Letters Extra: Hipperholme Crossroads

The proposed view of Hipperholme crossroads from Leeds Road, Hipperholme
The proposed view of Hipperholme crossroads from Leeds Road, Hipperholme

I attended the open day at Christ Church to view the plans for improving traffic flow at Hipperholme Crossroads.

To propose traffic coming out of Halifax on the A58 to go straight forward only and have to drive round a mini gyratory (the car park) is nothing short of ludicrous. This is the first in a catalogue of errors in the proposed plans. The car park offers fewer spaces than we currently have, despite the fact that the former Southedge Quarry is to be the site of hundreds of new houses, less than half a mile away.

Looking at the plans the bus stop and layby on Wakefield Road have been removed entirely. When I enquired where the bus would stop, I was told ‘75 yards further down Wakefield Road without a layby’. This will block the traffic frequently as there are three service buses an hour and school buses from The North Halifax Grammar School also use the Wakefield Road bus layby.

Everyone I spoke to was very much against the proposed plans. This is not Calderdale Council thinking about local residents! NO, they are more interested in how much money they can make through new developments, which will be allowed after the said alterations.

So Calderdale Council are you going to listen to public opinion and scrap these ridiculous plans?

Will the council listen to views?

Elizabeth Townend

Via Email

Improve rail links instead

Sally Pilling

Via email

If the plan is to assist travelling between Halifax and Leeds, as Tim Robinson states, then maybe it’s the rail links that need improving not the roads.

From looking at these plans it is only those travelling from Halifax along the A58 towards Leeds and those travelling north/south (Brighouse Road/Denholmegate Road) that may benefit. Locals coming from Halifax and wanting to turn left or right can no longer do so. They will have to go around the new system facing an extra two sets of lights. Or as more than likely will happen, they’ll cut through either Kirk Lane or Barfield Road to avoid a longer journey time. The cars that would have been turning right to Brighouse will now add to the length of the queue travelling straight through the lights, thus lengthening the journey time.

Also looking at these plans it seems as if people living on Wakefield Road will no longer be able to drive up to the lights. This will mean longer journey times for them, pushing extra morning rush hour traffic onto the already congested Knowle Top Road (where parents block the flow of traffic by double parking to drop their children off). This means all traffic that previously used Wakefield Road will increase the queue length on Leeds Road waiting for the lights.

So as well as local businesses losing car parking spaces, and the prediction that most locals will use residential streets instead, how is this plan beneficial to any locals?

Improving rail links seems a better option to assist Leeds/Halifax businesses.

No value to plans

Mr S. Smith

Hipperholme and Lightcliffe resident since 1976

I am a local resident to the Hipperholme traffic lights where the proposed scheme at the crossroads has been earmarked. I do not see any value in this proposal. It is likely to put some small businesses, established in the area over many years into difficulty - and the cost of £3.4 million to put small business out of business is too high a price for a marginal change which I think will eventually cause another problem just round the corner. If it doesn’t go ahead then the developers plans cannot proceed yet the developers can find somewhere else to build if that happens. If it goes ahead and bankrupts a small business in Hipperholme that would be very difficult to watch happen in this climate and that business may never be able to rebuild or recover its cost or business. The car park island proposed just seems like a waste of time as the council is already proposing to extend parking in Halifax. That will drive business away from there and we will have those normally parking in Halifax all trying to cram into this little island! We might as well all stay at home and do our shopping on line, although the Hipperholme exchange hasn’t been unbundled yet for Superfast broadband. Why they don’t spend the money on that to help small businesses compete? Let the supermarket vans work out how to get round this merry-go- round being proposed because there won’t be any local business left so we won’t have to worry about it before long the way it all seems to be going.

Why don’t we turn Hipperholme into a park and ride instead for what it is worth and all stay at home rather than get dizzy going round in circles with this? It may save a bit of time going from one direction but at cost of going from another. I am wondering what would happen with this current proposal if for example the Tesco delivery van broke down on the gyratory? How much chaos that would cause in all directions! Then the Tesco shop would suddenly be busy and then they would be putting in a case for a superstore to go there because of higher demand from frustrated motorists, getting their change to go and put in the pay and display later if plans go ahead to introduce evening parking charges in Halifax and never actually get to spend any money in shop because they have had to put all their hard earned cash in parking taxes!

I can see the traffic problem will just move on further up the road in either direction and we will forever be coming up with new traffic schemes to suit big business and not consider the long serving local small and medium sized ones. For that reason alone this doesn’t seem like a good idea. The fish shop is clearly worried it will be out of business and that has been there since I was a child over 35 years ago. When I asked the council highways officer “What would happen to the fish shop, where would people park who use it?”, I was met with “Well, it might affect one or two businesses but the gains will be tremendous elsewhere.” For who, I asked and I was met with silence. I saw the owner of the fish shop looking very concerned.

He at least turned up to represent his business, I didn’t see any representation from Strata houses there, when questions were being asked about the land being exchanged for this to go ahead.

It isn’t too bad what we already have there apart from a small inconvenience at peak hours and no different to elsewhere. What I want is to be encouraged as a local is to be able to use more of the local services and not less and as a resident I feel I have a right to be able to do that locally.

There will again be more inconvenience when they dig up the roads again to put the scheme in and we will all be late for work and get the sack and then nobody will be able to pay back the debt of £3.4 million that all this costs in the first place, except the developer that this proposal scheme is really for if you really look at why it is being put forward. Putting in a load more houses next to it will add to the traffic problem and yet I cannot see without a major significant project here how the one proposed is going to be good value for money for Calderdale residents in the long run. I therefore do not think this is a good idea to spend our public money for Strata Homes to do deals with our council so that they can increase the burden we already have in our community already today.

No scheme - No Strata Homes

Scheme - No local business, congestion, debt, overcrowding, unemployment, drivers coming from Halifax looking for cheap evening parking and going round in circles trying.

Many things wrong with it

John Wharton

Hipperholme

The debacle, presented by Calderdale Council to the residents of Hipperholme and optimistically called a crossroads ‘improvement’ scheme, has a dubious origin.

Clugstons, who own the Southedge Quarry site, want to build a lot of houses. Calderdale Planners (reasonably) say that they can’t, unless the cross roads are improved. So, Clugstons employ a Traffic Consultant to design a plan.

Coincidentally, a Government “Pinch Point” fund is announced, which Calderdale sees as a way to get the road works done, as well as 350 new houses built, without spending any money.

So, a bid for the Pinch Point money is quickly cobbled together, using Clugston’s plan and submitted to the Department of Transport. This bid is successful, leading up to the situation we are now in.

There are many things wrong with this situation:

1. The road ‘planner’ has no loyalty at all to the residents of Hipperhome. He or she is anonymous and cannot be held responsible. Calderdale has accepted this plan with the minimum of changes, without consultation and presumably to save money.

2. The bid, which Calderdale put together in a hurry, is littered with mistakes and inaccuracies. Whoever is responsible should be carpeted.

3. The plan, if allowed, will effectively destroy Hipperholme village. The so-called ‘planners’ have shown no understanding of the local situation, they are only concerned in making the anonymous plan work, so that houses can be built.

4, Ironically, Clugstons are selling the new houses as “being close to amenities”, the very same amenities that their own plans are intent on destroying!

I suggest that Calderdale Council gets a grip. It’s time to look after the people who pay their wages and stop being led by others who have their own selfish commercial interests.

I would invite anyone in authority within Calderdale Council to correct any of the points I’ve made in this letter.

Heart of village will be ruined

Dennis Carney

The Crescent, Hipperholme

I would like to comment on the suggestions for “improvements” at our crossroads. I have lived in Hipperholme for 50 years and have seen schemes come and go, including by-passes at both sides of the village. One of my concerns is that we have a, nowadays, rare village feeling with a range of shops along Leeds Road. I understand that parking will be lost outside the shops, undoubtedly ruining several of these businesses. From your article this will be an outcome.

You report that Mr. Robinson, Calderdale Council Highways Officer, says that “We are getting free advice from Andrew Bradshaw who works for Clugston/Strata Homes.” A very interested party! He then goes on to say: “Clearly a lot of people are against the crossroad scheme locally but some of the bigger firms from Leeds and Halifax if there (sic) journey times are significantly shortened are going to be more supportive of it and we will be contacting them for their feelings......!” Which large companies? What evidence has been presented to them? You are presenting a guess. Does anyone really think that several minutes will be cut from peak-time journeys? And these extra sets of lights, will they speed things up?

The heart of the village and its shop-keepers will be ruined - and where does Tesco fit into all this? They have been allowed to open with parking spaces set to disappear with part of the car-park. I have never known any scheme which faces such opposition from the people who are most affected. Imagine articulated lorries swinging out of Leeds Road, from either direction, into Wakefield road and then through the lights to Halifax or to Crosslee or Brighouse.

This is the council that brought you the bus-shelter shambles.

Listen to the people.