Petition launched to introduce urgent safety measures at two dangerous Halifax roundabouts

A petition has been launched to introduce urgent safety measures at two busy Halifax roundabouts blighted by speeding drivers.

Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 3:51 pm
Stuart Cairney at the Stone Chair roundabout

Stuart Cairney, Labour’s candidate for Northowram and Shelf ward, is collecting signatures for rumble strips to be installed at both Stone Chair roundabout and the mini roundabout at the bottom of Cooper Lane, Shelf, to slow drivers down.

Mr Cairney said: “I was shocked to hear that residents had suffered near misses at the Stone Chair roundabout and that many were too afraid to cross at the junctions at all. As a driver and cyclist, I’ve seen near misses myself, and it’s clear that speed is a factor.

“The speed limit signage is extremely confusing because the roads which cross have different speed limits of 40mph and 30mph. It’s clearly dangerous for anyone to cross at each junction and residents have had enough of feeling scared.”

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Mr Cairney said action was needed sooner rather than later before a serious collision took place. “While traffic lights may slow traffic down, they would also cause congestion at an already extremely busy junction. I believe rumble strips will do an excellent job of alerting drivers to slow down immediately on their approach and be extra cautious. I would also welcome safer pedestrian crossings.”

A second roundabout – the mini roundabout at the bottom of Cooper Lane, Shelf – has been plagued with collisions and near misses since it was installed more than 10 years ago. While Calderdale Council’s Highways Department has undertaken to carry out a review of the road layout, near misses occur on a daily basis. A 26-year-old man was arrested after a quantity of drugs and a pick axe handle were found in a vehicle involved in a collision there on Sunday.

Halifax MP Holly Lynch backed Stuart’s action, saying: “As a local resident, I am well aware of the issues at both Stone Chair and Cooper Lane and - after consulting with residents - I met with Highways at Calderdale Council to discuss some of the issues. I’m backing Stuart’s petition as it’s now really time we saw some action to make these junctions safe.”

Stuart added: “The time for talking is over now and we need action. Our roads are busier than ever and must be fit for purpose. Residents deserve to feel safe – as both road users and pedestrians.”

Cooper Lane resident Phil Virco said: “It’s one solution; but the signage is still poor - I’d like to see speed cameras installed, and the roundabout removed.

“There needs to be a proper consultation, with residents and businesses by the mini roundabout; with a number of options in place, with Highways, Councillors and the local MP.

“There are yellow strips marked on the approach to the roundabout - but they’re not raised.”

Councillor Stephen Baines (Shelf and Northowram, Con) said: “Something needs to be done, but it’s stupid drivers who don’t know how to negotiate the mini roundabout.

“The road markings are clear but they approach it too fast.”The only solution which would prevent accidents there is traffic lights but whether that would be justified for the expense, I don’t know.”It’s too regular an occurrence but it’s a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.”I think the council have done quite a bit, they’ve put speed notices up telling people to slow down.”We’re limited on what we can do. It’s a difficult situation, I know council officers have been looking at different options to try and improve things.”I welcome anything that can put in place which will reduce accidents there.”Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Coun Jane Scullion, said: “We’re reviewing the junctions of both the Cooper Lane and the Stone Chair roundabouts in Shelf.

“Improved signing and lining was installed at Cooper Lane during 2018 and the number of reported casualties has fallen since. However we are aware of people’s ongoing concerns about the operation of the mini-roundabout and therefore a more comprehensive solution is being investigated.

“Potential options may include traffic calming on the approaches, improved pedestrian crossing points or even a complete remodelling of the junction. Depending upon the final proposals, work on the junction may commence later this year or early in 2021.

“Issues at Stone Chair were only recently brought to our attention and work to identify potential improvement options will commence in spring 2020.

“As always, we urge people to drive carefully to help keep Calderdale safe, taking into account other drivers, pedestrians, the conditions and speed limits.”

To sign the petition for action, please visit https://www.change.org/p/calderdale-council-highways-and-engineering-support-the-petition-to-improve-road-safety-at-two-shelf-roundabouts