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Council slammed for sending cyclists onto busy roads during bridge repairs

Kirklees Council criticised for 'unsafe' diversion for cyclists and greenway users...

Cyclists in Kirklees have complained that they are being “pushed onto busy roads” by a roadworks diversion.

Kirklees Council is directing cyclists and other Huddersfield to Mirfield Calder Valley Greenway users onto sections of the A62 and A644 and around the “unsafe” bottleneck Cooper Bridge roundabout for 15 weeks while it carries out bridge repairs.

Cyclist and councillor Martyn Bolt has complained, telling the Examiner: “The whole diversion plan is a mess because cyclists are going to be pushed onto busy roads.

“To make cyclists have to travel down the A62 and A644 is just a sign of a lack of proper thought going into the diversion decision because it’s going to put off nervous cyclists.

“The Cooper Bridge roundabout is so bad that even our champion cyclist Brian Robinson, who used to meet with friends at the Three Nuns pub, doesn’t start out from there any more because it’s unsafe.

“What’s more, there still aren’t any signs to let users know about the closure and diversion.

“I proposed months ago that they talk with a landowner to use a 50ft diversion route near the bridge in Dalton Bank Road,” he said. “It needs some work but it could have been done in plenty of time.”

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “Officers have visited the site and have agreed with Clr Bolt that they will sweep the footway, cut back some vegetation and make sure the diversion is safe for cyclists.

“Other diversion routes were considered but as they would involve crossing steep private land they were considered unsuitable.

“While there is an official diversion route, we recognise that cyclists and other greenway uses may choose other routes including the canal tow path to avoid this section.”

Back in 2010 we reported how Kirklees Council officials were left red-faced after 7,000 copies of a leaflet designed to promote cycling turned out to be riddled with spelling mistakes after an unexpected computer spell check.

Kirklees Council had already checked and agreed a final proof of the leaflet, but before it was printed the design software being used to produce the pamphlet applied its own, rather esoteric, spellcheck, with its changes appearing on the published version.

That meant that Kirklees became Kirtles, Birstall was rendered as Bistable and Cleckheaton became Czechisation, while Kirkburton ended up as Kirkpatrick.

Local bike shop Spen Velo was changed to Supen Vole, while the Spen Valley Greenway cycle route was turned into the Supen Valley Greenyard.

Perhaps the most spectacular revision was an email address for British Waterways, which appeared as enquiries.manic-depressive@brutalisation'

The leaflets were reprinted, and the £1,000 cost reimbursed to the council, whose area includes Huddersfield, Batley and Dewsbury.

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