Video thumbnail, Huge queues at Great Northern Retail Park
Video Loading

Urgent action is being demanded to solve traffic problems at one of Huddersfield’s busiest retail parks.

The demand came after hundreds of drivers were left facing huge delays at the weekend.

Motorists were sat in stationary traffic for up to an hour and a half at the Great Northern Retail Park off Leeds Road, and there are fears that as the centre gets busier in the run up to Christmas, safety could become an issue.

Kirklees councillor Martyn Bolt said he had often seen problems for drivers at the shopping centre, especially those trying to leave, but never as bad as on Saturday afternoon.

And he said drivers trying to get in to the centre, where the shops include Next, Currys PC World, Mothercare and Boots, were also facing delays.

“I have never seen it as bad as this. It’s often very slow for the people coming out, but for some reason the traffic couldn’t get in.

“Someone got out of a council lorry and started directing traffic. I asked if he was clearing everything, and he said no, he just wanted to get away as he needed to get to Batley.

“It was very, very slow and people were getting extremely frustrated. Urgent action is needed to sort it out as it’s clearly a very poor design.”

He said the council - rather than the centre’s landlords LaSalle Investment Management - needed to take responsibility for improvements.

“Kirklees will say it’s the problem of the retail park but externally the responsibility for safety lies with the council, and something needs to be done.”

Congestion has increased since DIY and homeware store The Range opened in April.

Many problems are caused by the design of the exit which leaves traffic stuck at traffic lights which only allow a few vehicles through before they change.

Clr Bolt said there are large areas of car parking which are seldom used, as they are not adjacent to the shops, and this land could be reconfigured to make leaving the centre quicker.

No-one from LaSalle Investment Management was available to comment.

READ MORE: Opening of The Range has left cars queuing for hours to get out of Great Northern Retail Park

It has previously said it is aware of an increase in traffic which has resulted in car flow issues, and has assigned a dedicated project team to survey the impact and develop a solution.

The council has said it has been considering solutions to the existing problems with traffic flow within the car park and the junction at the busy centre.

Highways officers have been considering more access points and are working with the site operator to reconfigure the entrance with an additional entrance off Fitzwilliam Street and improving the flow out of the signalised junction.

Video thumbnail, Kirklees councillor Martyn Bolt captures traffic chaos on video
Video Loading