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Letter: More priority for cyclists in roads spending

More priority for cyclists in roads spending
More priority for cyclists in roads spending

Last week’s announcement about extra funding for dealing with potholes across Calderdale’s road network is, indeed, welcomed by the cycling community, despite being ‘too little, too late’, to quote Cycling UK.

Our cash strapped council faces a backlog of essential road repairs and maintenance work and insufficient funding to bring all our roads up to an acceptable standard for vehicles and cyclists.

However, I would like to congratulate Calderdale Council on the excellent job they have made of re-surfacing the A646 between Mytholmoryd and Luddenden Foot over the past two weeks.

As a cyclist (and Cycling UK member), I have reported the dangerous condition of the road surface approaching Brearley bends from Mytholmroyd, only to be told it is ‘not bad enough to be a priority’ (I interpreted this as it not being bad enough for car drivers to justify spending money on improving safety for cyclists).

Whilst I was delighted to learn that the whole stretch would be re-surfaced, I was disappointed to hear that the reason for this had little to do with the route being used for the forthcoming Tour de Yorkshire.

Whilst bringing the TdY to Calderdale again is fantastic news for cycling fans, and the area as a whole, surely we can’t wait for an international cycle race to come to the area again to justify making our roads safe for local cyclists.

We need good quality road surfaces thoughout the district, particularly where high volumes of traffic leave little room for manouvre for cyclists.

All too often cyclists are forced to swerve around potholes and cracks in the road, endangering themselves and car drivers alike.

Now that we have a Calderdale Cycling Strategy in place, let’s see more priority being given to cyclists in road maintenance spending decisions, as well as alternative ‘traffic free’ routes.