A busy Pudsey junction could be set for a new pedestrian crossing, if Leeds City Council plans become a reality.
Highways chiefs are proposing a new crossing at the busy crossroads of Richardshaw Lane, Lidget Hill, Cemetery Road and Mount Pleasant Road.
They say the average daily traffic flow exceeds 10,000 vehicles, with Pudsey Grangefield School nearby. More than 600 pedestrians cross there each day.
WLD reported back in 2015 about a petition for traffic lights there, which received more than 300 signatures.
A council report this week proposed a humped zebra crossing with an associated footpath ‘build out’ on the western side and has pledged to consult on the proposals. It added:
“Considering the heavy and constant traffic flow into and out of the centre of Pudsey, it is a difficult location for pedestrians to cross. There have been two serious injury collisions at the crossroads in the last five-year period, one involving a pedestrian.
“There are two existing humped zebra crossing facilities further north on Richardshaw Lane, each serving crossings mostly associated with Pudsey Grangefield School.
“It is considered appropriate to introduce a formal facility at the crossroads to support local active travel choices.
“It is further proposed to introduce upgrades to the belisha beacons at the two existing zebra crossing facilities, as these are in areas of darkness due to tree canopies. Subsequently full LED local lighting and mid-mount LED belisha beacons are to be introduced at both crossings. The existing tactile paving at the zebra crossing near to the junction of Somerset Road shall also be amended to meet current design criteria.”
Pudsey councillors Dawn and Simon Seary and Trish Smith met with council highways officers on site this morning and have proposed a different scheme to help ease some of the problems.
They have asked the council to hold off from installing the zebra crossing until a full traffic and pedestrian survey is completed after the summer holiday period to get a better understanding of traffic movements. Cllr Simon Seary said on Facebook:
“We understand how dangerous the junction can be and have instructed officers to undertake a full survey of the junction with the desire to install traffic lights with pedestrian crossing signals.
“This week the council have proposed a new zebra crossing at the junction and we have asked for this to be put on hold until we see the final results of the traffic light survey.
“We have also asked for temporary lights to be installed as a trial to see if it improves the situation before spending thousands of pounds of council tax on the wrong scheme. We will keep you informed throughout the process.”
The council proposals have met with a mixed reaction from Pudsey folk on social media, with many saying there was a need to do something at the junction, but with different solutions being put forward. One resident said:
“All that needs doing with that junction is the removal of the ridiculous parking spots so close to it. That way, vision will be improved and no need for traffic lights (and the massive cost that could be implemented elsewhere!)”
“Crossing Cemetery Road and Mount Pleasant Road are a bit of a nightmare, particularly as there is a lot of traffic going along Cemetery Road to Mount Pleasant and vice versa. I back trialling traffic lights with pedestrian buttons north, east and west of the junction.”
And another added:
“Fantastic – about time! I know a lot of people are opposed to lights, but the junction is extremely dangerous currently for people crossing the road. I think a couple of minutes waiting at lights us worthwhile if it means no-one gets run over.”
“Lights here would be a disaster and cause chaos in rush hour, all that traffic coming out of the centre getting stuck and cars coming up ‘Ricky’ Lane would make it even worse than it is now further down. A lot of people would use Westdale Road as a rat run instead and it’s already bad down there. There’s a zebra crossing 50 yards down (if that) from their proposal, do we really need another so close?”
The council proposals, which come part of the £300,000 city-wide pedestrian crossing review and are due for consultation, can be read in full here.