Council puts stop to illegal ‘rat run’

MP Jon Trickett with local residents by the corner of Mount Avenue, Hemsworth. Concerns are growing over the number of drivers that are driving the wrong way down a one way street, and using Mount Avenue as a rat run to avoid the traffic lights at Cross Hill.'h6345a138
MP Jon Trickett with local residents by the corner of Mount Avenue, Hemsworth. Concerns are growing over the number of drivers that are driving the wrong way down a one way street, and using Mount Avenue as a rat run to avoid the traffic lights at Cross Hill.'h6345a138
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HEMSWORTH residents are celebrating after the council put the brakes on drivers using their estate as a ‘rat run’.

The frustrated locals have had to put up with motorists turning right at Mount Avenue onto Westfield Road - which is the wrong way up a one way system - to avoid the traffic lights on Cross Hill for a number of years. The move caused heavy traffic on the estate and endangered pupils from two nearby schools.

But, after consultation in the area, Wakefield Council has now agreed to install bollards at the junction to prevent drivers from performing the illegal manoeuvre.

The closure, which will be carried out under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order, is expected to be put in place during the next financial year.

Denise Cook, of Westfield Avenue, said: “Drivers use the two roads as a rat run, as a get out clause for the lights on Cross Hill. It is a residential area with two nearby schools.

“It is good news that the council is going to install the bollards because children’s safety should be paramount.”

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett said: “I am pleased that, following requests from local residents, the council has decided to install a closure on Westfield Road.

“I hope that the closure will alleviate some of the traffic problems in the area and address the safety concerns that were raised by my constituents.”

A council spokesperson said: “After extensive public consultation, we are moving forward with the road closure and will be looking at installing bollards early in the next financial year.”