TRADERS in Milnsbridge want urgent action to stop a tragedy.
They fear drivers who are ignoring new roadworks signs could cause a serious accident.
They have witnessed vehicles ignoring “Road Closed” signs and turning into one-way roads.
Now local shopkeepers have demanded action after dozens of motorists ignored roadworks signs, risking a head-on collision rather than taking a lengthy diversion.
Milnsbridge businesswoman Andrea Parkin counted 75 drivers in one day going the wrong direction over a one-way bridge – each of them in danger of colliding head-on with vehicles coming round the corner in the other direction.
“A lot of drivers think that if the road is clear they can go through at their own peril,” she said yesterday.
“I’m worried that there’s going to be an accident.
“It will be even worse when the children go back to school I don’t want them getting run over.”
The problem began on Monday when Kirklees Council began strengthening the bridge on Market Street in Milnsbridge.
The bridge, which normally allows traffic in both directions, will be one-way during the 14-week roadworks.
From this week, cars coming from the Manchester Road side of the village can travel over the bridge as normal.
But traffic coming the other way must take a lengthy diversion via Paddock and Longroyd Bridge to get from one side of Milnsbridge to the other.
Mrs Parkin, who runs Milltown Lettings right next to the roadworks, believes the length of the diversion is encouraging some drivers to ignore the ‘road closed’ sign and speed across the bridge on the wrong side of the road.
“There’s a sign there which says the road is closed but people are taking a chance because they don’t want to go on a three-mile round trip,” she said.
“I saw 75 cars going the wrong way over the bridge on Monday – sometimes it was four or five cars at a time.
“Sometimes they get stuck and start beeping their horns and the guys doing the roadworks have had to step in and tell them to reverse because they’ve come the wrong way.
“The workers are getting some right abuse.”
Mrs Parkin believes Kirklees could solve the problem by allowing traffic to take turns going over the bridge.