A NEW stretch of road in the picturesque Copley Valley has become a magnet for joy riders.
They whip across the new bridge at frightening speeds and perform handbrake turns at the end of the pristine asphalf strip, according to witnesses.
But the police are on their case and senior councillors have promised to investigate.
Mick Coughlan, a member of the Copley Valley Environmental Group, told Calderdale Council’s cabinet he had seen the boy racers in action.
“This used to be an area for drug dealing but at weekends and bank holidays, it has been taken over by the joy riders.
“As the bridge and roadway are in the ownership of the council, it is time it took some action,” he said.
Councillor John Ford (Con, Elland) said he too had serious concerns, having seen and heard these activities while walking on the nearby Calder and Hebble tow path at weekends.
He said the police appeared to have taken some action but had so far been unable to put a halt to the practice.
Ward councillor Pauline Nash (Lib-Dem, Skircoat) said she would make regular visits to the site and report back.
Police Inspector Derek Oldham said they had received some calls about this problem and they would continue to monitor the site. “We will be talking to nearby residents to assess what’s going on.”
The new road and bridge over the canal and the River Calder, at Copley, will eventually provide a link between Wakefield Road and Holmes Road, in Sowerby Bridge.
For now, it is being used as an unofficial overflow car park for Lloyds workers.
The new road at Copley is the first element of a £60 million economic recovery scheme which also involves building homes and workshops. The project was approved in principle by the council years ago but the details are still generating complaints and objections. Calderdale Council is managing the scheme in partnership with the developers GenR8. It is intended to build 214 houses and flats, and create up to 600 jobs in retail and leisure, a new nature reserve and allotments.