Schools hit by traffic chaos

Roadworks on the A644 Halifax Road, at the end of Finkill Street, Brighouse.
Roadworks on the A644 Halifax Road, at the end of Finkill Street, Brighouse.

ROADWORKS are causing traffic chaos near to three Brighouse schools.

Temporary traffic lights have now moved on to the end of Finkil Street as part of the gas pipe improvements being carried out by Northern Gas Networks.

The three-way traffic control lights are only letting around four cars at a time through from the side street into Halifax Road.

During rush hour traffic is mounting as parents queue to get out of the road after dropping their children off at Brighouse High School, St Joseph’s RC Primary School and St Chad’s CE Primary School just round the corner.

The main concern is that Brighouse High is hosting an open night for its four feeder schools tonight.

Brighouse councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) said: “I would urge people coming to Brighouse High to park elsewhere and walk. It will be horrendous.

“I am asking parents to be patient for the next few days and where possible to avoid using the road because they will struggle to get off.

“The work is something that does need to be done. The gas pipe was fractured and it does need replacing so it will be beneficial and safer for residents.

“The engineers are getting on with it. Unfortunately it couldn’t be done during the school holidays.

“So if people can be considerate and either walk or park elsewhere it will stop a bad problem from getting worse.”

He said cones had been put outside the school preventing people from stopping.

“It seems to be working because parents of pupils who attend Brighouse High are now coming down into the school ground and dropping their children off. It seems to be working better.”

Head teacher Liz Cresswell said the lights were causing significant congestion.

“Please avoid travelling along Finkil Street by car for the time being. Anyone attending the open evening should park some distance from school and walk to the Finkil Street entrance or use Laverock Lane entrance to the rear of school.”

One parent said the whole area was congested during pick up and drop off times along the road.

Northern Gas Networks are replacing old metal gas pipes with plastic pipes which are more durable.

The scheme to replace around 800 metres of pipes began on August 21, and has approximately five weeks still to run.

The traffic lights will continue to be operated manually to keep the traffic flowing as smoothly as possible. Next week, they will be back to two way traffic lights for the remainder of the work.

A spokesperson said:: “The current gas mains on Halifax Road have reached the end of their useful life. The new pipes are more durable, and will serve the community for decades to come.

“We’ve worked closely with the local highways authority to plan the work, and have informed local residents.

“We’ll continue to do everything possible to minimise inconvenience, while we complete this essential improvement scheme.”