'Death corner' Call for for speed limit reduction on main Pontefract road
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The blind summit corner, along the A639 – between Barnsdale Bar and Pontefract – is causing major concern to residents who have now lobbied Wakefield Council to reduce the 60mph speed limit, but say that the council ‘refuses to survey or recognise’ the problems.
Resident John Sparks said it’s been an issue for years, and due to planned road works, the situation is only going to get worse.
"The residents along the A639 and the communities of Thorpe Audlin and Wentbridge are in despair of the continued speeding, dangerous driving and lack of effective safety measures," Mr Sparks said.
"With the winter months approaching, safety is becoming a major concern.
"After years of campaigning for the speed limit on this section of the A639 to be reduced, specifically at the junction of Harewood Lane, Coal Pit Lane and Pontefract Road, the council continues to insist on a 60mph limit.
“For the past three months and for the next nine months, traffic including HGVs, is being diverted onto the A639 by council road signs and Sat Navs, as repairs are underway on the Barnsdale Bar to Darrington A1 - Wentbridge Viaduct”
Mr Sparks added that, having spoken to Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett, they also disagree with the speed limit imposed by the council.
Mr Trickett said: “There needs to be a total review of traffic management in my constituency and elsewhere in the district. This should include careful consideration of existing speed limits which can be dangerous especially in built up areas.
"Officially, the Highways Agency say the A639 at this section should be a permanent 40mph and the limit should be 40mph - possibly with speed cameras.
“Bizarrely, the single carriage on the A1 has a 40mph limit but the single carriage along 'death corner' of the A639 is 60mph.
"Also, all the other hamlets along the A639 from Barnsdale Bar to Pontefract have 40mph speed limits, some even 30mph, enforced already.”
Gary Blenkinsop, Service Director for Environment, Street Scene and Climate Change at Wakefield Council, said: “The safety of all road users is our priority, and we welcome feedback from residents which helps keep our communities safe.
“We’ve been contacted by local people expressing their concerns about this stretch of the A639.
"After they got in touch we carried out a review which has looked at both the speed vehicles travel and the number of serious road accidents in the area.
“This review found that there had been one road incident, along the half a mile length of this road which covers the brow of the hill. Speed was not a factor in that incident.
“Following these findings there are no current plans to change the speed limit, which meets the relevant national guidelines.”