Kirklees Council to spend £50k to extend bus lane by 300 metres

A £50,000 project to extend a bus lane by 300 metres has been slammed by a Waterloo resident.

Questions raised over £50k bus lane

A £50,000 project to extend a bus lane by 300 metres has been slammed by a Waterloo resident.

Andy Blackburn, 39, a client services manager says the move in Penistone Road is a waste of cash at a time when Kirklees Council is looking to save millions in cuts.

He said: “The extension goes from Mountfield Road to Southfield Road. When people are looking at £80m cuts in services surely there are more pressing cases for the allocation of such a large sum?

“In the current climate the council are looking to cut back so they could save money on this. You could understand that amount of money if it was longer.

“If there is congestion this would just move it slightly further back. It’s a lot of money to save a few seconds.

“When they are looking to cut back services and this goes ahead it suggests there is very little oversight going on.”

Almondbury councillor John Smithson disagreed, saying: “The bus lane will improve bus times and raising the amount of public transport use is something the council supports.

“The consequences for people on Wakefield Road will be minimal.

“As for the cost this will be more than just some paint and signs. We will be improving the layout of the road and traffic islands will help with road safety.”

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “A decision on whether this scheme goes ahead will be made by councillors on March 2.

“We would not expect it to increase congestion as the scheme involves creating an additional bus lane, for use between 7.30am and 9.30am, and not removing lanes for other vehicles.

“Penistone Road/Wakefield Road is one of the busiest routes in Kirklees during the morning peak time.

“In a project which monitored 12 routes across West Yorkshire, it was also the second busiest in the whole region in terms of bus passengers – with around 6,000 passengers every day.

“Bus lanes have been in place on this route since 1999 and have helped to make bus journeys more punctual and reliable.

“They have ensured public transport is a viable and attractive alternative to the car, helping to both reduce carbon and cut congestion.

“The new proposals also include upgrades to traffic lights to respond to congestion levels and improve journey times for all vehicles, not just buses.

“A new pedestrian island is also proposed as a safe crossing point.”

It is not the first time a bus lane plan has met with criticism. Kirklees Council came under fire for plans to bring one in on Manchester Road and in a short stretch of Leeds Road, Bradley.

 

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