 8:16 am
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:30 pm
Calderdale is home to the longest continuous incline in England, which will be a feature of the Yorkshire Grand Depart stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France on July 6th. 18 April 2014. Picture Bruce Rollinson The sign is just outside Mytholmroyd on the B6138. The road takes you south up Cragg Vale out of Mytholmroyd, east of Hebden Bridge, and offers a long and well-graded climb up onto the wilds of Blackstone Edge. The first few kilometres climb through wooded villages before the road finally emerges out onto open moorland. The last 4 km keep climbing relentlessly until the summit is finally reached at Blackstone Edge Reservoir. As well as being a popular cycling challenge, the climb is home to a well contested Hill Climb Time Trial. Run by Yorkshire Velo, the time trial runs at the end of the season, and usually attracts a big turnout. The route has a total ascent of 272 metres over the course distance of 8 km with an average gradient of 3.4%.

And council leaders in Calderdale now hope to make cycling easier for residents by introducing a cycling strategy, to be discussed by councillors next week.

The Calderdale Cycling Strategy aims to encourage cycling as a way of travelling around the borough, by improving existing cycle routes, integrating networks on and off-road and creating more cycle-friendly district centres that people can access on foot.

If approved, the strategy would also help develop existing and new routes to improve cycling connectivity through the Calder Valley.

A proposed Calderdale Cycle Network includes ‘hubs’ in the borough’s main towns and ‘spokes’ linking these areas to key attractions and cycleways.

Links would also be created to other towns and cities near Calderdale, improving opportunities to use cycling as a viable means of commuting.

Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth/Mixenden), said: “We know that Calderdale’s beautiful countryside lends itself to cycling for sport or leisure, but some of the challenging terrain and lack of infrastructure means that fewer people cycle as a means of transport.

“This new Calderdale Cycling Strategy would look to address this imbalance, gradually improving our cycling routes and how they link up. Endorsing the strategy would not only be an essential part of our Active Calderdale mission, helping us become more active however we choose, it would also help us achieve better outcomes for air quality, reduced congestion and improved road safety.”

The Strategy will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday at Halifax Town Hall from 6pm.