‘Diversion to disaster’ – warning

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A ROAD safety watchdog has hit out at Calderdale Council for not listening to its concerns.

Adrian Hartshorn, who is a member of Brighouse Road Safety Committee, said the council wasn’t listening to his and the group’s fears over heavy good vehicles were using Bramston Street when the motorway was closed.

“All the vehicles are diverted from the M62 into Rastrick. At the Sun Inn crossroads it is clearly visible on the sign that the diversion is towards Fixby but because their sat navs are telling them the route is quicker through Rastrick they opt to go that way.

“What they don’t realise is that when they get to the bottom of the hill there is a low bridge, which many of them cannot get under. This means that the HGVs then have to find a way out. This can mean turning round in the middle of the road therefore holding traffic up even more or trying to take a right and up Bridge End and negotiating the roads at the top.

“What it needs is a simple sign that warns drivers about the low bridge at the bottom of the hill. Because 99 per cent of the lorries come past the sign at the Sun Inn crossroads why can’t we just put the warning on that?”

Mr Hartshorn has been campaigning to get the sign improved for the past three years.

“There is wall-to-wall traffic for hours when the M62 is closed and the only sign that warns them about the low bridge is one about 50m before the bridge. The high sided lorries travel the two miles of this section of the A643 before their drivers see the bridge and have to reverse.

“I brought this issue up at a Carr Green Action Group meeting about three years ago and Calderdale’s highways department’s representative said he would investigate.

“Last year the solution was the erection of the sign with the diversion symbol on it towards Fixby. The council said this was the official way indicated by the triangles warning that when motorway is closed then the direction to take is via Bradley to junction 25. This does work to a point but when your sat nav tells you what appears to be a more direct route then drivers will follow its direction – straight on through Rastrick.”

It is understood that there used to be a sign at the crossroads to warn of the low bridge but it vanished about ten years ago.

Councillor Ann McAllister (Con, Rastrick) said all three councillors were doing their best to get some kind of action.

A council spokesman said they had agreed to look at an advance warning sign at the crossroads but no appropriate funding has been made available.