Shop owners are angry over new road changes in Slaithwaite.

Businesses in the village’s main shopping street, Carr Lane, are not happy with Kirklees Council’s decision to re-enforce loading restrictions, banning them from having goods easily delivered to their stores.

They and some residents are also disturbed by plans to cut disabled car parking spaces by 50% by moving a bus stop into one of the spaces, following the passing of a plan to relocate a controversial zebra crossing further down the road.

The measures were taken in a bid to reduce traffic congestion ahead of the opening of an Aldi supermarket in adjoining Britannia Road this autumn.

Artist impression of proposed Aldi at Slaithwaite
Artist impression of proposed Aldi at Slaithwaite
 

Green Valley Grocers owner, Carol Wood, is one of several bosses who are concerned about the changes, which includes re-enforcing no loading orders on the roadside nearest the canal, following the painting of new yellow lines on the pavement. Although formally introduced some years ago and backed up by double yellow lines, they said that traffic wardens had allowed their delivery vans to have 20 minutes unloading time.

Carol said: “It’s really not made it easy for us and we were only told about the re-enforcement by wardens, not officers. Many of us get around three to four deliveries a day, with some, like Colne Valley Motor Parts, having up to 20.

“Now van drivers have to ring us when they’re nearby and we have to hope we can find a free car parking space on the street and stand in it. Otherwise they’d have to park five minutes away, which isn’t practical because the delivery items are heavy.

“We understand the measure is there for health and safety and congestion reasons but there must be something the council can do to help keep our local businesses alive.

“At the moment we know we have a voice but it’s falling on deaf ears and we just want fair play.”

The council has also confirmed a plan to move the zebra crossing, which lies 11 metres from a mini roundabout was passed.

It will mean the relocation of the street’s bus stop into one of only two disabled bays, outside E&R Grange butchers.

Owner, Richard Grange, said: “We agree the crossing should be moved to make it safer for pedestrians but don’t think it’s fair to remove the space.

“It’s used all the time by shoppers with disabilities so to take it away from them is discriminatory, especially as they haven’t told us of any plans to create an alternative nearby.”

Colne Valley Liberal Democract councillor, Nicola Turner, said that she is currently in talks with officers to get them to review the changes, which she said had caused ‘a lot of public upset’.

She said: “I have asked them to impose alternative waiting restrictions which will allow deliveries on the road in between 10am and 2pm but not peak times as it’s really inconvenient when we have lorries parked up. None of us wanted to lose the disabled space but we made the decision due to public safety.

“I and other councillors have asked officers to look at this and consider either converting the large parking space outside the Yorkshire Building Society into two spaces, one for disabled, or placing the disabled space in Britannia Road, which currently has none at all.

“But I will put forward any ideas given to me from the public and I hope that residents give their views when the plans become the subject of an upcoming public consultation.”