I THOUGHT the Wakefield Express comment column (January 19, ‘Analysis is critical’ was spot on with regards to the recently announced draft highway improvement proposals for Dewsbury Road.
In the current hard economic times where difficult and very questionable decisions are being made, such as the decision to close all 50 Remploy factories making many disabled people redundant, it is obviously important to scrutinise all major public expenditure decisions very carefully.
In the case of the Dewsbury Road proposals I have studied the consultation proposals available at www.wakefield.gov.uk and have concluded that the justification given for implementing this scheme as a priority, at the present time, is very weak for the following reasons:
1 This stretch of road issubject to a 30 mph speed limit and already has speed cameras making it possible to be policed for speeding.
2 I am not aware that Dewsbury Road has a bad road safety and accident record unlike some other major roads in Wakefield. Barnsley Road for example on the section between Busy Corner shopping area and Newmillerdam has no speed cameras and a significant range of traffic problems which, if possible, need to be resolved as a high priority. I am pleased that recent editions of the Express have given prominent publicity to the issue of speeding on part of Barnsley Road.
3 There is a lack of information about the cost of the scheme and how it is being funded. Are Morrisons supermarkets making a contribution towards the cost?
4 Unlike some other major radial routes, this section of road does not provide access to local schools. By contrast there is a desperate need to provide safe pedestrian and vehicle access to the five local schools accessed via Barnsley Road.
I look forward to the Express’ plan to do a major feature on the state of the city roads and agree that a well-thought out highway strategy is clearly a priority.
Please note also I first wrote to the Leader of Wakefield Council and the Express in March 2001 regarding traffic and safety issues on Barnsley Road and I am still waiting for a reply from the council.