Calls for speed limit on busy A637 Huddersfield Road to be cut

Residents and school pupils want the area to be made safer.
Residents and school pupils want the area to be made safer.

Calls for the speed limit on a busy main road to be cut from 60 to 40 miles per hour have intensified.

Residents living around the A637 Huddersfield Road say an agreement to slow vehicles down in the area was agreed by the council two years ago, but has yet to be enforced.

Wakefield Rural councillor Samantha Harvey

Wakefield Rural councillor Samantha Harvey

Campaigners are concerned by how quickly motorists use the road after leaving the M1 and claim accidents are a regular occurrence. Fatal crashes have also been known in the area.

Further north along the road, outside West Bretton Junior and Infants School, people also want to see a lowering of the 30mph limit to improve safety for children.

Resident David Biltcliffe, who first spoke out about the problem in 2015, said: "Two years ago we had a promise from highways that a 40mph speed limit would be implemented.

"But it's still yet to happen, and no-one knows why. You email council officers to ask for an update and you just get ignored.

It's totally frustrating. 99 per cent of residents wanted this to happen when they were canvassed.

"It is a dangerous road, especially with people able to come off the motorway and go haring up towards Bretton.

"There was a fatal accident a couple of years ago and I frequently see collisions from the bottom of my drive where someone's been bumped."

Last October, the council pressed ahead with plans to replace several 30mph zones with a 20mph limit.

But the area outside the local primary school in West Bretton has not been affected by these changes.

Mr Biltcliffe added: "That corner (where the school is) is in itself another problem.

"It is a dangerous corner and I know many people are concerned about it. We've noticed that often the wall around it is having to be repaired."

Wakefield Rural councillor Samantha Harvey said: "Residents in West Bretton are becoming increasingly frustrated that their concerns about road safety in the village are falling on deaf ears at the council.

"One of the most dangerous spots is right outside our local school and was described by an enforcement officer as being a case of when not if a serious accident happens.

"Surely it should be a priority for the council if children are not able to go to and from school in safety each day without having to run a gauntlet of speeding traffic outside the front gate.

"We've heard enough reassurances - now we want action."

In response, Wakefield Council's service director for highways, Neil Rodgers, said: "We have consulted with a number of local people and organisations about plans to reduce the speed limit on the A637.

"We have reviewed their comments and drawn up plans which will go out to a full public consultation. The aim - subject to any objections – is to introduce a speed limit later this year.

"We are aware of the concerns about West Bretton Primary school and we contacted them, several weeks ago, and offered a meeting. Once this has been arranged it will be open to local residents, community and campaign groups to attend."