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Drivers flouting road closure on Bellstring Lane blackspot

Contractors midway through safety works after winter of smashes

Drivers are flouting a road closure on a notorious accident blackspot lane.

Kirklees Council contractors are half-way through safety works on Bellstring Lane/Liley Lane between Kirkheaton and Grange Moor.

The road was closed last Monday for two weeks but, despite warning signs and a clearly marked diversion, motorists are chancing their arm.

The B6118, a busy shortcut from Huddersfield to the M1 motorway, has seen a series of crashes since last November.

Over the winter drivers have careered off the road and into fields on several of the sharp and slippery bends. One of them, close to Highgate Lane and Cockley Hill Lane, has resulted in the dry stone wall being demolished bit by bit.

Back in November there were three crashes in three days and barely a week went by without more accidents.

Residents in and around Bellstring Lane launched a campaign, finally forcing the council into action.

Two bends had temporary traffic lights installed in February and concern was also expressed about mud on the roads and pavements from lorries going to and from Laneside Quarry landfill site.

Last week council contractors moved in to lay new ‘high friction surfacing’ on the two sections and install new signage and road markings.

The road has been closed during daytime hours but local access has been maintained.

The Examiner has been told drivers have been ignoring the closure. Sometimes they can get through, other times they must turn round.

Local resident Simon Moyser, who has led the campaign for improvements, said the work seemed to be progressing and he hoped it would make a difference.

READ MORE: Bellstring Lane/Liley Lane to be closed for two weeks for safety improvement works

READ MORE: Bellstring Lane crashes caused by driver speed, dirty roads and weather, investigation finds

The road had also been cleaned and he had seen fewer trucks this week.

His request for mud to be cleaned off the pavements had also been successful.

Mud on Bellstring Lane, Kirkheaton, said to come from Laneside Quarry.

“It’s so far, so good,” said Simon. “But we will only know whether these measures have worked when it’s all completed and people are using it again.

“If cars keep ending up in fields we will know it really is bad driving and the only way to slow the traffic will be speed cameras.”

Simon said the council’s improvement measures were likely to run into tens of thousands of pounds but that money would be quickly recouped in savings for the emergency services.

WATCH: Blue light trained driver writes off van on a bend on Bellstring Lane

“When you think we were having three accidents in three days and at least one every weekend, it was crazy,” he said. “The police came to each one, then maybe an ambulance and the fire service. This will save the community and the public purse in the long run.”

Another resident, Michael Mulligan, of Bellstring Lane, believes the quarries must keep the road as free of mud as possible.

He previously managed Temple Quarry in Liley Lane and said there were problems on the road when traffic reached 100 lorries a day.

He said at least two road sweepers were needed during busy or particularly wet periods.

A council spokesman said: “Works on Bellstring Lane are running to schedule. However they are weather dependent so if there are prolonged periods of rain next week this could have an impact on the completion date.”


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