Cyclists are being snubbed by Kirklees Council, it is claimed.
The council has come in for stinging criticism from the Kirklees Cycling Campaign (KCC) for failing to meet with the group over plans to make roads around the district safer for cyclists.
The criticism comes amid a cycling boom – inspired by the likes of the Tour de France Grand Depart and the Tour de Yorkshire which both came to Kirklees.
In its May newsletter, the KCC said: “At the moment, we have a highways department that shows no signs of wanting to engage with us on developing a long-term cycling strategy and politicians who have given no commitment to increase the proportion of cycling expenditure from the local transport fund.”
The KCC said that on April 1, it had asked for a meeting with highways officers which it hoped would mark the start developing a comprehensive Cycling Network plan in Kirklees – which the Department for Transport will soon require from every local authority.
But the KCC said it had received no invitation from Highways to meet, suggesting they did not want to work with KCC. It said: “This is a particularly depressing state of affairs. Kirklees Council seem to be content with the status quo and feel no need to improve local roads and encourage more people to cycle.
“Whilst sports and weekend leisure cycling has grown substantially in recent years and many local clubs have large active memberships, Kirklees remains at the very bottom of the national league for numbers of people using a bike for everyday use.
“Without a significant input of vision and finance from the council, roads will continue to get more dangerous for all cyclists, local people will continue to use their cars for the very shortest of journeys and children will reach adulthood without the skills needed to be able to independently ride a bike on the road.”
KCC said Kirklees had also failed to respond to safety concerns about the council’s provision of a shared pavement for cyclists and pedestrians on Colne Road in Huddersfield – claiming there were insufficient sightlines for cyclists travelling at 10mph.
A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “The council are more than happy to engage with representatives of the Kirklees Cycling Campaign around the cycling infrastructure in Huddersfield and issues they wish to raise.
“We have previously discussed arranging a meeting but this has unfortunately been delayed. We would like to apologise for the delay and will get in touch to arrange a meeting to take place within the next couple of weeks.”