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Calls for urgent action over ‘dangerous’ Stanningley Bottom road layout

By John Baron

Additional reporting: David Spereall, local democracy reporting service

We need action, and we need it now – that was the message from councillors in a debate about the ‘dangerous’ road layout at Stanningley Bottom.

Members of the council’s Outer West Community Committee today considered the future layout of the junction at Stanningley Bottom and what funding options may be available.

The layout of Stanningley Bottom 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.

It’s been suggested that converting the roundels to mini-roundabouts, where it is clearer who has right of way, would improve the situation.

Principal traffic engineer Christopher Way said the project has successfully reduced traffic speeds and queues on the approaches, most noticeably on Richardshaw Lane. In light of ongoing concerns, he proposed three possible improvement schemes:

  • Maintenance of existing layout

Damage to the carriageway can be repaired by Leeds City Council’s maintenance depot as part of their ongoing programmes of works without incurring additional capital costs. This repair would be in available materials and may not match the premium material selected in the scheme design.

  • Full resurfacing of the carriageway at Stanningley Bottom

This is a significant undertaking and is estimated at £80,000. Given the current maintenance backlog across Leeds it is not considered that this can be fully met from the 2022/23 programme. It is estimated that a shortfall of £40,000 would need to be made up.

  • Full resurfacing plus additional road markings and crossing enhancements

To fully address maintenance and road safety concerns a more involved scheme would 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. Contributions from Maintenance (£30k) and Traffic Engineering (£30k) could be provided, leaving a shortfall of £40,000 into this project.

Some councillors today favoured the third option of full resurfacing and other improvements – but it was stressed that there was also an immediate need for road safety improvements in the area.

Cllr Andrew Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) called for immediate repairs and said he had received complaints from motorists, pedestrians and cyclists about the road’s condition. He added:

“Stanningley Bottom is a disgrace. The surface is like the surface of the moon. The council should be ashamed with visitors going in that direction as it is a bad advert for the highways department.

“Road markings have become so badly worn away and we need some action in the short term, not just long term.”

Cllr Peter Carlill (Lab, Calverley & Farsley) said that while some of the thinking behind the original scheme makes sense, but said council highway

He suggested highways chiefs should ‘cut and run’ and go for the larger scheme. He said the scheme had been a success “in a way”, because of the reduction in collisions. But he added the system is “still not understood by the majority of people”.

Cllr Carlill told the meeting:

“I understand some of the thinking behind having an unmarked junction to make people slow down.

“I’ve seen that in villages across Europe, and in rural French villages it works really well. But the difficulty is we have roundabouts here.”

Cllr Amanda Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) described the scheme as a ‘standing joke’ in the community and criticised highways officers for not listening to the concerns of councillors and local residents back in 2018. She warned:

“Do not underestimate the anger and frustration from people who have to live, drive and walk in this area. Highways need to fix this and fix it quickly.”

Cllr Trish Smith (Cons, Pudsey) reiterated comments that the junction was dangerous. She said: “There will be an accident there and I am surprised there hasn’t been already. It is a poor scheme in dreadful condition and we need to do something now.”

Mr Way, from the highways department, agreed to take on councillors’ comments about the junction and will look into the issues and report back.

The outer west community committee is made up of nine councillors from three wards: Calverley & Farsley, Farnley and Wortley and Pudsey wards. The political makeup is five Conservative councillors, and two each from Labour and the Green Party.

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  1. Are people really still banging in about this?

    If the concern is the state of repair of the road surface then fair enough but to continually claim it’s ‘confusing’ reveals a worrying fact about the road awareness of many drivers.

    All that has to be remembered is the single fundamental of road use in the UK; we give way to the right. Remember that and navigating the road arrangement is simple.

    Just the same as if you approach a traffic light junction and the signal’s aren’t working, use your common sense and apply that rule. Yes it makes you think but that’s what it’s supposed to do.


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