Safety fears over drivers using pedestrianised areas of Wakefield city centre

Drivers are defying the road signs and using Silver Street.
Drivers are defying the road signs and using Silver Street.

Motorists driving into pedestrianised areas of Wakefield city centre are putting people at risk, it's been claimed.

Drivers are flouting rules and using Silver Street, which links King Street and Marygate, even though it is only meant to be used by delivery vehicles.

Vehicles parked on the pavement are a familiar sight in the city centre

Vehicles parked on the pavement are a familiar sight in the city centre

On the other side of the road, barriers outside Costa Coffee are almost permanently down, with cars able to drive onto the precinct around the cathedral.

The issue was raised at a full council meeting by Wakefield West representative Betty Rhodes, who said that shoppers were being put in danger and pavements were being damaged by vehciles.

The local authority said the situation would be addressed, with new bollards a possibility.

Coun Rhodes said: "I’m very concerned about the amount of cars and deliveries accessing the pedestrianised areas of Wakefield city centre.

Silver Street

Silver Street

"The retractable bollards that were put in many years ago, if memory serves me correctly, were there for set periods of time - morning and afternoon so that deliveries could take place.

"And then after that the area was safe for pedestrians to walk down.

"Along the bottom of King Street, you will regularly see cars just parked on the paved area.

"Also these are brick paved areas, and they’re being damaged by the cars.

"We did have a situation where the cathedral were given the keys to the barriers but still cars are cutting through the pedestrianised area."

The council's portfolio holder for transport, Matthew Morley, said that a similar problem was affecting town centres in Pontefract, Castleford and Ossett.

He said: "The issue is the barriers have reached the end their life span.

"A report will be coming to me in January about this. Obviously the funding's got to come from somewhere. It will be a major cost.

"But we will deal with the situation. I take on board what you're saying."