Crossing site raises road safety fears

Michael Riley, on rochdale Road, Greetland, where a zebra crossing is being built
Michael Riley, on rochdale Road, Greetland, where a zebra crossing is being built

A RETIRED driving instructor has slammed the siting of a zebra crossing near a bend in Rochdale Road, Greetland.

Michael Riley, of nearby Foxbridge House, said the crossing, currently under construction, was dangerous.

It will be primarily for people using the historic West Vale viaduct.

But that is currently a “white elephant” because despite £150,000 being spent on turning it into a cycleway, a planning wrangle has blocked its use.

Mr Riley said the zebra crossing was in the wrong place and a waste of money in hard economic times.

He said the council could make the zebra comply with regulations by increasing the length of road markings but it was still risky in regards to road safety.

A pelican crossing would at least give drivers travelling up the road a vision of lights on the other side, he said.

He added that elderly people lived in flats near the West Vale junction and, if a crossing was needed, then it made sense to move it down the road away from the bend.

“The zebra crossing is part of the cycleway scheme. Nobody relised the zebra crossing was going to be there. People voted for the cycleway,” said Mr Riley, 61. Sustrans, a transport charity, owns the viaduct.

It worked with Calderdale Council on the project and the entrance in Rochdale Road has been open to Saddleworth Road since last summer. But the route is not in use across the viaduct to Green Lane.

When fully open the route would avoid the need to travel across the busy Stainland and Saddleworth roads and provide spectacular views over the Grade 2 listed 1875 viaduct.

The zebra crossing would provide a link into Clay House Park and woodland. David Hall, regional director of Sustrans, said it was disappointing problems with a pathway at the Green Lane end had not been sorted.

“The council has to go through various planning procedures.”

Council network manager Nigel Pickles said: “The crossing site is in line with national design standards and we intend to provide this crossing in the next few months.

“The council is anxious to complete the project to provide pedestrian and cycle-friendly facilities for the community. We are continuing to explore options for delivering the scheme.”