Concern over cobbles plan to protect cyclists

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Two organisations have teamed up to oppose the potential loss of traditional stones from Batley’s railway station car park.

Chairman of Batley History Group Malcolm Haigh, and Coun Gwen Lowe (Lab) of the newly-formed Friends of Batley Station have a “strong concern” over Northern Rail and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s plans.

The latter two placed a bid to the Department of Transport for funds to make improvements for cyclists across West Yorkshire stations, including Batley’s. This could mean a cycle path being laid on top of the cobbles.

Mr Haigh said: “I think people would be disgusted and upset. Our station is an essential part of Batley life.

“Being part of what’s called an outstanding conservation area, to start messing about with the focus of that is all wrong.”

He notes that roads leading upto the station are cobbled, so cyclists would be affected from further afield anyway. Fifty people had signed a petition against the plans.

Northern Rail’s Pete Myers said: “Cobbles can be a curse to cyclists and we envisage a narrow smooth cycle path either applied on top or through the cobbles. It certainly wouldn’t be a wholesale removal because that would not look very nice. The current cobbles add to the ambience of the area. What’s more that would cost a fortune.”

The changes involve providing hoops and a cover on the Leeds-bound platform to replace the cycle storage kennels in the car park, and ramps on the staircases.