We want to hear from local people who live near or use the Calder Valley Greenway at Mirfield in Kirklees. We're looking at alternatives to the current route along the busy Huddersfield Road and Station Road, and want local peoples’ views.
Sustrans usually works directly with community groups, running events and activities to gather views.
But due to restrictions during the Covid-19 outbreak, we've launched our first online-only consultation, thanks to funding from the Department for Transport.
About the greenway
The mainly traffic-free Calder Valley Greenway runs through the river valley between Dewsbury and Todmorden (with a Huddersfield link).
It's part of National Route 66 on the National Cycle Network.
It currently includes over a mile along the heavily trafficked Huddersfield Road and also Station Road - Woodend Road between the existing traffic-free sections.
When the route was first developed along the old Spen Valley Line in 2003, it was originally designed to continue under Huddersfield Road via a disused railway tunnel.
This idea was abandoned and the traffic-free path now stops at the end of Church Road and restarts again at the end of Woodend Road.
Making the route safer for everyone
Most of the route is good quality and suitable for young families to walk or cycle, people with disabilities, or anyone who is less confident on a bike.
Yet the on-road section at Mirfield was categorised as ‘Very Poor’ in our Paths for Everyone review of the National Cycle Network in 2018.
The route at Mirfield is one of the charity’s nine priority projects for the Network in the North of England.
The improved section would allow more people to travel by foot or bike to workplaces in Dewsbury or Huddersfield, as well as an uninterrupted path for weekend walking and cycling.
Local Sustrans volunteer, Bob Fisher said:
“I have cycled the Calder Valley Greenway many hundreds of times.
"Most of the route is a delight but only experienced riders would attempt the section at Mirfield.
"This certainly needs some work, as it meets the A644, which is incredibly busy with heavy traffic from the M62 to the M1, and is frankly, very dangerous".
We want to change this on-road section at Mirfield to make the Calder Valley Greenway safer for everyone using it.
One of the best routes in Yorkshire
The Sustrans team has assessed a range of possible alternative alignments including the towpath of the Calder & Hebble Navigation and various quieter roads, in addition to the original proposal.
Rupert Douglas, Our Yorkshire Network Development Manager said:
“The Calder Valley Greenway is one of our best routes for walking and cycling in Yorkshire but the busy on-road section at Mirfield puts many people off using it.
"Our vision is to create paths for everyone to enjoy, whatever their age or ability.
"This means safer routes wherever possible separated from traffic.
“Our recommendation at this stage is to adapt the original proposal which continued via the disused railway line under Huddersfield Road.
"We are also indicating three other options which we have considered to show how we’ve come to this conclusion."
Tell us what you think in our first online-only consultation
Rupert Douglas continues:
"We’d really appreciate all comments on the proposal so that we can make sure we’re addressing as many needs and concerns as possible.
"It's important for us to have a sound basis for seeking the funding that will be needed to further develop the scheme with landowners and Kirklees Council, and deliver the route on the ground.
“We would like to hear from anyone in the local area who uses the Greenway or would like to use it in future.
"Due to COVID-19, we are restricted to an online consultation. Please share this to anyone you think might be interested in taking part.”