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From Jake Miller

Friday, 4 August 2023

I am writing to report to you a bizarre scenario in Hebden Bridge, which I think warrants an explanation.

Apparently, there are plans to remove the parking along Burnley Road, between Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd. It might sound trivial, but everyone who lives here knows that this is where everybody who visits here parks when they visit.

No houses overlook this road and it is wide enough to accommodate the parked cars and two lanes of traffic. This long stretch is an ideal place for parking, because there is a tow path along the canal which pedestrians and cyclists can use as an alternative. People who live in the centre of the village also park their cars here at night because of the strict parking rules in the village. Removing this parking area is incredibly stupid and its being decided by a bunch of people who don't live in the village.

When I called the Calderdale Council to discuss this issue, I was told they are not involved and that it is actually someone called Calderdale Next Chapter involved in the works. On their website, there is only a vague description of the works. There are no publicly accessible plans and no phone numbers, or anyone's name. Funding is described as partially 'external' despite it being taxpayer money from various government bodies paying for the works. Can someone please explain what Calderdale Next Chapter is, and why is allowed to do whatever it wishes, building on public land and being paid for with public money, without asking anyone?

And Mayor Tracy Brabin, maybe you could explain why you're named at the bottom of their website. Also named on the website are Northern Powerhouse. Can you come up with some innovative solutions?

Looking forward to the now necessary consultation with local residents and the subsequent mitigation solutions for locals who live in the village and have cars. You have an obligation to provide a solution. Additionally, that vague website is to be made clearer - Who is behind it and final plans are to be made public.

From Gary W

Sunday, 6 August 2023

The consultation did happen regarding this several years ago Jake. (see here) and here).

The plan(s) were developed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The aim was, amongst other things, to improve air quality and to make the journey times for travelling along the A646 more efficient. 

Some parts of the proposals were changed or dropped after extensive consultation and the changes you mentioned have been mitigated by, for eg, greatly increasing the number of parking spaces in the train station car park.

From Jake Miller

Sunday, 6 August 2023

Are you familiar how the people who live in the village and have cars have been mitigated against? The shop owners? Because a permit to park on the road in the village is over £600 a year.

This isn't London with a job market to match, so everyone needs to be realistic, because it's a section of road which is both outside the village, wide enough and not overlooked by housing. It accommodates about 100 cars, and cannot be replaced in the village.

I suspect many of the people keen to remove the parking either have their own driveway or are retired and don't need a car. Why don't we just ban vehicles altogether from the town, but we might have to give up the perennial pension increases...

From Gary W

Monday, 7 August 2023

You keep referring to 'the village' Jake. Mytholmroyd is a village, Hebden Bridge is a town. So it's not clear which place you're referring to? 

Of course, the interests of shop owners and visitors need to be taken into consideration. Many others though, have interests that need to be considered too; bus passengers, business/ goods vehicles traveling through the valley, cyclists etc etc. 

It's unreasonable just to look at this through the lens of that one issue of parking along the road at Mayroyd. And to only consider certain shop keeps interests, and ignore all the huge numbers of local and regional businesses (and residents) that would benefit from shorter journey times when using the A646. 

I don't understand where you get your £600 figure from? But that number pales into insignificance when compared to the 50,000 or so corpses that air pollution produces in the country every single year. Local politicians and officials have a huge amount of considerations and interests to take into account. Particular shop keepers and certain car owners are only a small part of the bigger picture. The interests of the few can not be allowed to triumph over the interests of the many. That is what has been happening with the 'car is King' approach over the last 70 years. This more balanced approach to transport policy is long over due. 

From Michael Wray

Tuesday, 8 August 2023

I suspect that the 'improvements' to this route will not decrease congestion or air pollution.

If the route is made more convenient, more drivers will use it and very soon it will become as congested as it was before. It's called 'induced traffic' and the phenomena has been recognised for almost 70 years.

I also suspect that removing parking spaces past Hebden Railway Station, where the the road is wide enough for vehicles to pass each other as it is, will create problems in Hebden Bridge as displaced drivers look for free parking in the already crowded centre.

I'm also dubious about adding a cycle path to this short section of road when there is an excellent and safer route on the canal tow path only yards away and think that the money allotted to path would probably be better spent in signposting cyclists to the canal path.

In short, I think this scheme will not, in the long term, decrease congestion or air pollution; will create parking problems for the residents of Hebden Bridge, and may even pose a hazard to cyclists by directing them away from a safe traffic free track to a busy road and I don't see anything to commend it.

Finally, if Bradford can do it, why can't we - a number plate recognition system between Mytholmroyd and the Fox and Goose which charges lorries and highly polluting vehicles for using the road, with prices rising when air quality falls?

From M King

updated: Thursday, 10 August 2023

The decision to remove parking along the Burnley Rd, between Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, is being pushed into happening by our own local councillors.

The event was not a consultation but appeared to be "a done deal". The consultation, which took place in early 2019, was steered by consultants who were not local, they had little idea about Hebden Bridge, but were very keen on telling everyone attending that the removal of the parking was an important Calderdale strategy and supported by our councillors. 

It seems extraordinary that own local councillors appear not to support Hebden Bridge's important tourist industry and also our very own shopkeepers, as they push through this road change.

Our councillors' premise to remove the parking along that section of the road is to speed up traffic flow, and so meet a government initiative; but why do we need to increase the traffic flow rate along a relatively short stretch of road. 

Are our councillors going to recommend the remove of road parking by the Whitehouses in Mytholmroyd, and through Luddenden Foot and Friendly to speed up traffic flow? I doubt it. 

What will happen, is that drivers will race out of Hebden Bridge, towards and through Mytholmroyd at a rate of knots, and yes I do mean race along. 

Our councillors say, everyone who parks along this section of the Burnley Road should go and use Mytholmroyd station car park; how are tourists, who by their very nature aren't local, going to know about that car park, and who is going to want to park at Mytholmroyd station, when so few trains stop there?

Our visitors to Hebden Bridge will not want to wait for the hourly train from Mytholmroyd, and they are unlikely going to walk from the village into Hebden Bridge. Our visitors want flexibility and something local. Congestion and pollution will increase as visitors will drive around the town looking to park anywhere that, for them, is conveniently close to the centre.

We are all passionate to see Hebden Bridge thrive, but being realistic on expectations, if visitors don't find appropriate local parking, they will eventually go somewhere else, and the important income that they bring to this town will be lost.

From Vivienne

Tuesday, 5 September 2023

The railway car parks, quite reasonably, wish to allocate their parking spaces to travellers using the train lines. Local people who just want to shop locally,  greatly appreciate the opportunity to park freely on Burnley Road, outside Hebden centre. It is not efficient to be confined to the amount of shopping one can carry on the bus or train, & what about the walk home after disembarking? That is why many people do a weekly shop, by car,  at a supermarket, or order home deliveries.

Those of us who prefer to support local businesses to keep our town alive, need to keep the option of parking on the roadside at the point where it is wide enough for such parking not to impede other traffic. I don't propose to come into Hebden & back 5 times, to do what I can do in one visit using the car, & if I am  not alone in this, Hebden will become merely a street of tourist-oriented sales outlets, instead of a place where people live.

From Freddie B

Saturday, 9 September 2023

Has any councillor asked the people who park there why they park there. Have they put a feedback form on their windscreens?

They may get some interesting answers as the people who live on narrow boats may park there, shop keepers may park there and tradesmen may park there to avoid parking charges in the centre. Is this such a bad thing?

Saying it will reduce pollution is nonsense, if those people need to visit Hebden they will, not everything can be taken on buses. Can stock be delivered from a bus and heavy machinery taken onboard? Saving the planet from fumes is important but please join the real world and the daily challenges of getting to work that people have. Not everyone can afford a cycle either and some have mobility problems.

Taking away the parking spaces on Market Street has made loading into the shops impossible with vans and cars now illegally parking on pavements. Slow hand clap for the genius that took them away. Didn't you realise shops need to load in goods and takeaways need delivery drivers to stop outside them?

One of the councillors remarked on Facebook that they nearly got knocked over cycling on that road. Why didn't they use the canal path then.

The selfish actions of a few sat in front of computers will impact what looks to me like over a hundred people.

Saying there was a public consultation, really, where was this advertised? In the grip of covid people were more interested in staying alive.

From Lionel Taylor

Sunday, 26 November 2023

The reasons for banning the parking are laughable. Leave Burnley Rd. free for parking.

I am an occasional visitor to Hebden Bridge and a frequent bird of passage through the town. The one thing putting me off visiting Hebden is the completely ridiculous lack of parking.

Stationary (parked) vehicles don't add to the pollution. Whilst at it why not ban all parking on the Hebden to Haworth Road. That is a hazard.

Unless you are willing to build a 15 storey, free car park, close to the town centre. Parking at the rail station is hopelessly inadequate.

Someone pointed out Hebden is a town not a village. In which case, why not start acting like a township instead of some pokey little hamlet?