A cycling group has called for a “rethink” of Kirklees’ roads policy.
Kirklees Cycling Campaign (KCC) has called for fewer cars and more bikes.
KCC says it’s not “anti-car” but has called for politicians to get behind plans to reduce the numbers of vehicles on Kirklees’ roads.
Following a meeting with Clr Peter McBride and Clr Mus Khan, KCC chairman John Lewis has written an open letter to air the group’s issues with council policy.
It says: “We understand your view that our roads are already very crowded and that congestion can result in significant economic costs to the local economy.
“Where we differ is the solution to the problem.
“Your solution is to improve traffic flow, by measures such as road widening and improving junctions, so that the roads can accommodate a greater capacity of vehicles.
“We acknowledge that this can sometimes alleviate a problem, but often this solution produces further problems by encouraging more traffic on the highways and causing additional congestion elsewhere along the route.
“Our solution is to find ways of reducing the number of vehicles using the road network, or at least to prevent any further growth in motor traffic.
“Put simply, constructing more road space often encourages more traffic to use it.”
KCC says measures to deter traffic, such as congestion charging, should be considered.
The letter continues: “We are not anti-car; most of the members of Kirklees Cycling Campaign are car owners and users.
“But given that thousands of journeys made in the car are three miles or less we know that the bicycle can play a big part in us using our cars less than we do at the present time.
“For thousands of short journeys a bike is easier, quicker, more reliable, cheaper, healthier and more environmentally friendly.
“Despite these advantages it is no secret why cycling is not – at the present time – a common means of transport.
“There is a general perception that it is dangerous.
“A network of roads that are seen as safe and easy for cyclists to use are expensive to build and will take many years to accomplish.
“Your political will and courage is needed for the process to start.”
Clr Khan said she and Clr McBride were looking in to the issues raised by KCC.
Kirklees Council has recently constructed new cycle lanes in Huddersfield town centre – including on Ramsden Street by the town hall.
Critics quickly condemned the 50m long lane as a waste of money.