PEDESTRIANS trying to cross a busy junction in the centre of Bailiff Bridge claim they are ‘dicing with death’.
They say it is only a matter of time before someone is killed at the Bradford Road, Birkby Lane and Wakefield Road crossroads and are now campaigning to improve safety.
Hundreds of names have been added to a petition calling for a pedestrian signal control at each section of the traffic lights in a bid to improve the daily nightmare faced by people trying to cross.
Sarah Harris is one of 16 residents who are going round the village asking people to sign the petition. She said: “It is extremely important that people back the campaign. Every single person in the village has to cross these roads at some point.”
“Some people are even getting into their cars just to get across the roads and that defeats the object of having everything local.”
Resident Patrick Armstrong said he knew of an elderly couple who got on a bus to Brighouse to get to Huddersfield despite the bus stop being just at the bottom. “Because they are so frightened to cross the busy road they catch a bus into Brighouse and catch a bus from there to Huddersfield.
“I have a ten-year-old daughter and her friend lives over the road but they can’t really call for each other because the road is so bad. At ten they are classed as having road sense but with this road, I wouldn’t risk it,” he said.
“We have been battling for a long time to get some kind of crossing and especially with the library moving to the community centre there will be people of all ages trying to negotiate that road.”
Jennifer Sutcliffe who works at Healthy Living Pharmacy near to the crossroads said they were in full support of the petition. “A lot of people live here and especially with the school there should be something in place. People are dicing with death.”
June Copley, who lives in Wakefield Road, said the road was lethal. “It is worse at peak times. There are cars reversing out of side streets and people parking on double yellow lines.
“It is unbelievable and takes all my time just to cross these roads. We brought it up last year but the response we got from the police and council was we can’t do anything due to cut backs or someone would have to be killed first is pretty much what was said.
“I have already filled four sheets, front and back, with signatures so there is a total agreement within the village that something needs to be done and especially with the number of new homes.”
Laura Nalson, who set up the petition, said a woman and two children were knocked over last year while crossing the road. “If there was some kind of crossing then this accident would never have happened. There has been 700 new houses built in the area in the last ten years but these lights haven’t changed. It is really concerning which is why I have set up this petition to try and get some kind of action.”
She was also instrumental in getting the speed limit reduced along Birkby Lane. The downward route into Bailiff Bridge will now go from 60mph to 40mph and then to 30mph slowing the traffic down past Birkhouse Lane.
Councillor Graham Hall (Con, Hipp/Light) is supporting the residents. “I am pleased so many people and parents from the local community and local school who were picking their children up came to show their support to improve road safety for children, elderly people and people who travel to and from work.
“It will benefit the whole community and it should happen sooner rather than later.”
The petition, which is also available in all the shops in the village, will be handed to the Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Nader Fekri, on April 25.