'Alarming' results as 300 drivers clocked speeding past village school in an hour

More than 300 drivers were caught speeding in the space of an hour outside a Wakefield village school.

By Nick Frame
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 2:30 pm

PCSOs conducted a speed survey on Huddersfield Road in West Bretton recently, close to the local primary school, and labelled the outcome "very concerning".

Between 9.30am and 10.30am, the unmarked car clocked 550 vehicles, with only 225 obeying the 30mph limit.

There were 179 found to be driving between 31 and 34mph.

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Councillors and children on the road which they say needs speed restrictions.

Worryingly, 119 were driving between 35 and 39mph, 26 were travelling at 40 and 40mph, while one was clocked at 53mph.

Because the survey was not classed as an enforceable operation, fines could not be issued, but police say they will be handing out fixed penalty notices in future.

West Bretton Parish Council say the issue has been a regular discussion point at meetings, and have persistently called on Wakefield Council to take action, but with little progress.

The council said: "The police speed report is quite alarming, however, probably not surprising to most residents who have experienced this for some time.

Huddersfield Road in West Bretton.

"As a parish council we have received a number of concerns from residents about management of traffic through the village, especially with regards to the proximity of the school to the main road.

"We have had numerous meetings with Wakefield Highways to raise our concerns yet have essentially been told that unless there is an accident, they are unable to act.

"We should not have to wait until a fatal accident occurs before Wakefield highways does something about it.

"As a minimum now we would welcome and expect regular speed enforcement within the village."

Recenty re-elected ward councillor for the area, Sam Harvey added: "Since I started my work in the district six years ago, it has always been a noted concern of residents and parents alike that the speed of vehicles, both on Bretton Lane around schools and more generally on Huddersfield Road, is becoming dangerous.

"It is interesting to note that while many schools across the district have 20 mph speed limit installed by the council, West Bretton Junior & Infants School has, as of yet, not been given this opportunity to improve the road safety for the children at the school.

"Indeed, in 2018 the resident enforcement officer reported to the school that while he had seen some dangerous crossings, this one was one of the worst.

"I will continue to raise these matters from inside the council chamber to bring light to the issue of speeding and the dangers it poses to our children."

Meanwhile, Gary Blenkinsop, Wakefield Council’s service director for environment, streetscene and climate change confirmed that due to reduced number of collisions, the road does not meet the criteria for change.

He said: “Accident data for this area indicates that no traffic calming measures are needed at this time, however, we will continually monitor and review this.”