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Calls for action over Stanningley Bottom road ‘shambles’

Fresh calls are being made for highways chiefs to sort out a ‘patchwork quilt’ of problems at the busy Stanningley Bottom.

Phil Townend, proprietor of Philip Nicholas barbers, is leading calls for improvements in the area, which is supposed to be a shared space between motorists and cyclists following the introduction of the cycle superhighway linking Leeds and Bradford in 2016.

A number of improvements were completed in early 2018 – including fixing safety concerns over mini roundabouts (known as roundels), introducing textured over-run areas and a larger central margin in middle of the road following a 2,000-name petition.

Mr Townend said the new road surface ‘degraded quite quickly’ and now resembles a ‘patchwork quilt’. He added:

“The ’roundels’ cause a lot of confusion, leading to near misses, accidents and road rage. This could be easily resolved with normal mini-roundabouts, which are easier to recognise and everyone understands as they appear in the highway code. There is also a problem with people pulling up half on half off the pavement actually at the side of the roundel at the bottom of Richardshaw Lane and on double yellow lines in order to buy provisions from Stanningley Off Licence or Ozzy’s Bistro.

“This sometimes causes an obstruction to other road users, especially buses and lorries turning right after coming down Richardshaw Lane. This could maybe be prevented with fencing, forcing vehicles to pull over somewhere safer.

“It would also encourage people to use the zebra crossings, rather than the dangerous space between the roundels, despite the scheme being designated as ‘mixed use’ which it clearly isn’t.”

Mr Townend said the area was a ‘hot spot’ for speeding, despite the 20mph limit.

Councillor Amanda Carter (Con, Calverley and Farsley Ward) has backed calls for action. She said:

“Ever since the Council spent thousands of pounds on supposedly improving highways and pedestrian safety at Stanningley Bottom it’s been nothing short of shambolic. 

“The area never seems to be cleaned, the road surface is breaking up all over – and this has not been caused by this winter’s rain and frost, it was like that anyway. The zebra crossing line markings are virtually unrecognisable.

“This mess all began as part of the multi-million pound Leeds Bradford Cycleway, since which time it’s been completely forgotten. The council needs to get its act together and sort this out. We need action and we need it now.”

Leeds City Council is due to investigate the concerns.

Highways chiefs had hope the work carried out in 2018 would address road safety concerns over the roundels – which were first installed in 2016.

Cllr Kevin Ritchie (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley) said he had been pressing for improvements since 2016 and stressed the council was facing a number of financial challenges due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and Government austerity. He added:

“It’s not surprising that services are being affected after over 10 years of Government-imposed austerity. The council has lost £2 billion cumulative funding since 2010.

“For context here is the budget in Leeds near the start of austerity 2010/11….”

“…Net budget of £569m whereas this year’s was £436m. We’ve had 10 years’ inflation and extra demand due to growth since then.

“Thank goodness the people of Leeds have stepped up in so many voluntary roles, often working in partnership with the council to help deliver some services in other ways. I’m proud and thankful residents in Bramley & Stanningley Ward have done their part and then some.”

Stanningley Bottom is at the junction of three Leeds City Council wards – Farsley & Calverley, Bramley & Stanningley and Pudsey.

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