Accident blackspot could become a low traffic neighbourhood to tackle speeding drivers

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The most recent crash happened just two weeks ago. Photo: Paul Chatterton

The area around a notorious accident blackspot in Bramley could be transformed into a ‘low traffic neighbourhood’ in a bid to tackle the problems.

Local resident Paul Chatterton has been campaigning for action to make Victoria Park Avenue, at the junction with Lancastre Grove, safer following a number of collisions and near misses on the road.

His calls came after a man has been taken to hospital after being injured in a crash involving three vehicles at the junction of Lancastre Grove and Victoria Park Avenue a fortnight ago.

paul Chatterton
Concerned: Paul Chatterton

Mr Chatterton, who lives in the nearby Lilac eco-housing community, said:

“These should be quiet, residential roads yet they’re subject to speeding and rat running. Something needs to be done and I’m pleased there seems to be some movement.”

Mr Chatterton said that since the incident there had been a flurry of e-mails between him and senior council officials – and that there is talk of introducing an active travel neighbourhood (also known as ‘low traffic neighbourhood’) in the area, subject to a full public consultation with householders.

The neighbourhoods were first piloted in Hyde Park last November and restrict traffic to make residential areas of the city much more child, pedestrian and cycle friendly.

Last month WLD was contacted by another resident after a driver crashed into parked vehicles. She said: “The roads in question are 20mph and there is a significant lack of traffic calming measures, with some of the streets not even hosting speed bumps.

“Residents would tell you that the average speed on these roads are 30-40mph and, when the roads are quiet, even higher. It is only a matter of time before somebody’s life is taken.

“We are not the only victims. In recent months … another resident’s car got written off by a speeding driver and a child was knocked down by a car rat-running near Lilac housing.

“Only last year there was another incident, which saw a car being flipped over onto its roof. Scenes, of course, you would not expect from residential streets of 20mph.”

Jim Mckenna armley
Cllr Jim McKenna

Councillor Jim McKenna (Lab, Armley) confirmed the ‘active travel neighbourhood’ proposals were at a very early stage and that he and fellow councillor Lou Cunningham were due to meet with council highways officials to discuss a variety of issues in the area later this week. He added:

“Our discussion will centre around how we will consult local people to engage in these proposals and this will be crucial. I am aware of the recent traffic accident caused by speeding in a 20mph zone and over the years there has been a number of similar accidents along the junctions with Victoria Park Avenue. 

“Many of these incidents were caused by motorists and motorcycles ignoring stop notices and illegally speeding.

“It has been the intention of myself and Armley councillors to introduce safety measures to help curtail speeding for a number of years. We first put a similar scheme to local residents, who rejected it, four years ago. the council will need to take local opinion into consideration.”

The Active Travel Neighbourhoods were piloted in Hyde Park last year.

Cllr McKenna also said the nearby bridge at Amen Corner on Wyther Lane had been closed for a number of months, which has caused rat-running through the 20mph streets in the area. He added:

“As a local resident I have suffered, as have my neighbours.”

WLD reported four years ago on efforts to create a ‘Home Zone’ in the area, where pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles share space on equal terms and make communities more attractive for residents. The idea was not implemented due to local opposition.

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