Mirfield councillor gets on his bike to push for road repairs

A cycling councillor got on his bike to highlight the state of the roads for those on two wheels.

By Martin Shaw
Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 12:00 pm
Coun Martyn Bolt at the start of his bike ride from Mirfield to Huddersfield to highlight the need for road repairs
Coun Martyn Bolt at the start of his bike ride from Mirfield to Huddersfield to highlight the need for road repairs

Mirfield Tory councillor Martyn Bolt invited senior council officials to join him on a ride between Mirfield and Huddersfield town centres – but no-one else turned up.

Coun Bolt invited Kirklees Council leader Shabir Pandor and chief executive Jacqui Gedman, along with Robin Tuddenham, chief executive at Calderdale Council, but ended up riding alone.

The cycling councillor fitted a GoPro camera to his bike and filmed his 17-minute morning rush-hour journey from outside Mirfield Library on the A644 Huddersfield Road through the Cooper Bridge roundabout and into Huddersfield on the A62 Leeds Road.

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Coun Bolt did not really expect anyone else to join him on the ride but wanted to make his point as local councils want to encourage people to reduce car journeys and look at sustainable forms of transport.

“It’s no surprise that no-one joined me but I do think Shabir and Jacqui need to come out to have a look at the roads,” said Coun Bolt.

“Kirklees has signed up to a West Yorkshire project called the Carbon Emission Reduction Pathway which says that travelling by bike should increase by 2,000 per cent by 2038. That’s a very ambitious target at the best of times but when the roads are dangerous for cyclists you are on a road to nowhere.”

Coun Bolt said cyclists feel every lump, bump, crack or pothole in the road and swerving to avoid hazards puts them at risk.

He said there were defects at Cooper Bridge near the sewage works – the border between Kirklees and Calderdale – and some “long slits” in the road surface in Leeds Road, Bradley, near Marston’s Chicken Shop.

Coun Bolt said he’d had senior council highways officials out to look at the problems but the issue had dragged on so long those officials had retired.

“With the roads at Cooper Bridge we’ve had political ping-pong because for a quarter of a mile you’re in Calderdale. At one time Calderdale said the road needed major improvement but that Kirklees was leading on it. But we’ve heard nothing more.

“Further up Leeds Road there’s been some white line painting on top of the crumbling road surface so what we have is Kirklees literally painting over the cracks.”