Safety campaigners have branded Brighouse’s roads “a disgrace” and called on Calderdale Council to urgently improve the condition of the area’s highways.
A combination of a very wet winter and numerous accidents on the nearby motorway network forcing vehicles to divert onto alternative routes through the area has led to a major deterioration of the condition of many roads.
Calderdale Council has announced it has been allocated £380,000 by the Department for Transport for road repairs in the borough, in addition to £300,000 it will be spending on improvements to the Tour de France route ahead of the big race in July.
Members of Brighouse Road Safety Committee (BRSC) attended Calderdale Council’s cabinet meeting on Monday evening to put the case for some of the available funding to be spent on road repairs around Brighouse.
There has been particular concern about the number of large potholes on Bradford Road and Brookfoot Lane in Brighouse, Wakefield Road in Lightcliffe and several roads in Rastrick.
BRSC chairwoman Ann Rutherford, who lives near Brookfoot Lane, said: “I think it’s getting to the stage where there are more potholes than there is road.
“People are going to get fed up because it’s going to damage their cars.
“I myself have damaged the wheel trim and a tyre of my car in the potholes on Brookfoot Lane.
“If people start putting in claims, it’s going to cost the council more than it would to fix the potholes.”
Ann feels that the increased volume of traffic on Brighouse’s roads is taking its toll, with motorists finding alternative routes to avoid the bottleneck at Hipperholme crossroads and numerous accidents on the M62 forcing vehicles to divert through Brighouse.
“The traffic that comes past my house in a morning and at night is amazing,” she said.
“It’s becoming a rat run for people wanting to avoid Hipperholme crossroads.
“It’s a C class road and was never built to take this amount of traffic.”
Brighouse ward councillor Colin Stout said he could not understand why repairs on the Tour de France route were taking priority.
“I can’t see why such a large sum of the budget is being spent for an event that will last four hours,” he said.
“I don’t think they go around in France improving the roads and filling in the holes in the Pyrenees.
“Potholes are a serious, serious problem and cause accidents and damage to cars.”
Geoff Willerton, Calderdale Council’s head of planning and highways, said: “The additional funding from the Department for Transport is very welcome and will be used on roads in Calderdale that most need attention following a wetter than average winter.
“We are looking into where this extra funding will be spent to have maximum effect.”
l At Monday’s cabinet meeting, councillors approved plans for a reformed process where any utility companies wishing to carry out works on some of the busiest local roads would need to apply for a permit, setting out the location, start and finish times, duration and traffic management requirements of each scheme.
The companies concerned would face penalties for any breach of their permit conditions.
The council hopes the new system will reduce the disruption that uncontrolled and unexpected works can cause, while enabling road users to plan their journeys more effectively.