Ossett traders hit out over town plan

Traders at the Seemore centre, Ossett, are angry about new parking restrictions impossed by Towngate Shops car park.'Traders L to R are: John Heath (JB's Bike Shop), Gary Booth (Shoe Repairs), Richard Brown (JB's Bike Shop), Danny Hodgson (Washing Well launderette), Sarah Jagger (Anything & Everything.'w7036a147

Traders at the Seemore centre, Ossett, are angry about new parking restrictions impossed by Towngate Shops car park.'Traders L to R are: John Heath (JB's Bike Shop), Gary Booth (Shoe Repairs), Richard Brown (JB's Bike Shop), Danny Hodgson (Washing Well launderette), Sarah Jagger (Anything & Everything.'w7036a147

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FURIOUS traders say they have been “ignored” in a project to refurbish Ossett’s shopping precinct.

Wakefield Council has announced that a plan to build a road and extra parking spaces behind the town hall was overwhelmingly rejected by the public during a consultation carried out in October.

But traders believe the “preferred” plan does not do enough to improve the lack of free parking space in the town centre which they believe has driven customers away.

John Heath, who runs JB’s Bike Shop at the Towngate Arcade, said: “Shops are at the heart of a town and the council is not supporting us at all.

“There is already a massive shortage of parking and all this will do is reduce the amount of potential customers in the town centre.”

Bryan Coe, chairman of Ossett and Horbury’s Road Safety Committee, was concerned about plans to introduce traffic lights at the junction of Towngate and Prospect Road.

He said: “You already see long tailbacks of traffic from the lights on Dale Street, and Prospect Road can’t take any more. It is absolutely saturated. Buses struggle to get in and out of the bus station.

“It is as if the council are just drawing things up without thinking about where the traffic is coming from.”

The area behind the town hall will be repaved and a one-way loop road into the precinct will be introduced from Towngate to New Street.

But council bosses said the public’s preferred layout will be revised before work begins, hopefully in the spring.

Keith Bloomfield, service manager for traffic and transportation, said: “The plan is still being developed and we will be looking at these issues as well as other ideas that were brought up during the consultation.”