Road safety priorities

ACTION needs to be taken to combat some of the road safety issues along one of Brighouse’s most notorious roads.

Overgrown bushes and trees are causing problems for motorists travelling along Brookfoot Lane according to members of Brighouse Road Safety Committee and despite signs being placed saying work was due to start almost a month ago nothing has been done.

“It is about time Calderdale Council got on with the job,” said Vice-chair Pat Oates. “Signs are up asking drivers going downhill to give way to traffic coming up but you can’t see these for the bushes.”

But Coun Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) said in these current economic times Calderdale Council has some really serious decisions to make regarding road safety. “We have a third of the officers we had at this time last year in the highways department, with early retirements or redundancies. We have two road safety officers.

“I have spent time with staff in Elland with road traffic officers regarding road safety in the Brighouse area. But at the moment they don’t know what budget they have got to put paint on the road, to cut back trees and all the rest of it.”

He said they needed to focus on what needs to be changed. “We need to pull back and really think about what we want from these few officers we have got left. A few overgrown trees is very low on my list. I have school crossings, elderly residents and other issues we need to be concentrating on.”

Chairwoman Ann Rutherford said people who were commuting from Brighouse and Huddersfield to Halifax often used the road as a short-cut through Southowram village. “The amount of traffic that goes through the village is too much,” she said.

PC Matt Catlow, of the Lower Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said if they stopped people from using the roads it would cut off the town and have a detrimental effect on the economy. He suggested that if they tried to improve the standard of people using the road by educating them about the need for road safety it may help the situation rather than moving the problem elsewhere.