New homes create Hipperholme’s traffic chaos

Tailbacks at Hipperholme crossroads
Tailbacks at Hipperholme crossroads

I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment of Margot Lawson’s letter last week re the plans for Hipperholme crossroads.

The traffic chaos there has been significant for several years and now more plans have been unveiled on our deflated and demoralised community; our local shop owners and residents have been beleaguered by the changes in recent years and the adverse effects on the businesses/residents have been well documented.
However, there are much bigger issues than the traffic congestion at Hipperholme; namely, that the underlying traffic problems have been exacerbated by the numerous new housing planning applications that have been granted by the council in the local area.
The traffic on Wakefield Road & Leeds Road, approaching Hipperholme crossroads, has increased beyond belief in recent years. The Council Planning Department either do not recognise the severity of the problems or do not care? I (and many others) have registered my objections to the influx of recent planning notifications in the locality, but -as is the case with every local resident I speak to- there is never any reply until we are advised by e-mail that planning has been granted; no explanations, no rationales, just more housing in the adjacent villages of Hipperholme and Lightcliffe. I objected to planning for housing down Wakefield Rd at the old people’s home, The Manor House; this was for almost 40 houses (another 40-80 potential cars?) and right on the doorstep of Lightcliffe Primary School. Planning was granted. I objected to planning for the housing development a few hundred yards further down at Ryecroft -this development is closer to Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School and Cliffe Hill Primary School. Yet again, planning granted, more cars... Now we are to be swamped by a massive housing development at Hipperholme to add to our traffic misery and this does not even take into consideration all the other recent developments less than a mile away at Bailiff Bridge!
On Wakefield Rd - which runs from Hipperholme to Bailiff Bridge - we have huge volumes of traffic and increasing road traffic incidents. We have had several cases of speeding cars losing control, ploughing into residents’ walls and only last week an 11 year old child walking to school was involved in a car accident outside the High School. There are six schools between Hipperholme & Bailiff Bridge (excluding pre-school nurseries!), with upwards of 2,000 children trying to travel safely in the area! There are no speed restrictions as the traffic races down Wakefield Road and when I last enquired as to the possibility of having some form of speed control, I was advised that traffic speed controls in the form of cameras or speed bumps do not get installed in areas where there have been no fatalities! How sad that someone has to die in order for action to be taken?
Who at the council is allowing all this development to take place in what used to be a lovely village where we could all walk our children to school safely? Indeed, how will the community cater for ever-increasing numbers of children when our existing schools are already bursting at the seams? 
So, please stop issuing illegible traffic control plans for locals to debate and start asking who is responsible, or rather irresponsible, for all the housing development in the area.

Amanda Sheldrake