Cycling network for Wakefield

Wakefield Council's new cycle strategy
Wakefield Council's new cycle strategy

A CYCLE network has been planned for the city to encourage people to get on their bikes and ease congestion.

A new network of cycle lanes, using existing bus lanes, lightly-used roads and brand new off-road routes, could be created to make it safer and easier for people to cycle to work and school.

A report to be considered by a Wakefield Council overview and scrutiny committee on Wednesday said there was a “great opportunity” to use waterway tow paths as cycle routes.

And it said all new road proposals and planning applications should give full consideration to the needs of cyclists before being approved.

David Keighley, vice-chairman of Wakefield District Cycle Forum which was consulted over the report, said: “We’re impressed with this. It’s definitely a good idea and there is a lot of opportunity for this in Wakefield.

“But we just hope it progresses. We’ve been pushing for it for a long time now.”

The council report said advanced stop lines, bus and cycle lanes, and speed control measures would be built into the road network to keep cyclists safe.

Bike parking facilities would also be provided at shopping centres, bus and train stations, and major attractions.

The report said: “Many people are put off cycling because of the perceived and real dangers from other traffic. And many are deterred from riding a bike through fear of having their bikes stolen.”

The report said it was hoped the new cycling policy would be adopted by October this year.

A two-year action plan could then begin, including the development of new routes, working in partnership with British Waterways, compiling a route map and identifying accident ‘black spots’.

The strategy, which is part of a wider transport plan for 2011 to 2026 approved by the council’s cabinet committee last month, aims to double the amount of people cycling to work by 2026.

It also hopes to get more children cycling to school.