A Kirklees councillor and keen cyclist is urging Kirklees Council to do more to protect cyclists using a busy road linking Huddersfield and the Holme Valley.
Mirfield councillor Martyn Bolt said the A616 Woodhead Road attracted cyclists keen to follow in the wheel tracks of the elite riders who rode the same route during the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart.
But he said cyclists heading back towards Huddersfield had to negotiate a “notorious pinch point” between Berry Brow and Honley where a series of four central traffic islands narrowed the road and created insufficient room for vehicles to safely pass cyclists.
Clr Bolt has delivered an open letter to senior officers from Kirklees Council and West Yorkshire Police inviting them to join him on a “reconnaissance” mission – by cycling through the stretch of road at peak period “so you can appreciate for yourself and your organisation the severity of the issue.”
And he criticised Kirklees highways for failing to install temporary road safety notices which could help motorists and cyclists.
Clr Bolt said the Department for Transport (DfT) had produced designs to warn motorists and inform cyclists of the safest position they should take on narrow roads. The advice was for cyclists to take up a more prominent position on narrow roads by moving towards the centre of the carriageway.
Clr Bolt said he had repeatedly urged Kirklees highways to site plastic safety notices using the design, but had been told they could not be installed – even though there were similar notices directed at motorcyclists at Snake Pass in Derbyshire.
Instead, Kirklees highways had reduced the length of the cycle lane at one point and painted the image of a bicycle on the road surface in the middle of the carriageway.
He said Kirklees showed no enthusiasm for his proposal, adding: “It is sad that there was £6.5m available in West Yorkshire for measures to reduce cyclist injuries on the roads and Kirklees did not bid for any of that money.”
Clr Bolt said encouraging more people to cycle would help cut air pollution and congestion, adding: “Councils across West Yorkshire seek to reduce the number of cars on their roads and encourage cycling, yet here is an issue for which I have had to repeatedly contact Kirklees to chase progress for which they could have taken swift and inexpensive action, whilst planning longer term solutions.”