By John Baron
Council highways chiefs should spend £100,000 on improvements to the ‘dangerous’ road junction at Stanningley Bottom.
That’s the recommendation from councillors sitting on the Inner West Community Committee last night amid ongoing concerns over the road layout at Stanningley Bottom, which has been heavily criticised since city highways chiefs redesigned the area in 2016 as part of City Connect’s multi-million pound cycle superhighway.
Two European-style “roundels” – unmarked circular junctions where drivers are encouraged to slow down and give way – now operate in the area.
The council claims the revamp has reduced collisions and speeding by forcing drivers to slow down. But critics say drivers and cyclists are simply confused by the layout and fear a serious accident if changes aren’t made.
Councillors told principal traffic engineer Paul Way that a major scheme was needed resurface the road and add road humps at both zebra crossings and mini-roundabout markings at both un-marked junctions. This project is estimated to cost around £100,000.
They had a choice of three schemes, including two cheaper options of simply maintaining the junction and a full resurfacing of the road junction.
Paul Way told councillors that the scheme had been generally successful in reducing speeds and traffic queues in the area, but pointed to issues with the deteriorating surface. He said police accident statistics indicated the junction was performing well in terms of low accident numbers.
All three Bramley & Stanningley ward councillors said the third – most rigorous – option was the preferred way forward.
Councillors on the Outer West Community Committee – which includes Pudsey and Calverley & Farsley wards – last month also called for action on the road, with one councillor likening it to the ‘surface of the moon’. But Cllr Kevin Ritchie (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley) said:
“I hear there was a passionate debate at the Outer West Community Committee and for me they should be making a donation towards this as well. They need to put their money where their mouths are.”
Cllr Ritchie pointed out that some of the recommended improvements were first raised back in 2017 when barber Philip Nicholas barber shop owner Phil Townend raised a 2,000-name petition to tackle safety issues.
Cllr John Illingworth (Lab, Kirkstall) said: “The existing materials don’t seem to be surviving too well. Can anything be done to improve the materials to improve the quality of works?”
Mr Wray admitted: “Some are lasting better than others. If we were to do it again we would use different materials.”
Cllr Hannah Bithell (Lab, Kirkstall) also called for cycle safety improvements in the area.
Mr Way, from the highways department, agreed to take on board councillors’ comments about the junction and will look into the issues and report back.