Ombudsman to look into ‘rat-run’ complaint

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Trimmingham residents have lodged a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman against Calderdale Council’s Highways Department over road safety concerns at Brow Foot Gate and Churn Lane.

Residents have campaigned for more than three years to improve the steep, winding roads which have no footpaths and are used by drivers following directions on their sat-navs looking for the shortest route.

Coun James Baker (Lib Dem, Warley) said: “We’ve got the on-going problem of HGVs coming down Churn Lane - they keep crashing into residents’ walls, so we really need to sort that out.”

Coun Baker raised the issue to cabinet last July, and in December the council highlighted Brow Foot Gate as a high priority. Six months have passed and the council have still not fixed a date to begin improvements.

Coun Baker said: “It’s been going on for years, and what’s frustrating is the council introduced what they call a Minor Traffic Work Prioritisation scheme where you fill out a form which gets sent to a panel and assessed.

“It’s the fact that it’s been assessed as a priority, but they can’t even give us a time - to have gone so far to be left hanging again is really frustrating,” he said.

Geoff Willerton, head of Highways at the council, said: “Churn Lane is clearly marked at the junction with Gibbet Street ‘No HGVs’ and has been for a number of years.

“The council’s Minor Traffic and Parking Improvement policy is a means of prioritising customer service requests along with our workload and is subject to funding and resources. The road has not been assessed under this Policy and we are unaware of any requests through this directly relating to Churn Lane.

“We have however had requests for both Brow Foot Gate Lane and Trimmingham Lane, which are in the vicinity of Churn Lane,” he added.