VULNERABLE pedestrians are being hit by wing mirrors of passing vans and trucks – and someone could be killed.
That’s the claim of Flockton’s parish councillors after yet another incident in the tiny village.
Kirkburton parish councillors Jimmy Paxton and Maureen Pitts say they are concerned for the safety of people walking through the village after a woman was clipped by a passing vehicle’s mirror.
Clr Paxton, a long-time campaigner for a new road to bypass the village, says there have been numerous incidents of pedestrians being hit by the wing mirrors of vehicles on Barnsley Road – a popular route between Huddersfield and the M1.
He said: “Earlier this month a lady who was taking her children to school was clipped on the shoulder by a passing flat bed truck.
“In February a man was hit in the head by a truck mirror.
“He is currently going through the courts as the driver admitted it.
“And earlier this year one lady had her shopping bag ripped out of her hands.”
Clr Paxton said the problem lay with the width of some van and truck mirrors.
He added: “A lot of them have a 12 inch mirror span and it can be 18 inches on the left.
“If they’re right up against the kerb, anybody walking on the pavement has to be very wary.”
Kirkburton Parish Council will be discussing possible solutions to the danger at its meeting this Thursday.
But Clr Paxton said they were not being supported by Kirklees Council’s Highways team.
He added: “It’s not a new thing, it’s been going on for a long time all over the village, but Kirklees aren’t interested – they say it’s a police matter.
“Nobody’s interested now, but when somebody gets killed on the pavement everybody will be running around saying something should be done.”
Insp Dave Barnett of Kirkburton and Denby Dale Neighbourhood Policing Team said he was aware of the issue, but admitted it was difficult to solve.
He said: “We can only deal with what’s presented to us, the road layout is down to Kirklees Council.
“They are hampered by the building line as there’s a couple of farms that stand right out into the road.
“But that doesn’t excuse people not driving with due care and attention and swiping people.
“If people have sufficient concerns they can draw it to our attention and we will take a look.”
Some measures to improve road safety on the A637 through the village have been introduced, including the banning of HGVs going towards the M1 and the installation of a chicane and lights to slow drivers down, but Clr Paxton said the narrowness of the road and the pavement was a difficult problem to overcome.
He said he thought more traffic calming measures should be installed to deter drivers from passing through the village.
And he repeated his call for a link road from the A642 at Bar Lane, just to the East of Flockton, to the A642 Wakefield Road, near to the National Coal Mining Museum, to allow vehicles to bypass the village.
Clr Paxton has previously called for Kirklees and Wakefield councils to work together to try and fund the road, but no progress has been made.
A spokesman for Kirklees Council’s Highways department, said: “We have carried out several road improvements through Flockton in the past few years, including a new zebra crossing outside the school, refurbishing the existing crossing, new kerbing, street lighting, road signs and markings.
“This is all in addition to major reconstruction and resurfacing of the roads throughout the village.
“Road casualties across Kirklees have reduced over the past few years and the council’s road safety teams are working hard to reduce them further.
“Resources are targeted at those areas with the highest levels of injury collisions, but we would remind all drivers in all areas to ensure they drive safely and responsibly.’’