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Cragg Vale Community Association
Report of 15th April 2015 Traffic Campaign Meeting

Chaired by Judith Schofield, Chair Cragg Vale Community Association, Cllr Simon Young (Calderdale Council) and Cllr Scott Trickett (Hebden Royd Town Council and CVCA Committee) were present

Welcome and Introductions

Judith introduced Simon and Scott and explained the background and action taken to date by CVCA. She emphasised that the purpose of the meeting was to hear people’s views and to identify action to be taken and that all views are equally valid.

Cllr Scott Trickett gave details of the background to the current petition including the previous action to get the 20mph limit by the school and speed limit of 30mph on some parts of the road. Scott stressed his concern that the current limits on sections of the road with no pavement are unsafe.

Cllr Simon Young explained that the 20mph had been part of his original election campaign pledge and he had taken control of getting the 20 mph limit rolled out across Calderdale. The key reason for introducing the limit across Calderdale was that the proportion of children killed on our roads was almost twice the national average. He gave details of the statistics showing the difference in numbers of people being killed at 30mph and 20mph. Cragg Vale has not so far been included in the new proposals for extending the 20 mph limit and Simon said he was concerned that this decision had been taken by Officers without asking local people. Finally Simon said Highways had a massive backlog to deal with and no funding had been made available other than for introducing the 20mph.

Concerns of Residents

Marianne Hood, Secretary of CVCA, gave details of the concerns raised by residents so far:

  • Lack of any enforcement of the current limits
  • Speeding traffic, especially along stretches of the road with no pavement
  • Dangerous overtaking by bends and blind corners
  • Inconsistent and dangerous speed limits: changes in speed limits from 30mph to 40mph, back to 30mph, down to 20mph, then 30mph, 40mph and 50mph
  • Dangers presented to people, especially people with children and pushchairs, along stretches of the road with no pavement
  • Damage to parked cars by careless drivers
  • Increase in the number of very large vehicles using the road

One particular firm, HEC, came in for criticism from many residents who said they had experienced problems of drivers of HEC vans driving at excessive speed along the road.

Concern had also been expressed about the increase in traffic along the ‘top road’ (Sowerby New Road) and the lack of proper passing places along the single track stretches of the road.

Discussion

In the discussion, further concerns were expressed about the problem of cars parked along both sides of the road, forcing drivers into the middle.

There was common consensus that enforcement of the limits was a key issue, along with having a more simple and consistent speed limit. Many people gave examples of the problem of the 40 mph limit by the tight bend at Spa Terrace and the entrance to Cragg Vale Park, with no safe crossing point, and on the narrow part of the road, with sharp corners above Victoria Terrace. People pointed out that at the Sykes Gate junction of Sowerby New Road, the farm at the junction moves livestock on the road but at this point the limit is 50mph!

Several people gave details of how the nature of the use of the road had changed over recent years with a big increase in the number of cyclists, walkers and horse-riders using the road. The introduction of the Cragg Vale Heritage Trail would be likely to create further increases in numbers of people walking along the road. This should be considered by the Council and the Police in relation to ensuring that the road is safe for everyone.

In response to questions, Cllr Simon Young said cost was the issue in relation to introducing any measures to improve the safety of the road but it would be possible to get information about the costs of different enforcement measures.

Proposals for Action

The following proposals were made:

  • Find out what we need to do to get any speed limits properly enforced
  • Find out if it might be possible to have a mobile speed enforcement unit visit Cragg vale
  • Consider introducing signs that show the speed of vehicles/show when the limit is being exceeded
  • Change the layout of the road: introduce measures such as a chicane or one-way priority to slow traffic down
  • Demand that the current varying limits are amended to give one consistent limit with a special limit by the school NB: There was no consensus about a 20mph limit throughout the length of the road from Mytholmroyd to Sykes Gate but there was clear consensus to have a 30mph limit from Mytholmroyd and after the school and for the 20 mph limit by the school to be extended along the stretch of road with no pavement
  • All residents to log ‘near misses’ and any other incidents
  • CVCA to contact HEC about their drivers speeding on the road
  • Identify any possibilities for creating parking to help move cars from the road.

Conclusion

Judith thanked everyone for participating in the meeting and said CVCA would continue to circulate the petition and would give all the details of issues raised by Cragg vale residents to the Police and to Calderdale Council. CVCA will request a follow up meeting with Council Officers and the Police to hear their responses to the issues and suggestions for action. All residents will be invited, everyone will have an opportunity to ask any further questions and help CVCA develop a co-ordinated plan for action

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