‘Lucky twice but will it continue?’
ROAD safety campaigners in Birdsedge have been dealt a blow after council officials said the village was already safe enough.
Villagers demanded a pedestrian crossing and new traffic islands after two near misses on the main A629 Penistone Road.
The first saw an out-of-control car smash through a resident’s wall only a few yards away from a group of children waiting for the bus before flying around 30ft through the air over hedges and into a garden, ending up embedded in the side of a house.
And the second saw an elderly lady nearly killed by a heavy goods vehicle last year as she waited to cross the road.
The pensioner was dragged into the road by the down-draught of the passing wagon and received a nasty head wound.
The incident happened at night and she was lucky there were no other vehicles passing at the time.
Following the incident a 169 name petition was handed to the council demanding action.
But Kirklees Council’s cabinet shrugged off residents’ concerns and decided the road would not receive the £150,000 needed as there had been no fatalities and the average speed of traffic was below the 40mph limit.
Denby Dale ward councillor and leader of the Conservative group on Kirklees Clr Jim Dodds said he was disappointed with the outcome, but had managed to agree a deal to get a footpath built opposite Birdsedge Village Hall.
He said: “We have been lucky twice now in Birdsedge, but I don’t know if that luck will continue?
“I have the assurance of the cabinet member for highways, Clr David Sheard, that they will continue to look at the traffic situation in Birdsedge.
“But highways have only got a certain amount to spend across the whole of Kirklees and the money’s just not there. But they will look at the road markings and see if they are working.”
The refusal to make any improvements is the second snub for the region after last month’s controversial decision to do nothing at the notoriously dangerous Sovereign crossroads.
And only a month ago, 20-year-old local woman Helena Oldroyd was killed in a head-on collision on the nearby B6116 Huddersfield Road between Shelley and Kirkburton.