Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Leeds & Liverpool Canal engagement

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Background

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme is delivering improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure and routes across the region.

Working in partnership with councils across West Yorkshire and York, we are aiming to improve and encourage more people to make more everyday journeys by bike or on foot.

Improvements to the canal towpath network

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has been working in partnership with Canal & River Trust, as well as our partner councils, to invest in and improve the canal towpath network across West Yorkshire to enable more journeys on foot and by bike and make it more accessible for wheelchair users.

The next phase of this programme of improvements will aim to improve areas of the towpath network along both the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. We are now seeking your views on these proposals to allow these plans to be taken to the next stage.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath improvements - map available here or in documents section

The proposed improvements in Kirklees will focus on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal from Milnsbridge to Slaithwaite. These proposals include:

  • Improving the towpath surface to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, and make it more accessible for people with mobility difficulties or people who use mobility aids to access for the route
  • Reducing the steepness of slopes alongside locks and relaying cobbled areas to make smoother surfaces where possible, improving the accessibility of the towpath and making active journeys easier
  • Widening the towpath, where possible, while also keeping grass verges and native plants and trees to support wildlife
  • Putting in new signs and removing any unnecessary access barriers

Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath improvements - map available here or in documents section

  • Apperley Bridge to Shipley
  • Silsden to the West Yorkshire border

The proposed improvements in Bradford will focus on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and on two distinct areas; between Apperley Bridge to Shipley and from Silsden towards Kildwick, but ending at the West Yorkshire border.

These proposals include:

  • Improving the towpath surface to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, and make it more accessible for people with mobility difficulties or people who use mobility aids to access for the route
  • Widening the towpath, where possible, while also keeping grass verges and native plants and trees to support wildlife
  • Putting in new signs and removing any unnecessary access barriers

The overall budget for the package of schemes being proposed is £1.86 million. This includes £500k from the Getting Building Fund, to support the proposed schemes within Bradford, which was recently secured by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, as part of a successful £52.6 million bid to government.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and partners are looking to secure the remaining funding for this scheme from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal — a £1 billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs.

Public Engagement

Between 23 November 2020 and 03 January 2021 we held a period of public engagement to gather the views of local residents and businesses.

The feedback we received during this period has now being analysed and the outcome reports are available in the 'Documents' section/

Contact us:

If you wish to contact us regarding this scheme you can do so using the following methods.

Via email: cityconnect@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

Via phone: 0113 251 7366

Via post: Freepost CONSULTATION TEAM (WYCA)*

*Please note that, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of our staff are working from home and therefore there will be significant delays in receiving any postal contributions. If you can, please contact us using another method to ensure a quick response.

For more information about the project visit: cyclecityconnect.co.uk

Follow us on:

@CityConnect1
CycleCityConnect
@CycleConnect1






Background

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme is delivering improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure and routes across the region.

Working in partnership with councils across West Yorkshire and York, we are aiming to improve and encourage more people to make more everyday journeys by bike or on foot.

Improvements to the canal towpath network

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has been working in partnership with Canal & River Trust, as well as our partner councils, to invest in and improve the canal towpath network across West Yorkshire to enable more journeys on foot and by bike and make it more accessible for wheelchair users.

The next phase of this programme of improvements will aim to improve areas of the towpath network along both the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. We are now seeking your views on these proposals to allow these plans to be taken to the next stage.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath improvements - map available here or in documents section

The proposed improvements in Kirklees will focus on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal from Milnsbridge to Slaithwaite. These proposals include:

  • Improving the towpath surface to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, and make it more accessible for people with mobility difficulties or people who use mobility aids to access for the route
  • Reducing the steepness of slopes alongside locks and relaying cobbled areas to make smoother surfaces where possible, improving the accessibility of the towpath and making active journeys easier
  • Widening the towpath, where possible, while also keeping grass verges and native plants and trees to support wildlife
  • Putting in new signs and removing any unnecessary access barriers

Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath improvements - map available here or in documents section

  • Apperley Bridge to Shipley
  • Silsden to the West Yorkshire border

The proposed improvements in Bradford will focus on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and on two distinct areas; between Apperley Bridge to Shipley and from Silsden towards Kildwick, but ending at the West Yorkshire border.

These proposals include:

  • Improving the towpath surface to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, and make it more accessible for people with mobility difficulties or people who use mobility aids to access for the route
  • Widening the towpath, where possible, while also keeping grass verges and native plants and trees to support wildlife
  • Putting in new signs and removing any unnecessary access barriers

The overall budget for the package of schemes being proposed is £1.86 million. This includes £500k from the Getting Building Fund, to support the proposed schemes within Bradford, which was recently secured by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, as part of a successful £52.6 million bid to government.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and partners are looking to secure the remaining funding for this scheme from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal — a £1 billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs.

Public Engagement

Between 23 November 2020 and 03 January 2021 we held a period of public engagement to gather the views of local residents and businesses.

The feedback we received during this period has now being analysed and the outcome reports are available in the 'Documents' section/

Contact us:

If you wish to contact us regarding this scheme you can do so using the following methods.

Via email: cityconnect@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

Via phone: 0113 251 7366

Via post: Freepost CONSULTATION TEAM (WYCA)*

*Please note that, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of our staff are working from home and therefore there will be significant delays in receiving any postal contributions. If you can, please contact us using another method to ensure a quick response.

For more information about the project visit: cyclecityconnect.co.uk

Follow us on:

@CityConnect1
CycleCityConnect
@CycleConnect1


Q & A

Please ask any questions related to the project in this section. 

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  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What plans are there to separate pedestrians from cyclists? What plans are there in the design of the towpath to make it difficult for cyclists to travel quickly and this pose more danger to cyclists than at present?

    Paulhere asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, governing the usage of cycles along the waterways is a difficult task. It would be very difficult to separate pedestrians from cyclist on the towpath due to the limited space available. Any physical measures targeted at cyclists would also be highly impractical to implement. Measures which impede cyclists would also largely prevent access for wheelchairs, mobility aids and pushchairs. It is essential to find the right balance between providing a safe environment at the same time as providing a facility accessible for all in society to benefit from.

    Most visitors are considerate and slow down when approaching others. Sadly, however, there is a minority of people (some of which are on bikes) who need reminding to Drop the Pace. Towpaths are for everyone so it’s important that we are all considerate of our speed, regardless of how we travel. We do have information available on our website about the type of behaviour we expect from visitors to our property here is a link to our website regarding the campaign https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/our-towpath-code. We don’t specify speed limits on the towpath. We ask that everyone uses common sense, with primary consideration for pedestrians and those handling boats, as they are often the most vulnerable. At busy times anyone in a hurry should use an alternative route

    In recent months we have also launched our Stay Kind Slow Down campaign, which is aimed at those who speed on our towpaths. As part of this we are testing the impact of various towpath interventions, including use of counters and speed monitoring units to differentiate movements, footfall numbers and activities. We are also trailing use of new signage in certain areas. 

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    I am a 69 year-old man who uses towpaths. There is not a walk on a canal in which the rhythm and enjoyment of the walk is not determined adversely by the need to step off the track to let cyclists pass. Signage and enforcement of consideration would help. What are the plans?

    SimonJohn asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, governing the usage of cycles along the waterways is a difficult task, due to the open access at frequent points throughout the area. If people do encounter any kind of incident, accident or near miss then we would encourage them to complete a visitor incident report form. Using this form helps us to log incidents on our system and prioritise any required health & safety related works. Where recurring issues are present, we use this information to implement changes or, where appropriate, obtain assistance from the local authorities or third-party partnerships. Please follow this link to view the form: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/refresh/media/thumbnail/34316-visitor-incident-reporting-form.pdf

    Most visitors are considerate and slow down when approaching others. Sadly, however, there are a minority of people (including some people on bikes) who need reminding to Drop the Pace. Towpaths are for everyone so it’s important that we are all considerate of our speed, regardless of how we travel. We do have information available on our website about the type of behaviour we expect from visitors to our property; here is a link to our website regarding the campaign https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/our-towpath-code

    We don’t specify speed limits on the towpath. We ask that everyone uses common sense, with primary consideration for pedestrians and those handling boats, as they are often the most vulnerable. At busy times anyone in a hurry should use an alternative route.

    In recent months we have also launched our Stay Kind Slow Down campaign, which is aimed at those who speed on our towpaths. As part of this we are testing the impact of various towpath interventions, including use of counters and speed monitoring units to differentiate movements, footfall numbers and activities. We are also trailing use of new signage in certain areas. 

    We appreciate that there are those whose behaviour is not appropriate for the towpaths, whether it be through inexperience or general disregard for others. Sadly, we cannot ensure that all who use the waterway paths with bikes read the guidance available or indeed demonstrate due care and consideration for others. Should our local bank staff witness poor behaviour, they will act accordingly. However, we do not have the resources to dedicate staff to monitor usage nor do we have the enforcement powers to forcibly eject users from our property or issue penalty notices. 

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    I object to cyclists being allowed to ride on such a narrow path alongside pedestrians. I already use the towpath regularly between Skipton and Saltaire and nearly always encounter anti-social riders who furiously cycle and expect pedestrians to get out of their way when legally pedestrians have priority. I have over the past decade or so been caught several times by cyclists speeding past and once had a collision where the perpetrator then got back on her bike and went off rather than staying for the police to arrive. I have also had a dog injured by a cyclist on the towpath. The more people walk on there, the more this kind of dangerous behviour is encountered. Just as it is illegal for cyclists to ride on pavements and footbridges because of the danger to pedestrians, so too should cyclists be banned on here. I therefore object to any work that would make it easier for them to ride or ride faster and I would ask that legal orders are put in place to ban cyclists from the towpath with fixed penalties for those who break this.

    Jonathan2708 asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback. Your comments will be considered as part of the engagement analysis and shared with the project manager.

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    How do I complete the survey? The link just takes me back to the begin of the article.

    Piers L asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your query. The survey can be found at the bottom of the dedicated webpage here: https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/canals

    Alternatively you can access it directly at this link: https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/canals/survey_tools/canals-survey.

    Please let us know if you are struggling to access any of the links.

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    What is the difference between "Partial construction" and "Full construction" on the plans?

    Andrew Dunlop asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your query. Partial construction takes place if the existing ground is firm enough, or the existing towpath sub base is in good enough condition, that a full, new sub base isn’t needed. The plans state that full construction is assumed unless the above conditions apply.

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    The Silsden to West Yorkshire Boundary section improvements would mean that a single 1km stretch would remain in a poor condition. Will monies be made available from the wider Leeds City region budget to ensure that the whole section through to Kildwick is completed, If not, what measures and others funding streams are being explored allow the full section between Silsden and Kildwick to be completed at the same time,

    David Loud asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your query. 

    The funding that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) have secured for the towpath improvements can only be used in West Yorkshire, however both WYCA and the Canal & River Trust are keen to see the full section from Silsden to Kildwick improved.

    The Canal & River Trust are working with partners such as Craven District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Sustrans to try and secure funding for the North Yorkshire section of this towpath on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Our aim would be to improve the full stretch of towpath between Silsden and Kildwick in one go if this additional funding can be secured in time.

Page last updated: 02 August 2021, 13:38