A businessman has criticised Leeds City Council for failing to carry out vital road safety works at Stanningley Bottom – despite a petition with 2,000 names being presented a year ago.
Phil Townend, proprietor of Philip Nicholas barbers, is at his wits’ end over the mini roundabouts – known as roundels – which were installed as part of the multi-million pound CityConnect cycle superhighway linking Bradford and Leeds.
Mr Townend, whose barbers shop faces on to the Stanningley Bottom roundels, says he has seen many near misses outside his shop and is worried for the safety of both cyclists and motorists using them.
But despite promises from council highways chiefs to sort the problem – including a promise in April that work would be carried out imminently – there’s still no definite start date from the council.
An exasperated Mr Townend said:
“The roundels are an absolute death trap. Nobody really knows how to use them and I’ve seen so many near misses outside my shop.
“The honking of car horns is the soundtrack to my week and I’m really worried for people’s safety who are using the road.
“More than 2,000 people signed my petition last year calling for improvements and there’s just silence from the council. Nothing seems to be happening. They’ve ignored the will of 2,000 local people and it’s a disgrace.”
Proposed improvements include textured over-run areas, together with a larger central margin in the road. It’s hoped the changes should slow motorists’ speeds on the approaches to the roundels.
The area is meant to be a shared space between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, but Mr Townend argues the road isn’t wide enough for it.
A spokesperson for Leeds City Council failed to give a start date but told The Dispatch more information would be available ‘shortly’:
“Details will be announced shortly on the programme for this work being completed.
“With multiple contractors involved, we are keen to ensure the work is as co-ordinated as possible and for disruption to be kept to a minimum.
“Information will be given to local residents and businesses about the work plan in due course.”
The roundels and shared space scheme is based on a similar road layout in the town of Poynton in Cheshire.
A council spokesperson told The Dispatch in April that works could not have been carried out in winter ‘due to the nature of the special materials needed to complete these works’ but ‘with the drier weather now here we are looking to have the works on site as soon as our contractor is available’.