Potholed Halifax road in 'appalling' condition and dangerous for cyclists

“It’s awful – what the potholes make you do is to pull out into the main road to avoid them.

A former councillor is calling on a council’s current administration to remedy the “appalling” condition of a road to avoid cyclists getting injured.

Andrew Tagg says the condition of Brackenbed Road, Halifax, is “just appalling”, with potholes posing an injury risk to cyclists.

He says the road was resurfaced two years ago but argues a lack of adhesion between newer and older surfaces has resulted in much of it being washed away.

Mr Tagg said Calderdale Council was encouraging people to leave their cars behind and get on their bikes as this brought health and environmental benefits, but to do so road surfaces had to be suitable for cyclists to ride on safely.

Although some Calderdale routes had benefitted from much better surfacing because they had been upgraded for the Tour De France and latterly Tour De Yorkshire to use them, others had been ignored, he said.

Mr Tagg said the poor potholed surface could lead to serious issues for cyclists, particularly going downhill.

“The council is making the statement ‘we are a cycling friendly council’ but how many more roads are like this?

“It’s awful – what the potholes make you do is to pull out into the main road to avoid them.

“Some of them are quite long and if you hit them it can throw you off,” said Mr Tagg.

He said he suspected other places in Calderdale faced similar situations but if a council was asking people to take up cycling the surfaces must be suitable.

North Halifax had been shown to have issues with obesity and health, so focusing efforts on promoting cycling there made sense, said Mr Tagg.

Mr Tagg, who was a Conservative councillor for Skircoat ward until 2018, has asked when work to repair the road would be done and if previous contractors would be held accountable for the surface’s washing away.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration and Resources, Coun Jane Scullion, said the council was doing all it could to maintain good quality roads and was constantly reviewing policies and procedures to ensure it delivered value for money.

“Surface dressing programmes and major resurfacing works have continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, where we’ve been able to minimise disruption by taking advantage of the quieter roads.

“Although Brackenbed Lane in Halifax has not recently been resurfaced, we will now carry out a safety inspection and any necessary repairs.

“We’re aware that whilst road defects can cause issues for motorists they can be particularly dangerous for cyclists.

“We ask residents to continue to report any potholes or road defects at www.calderdale.gov.uk to enable us to attend to them as soon as possible.

“We want to actively encourage cycling and understand that people must feel safe when choosing this method of travel.

“To support this we are introducing a number of additional cycling measures across the borough to further capitalise on the growth in cycling which is currently occurring,” she said.

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