A village centre will become a 20mph zone ahead of a new supermarket opening.

Works to Slaithwaite roads were required before Aldi open their store in early November.

And on Wednesday the Cabinet local issues meeting saw councillors David Sheard, Cathy Scott, Jean Calvert and Graham Turner overrule residents’ objections and approve the formal traffic regulation order (TRO) for the 20mph zone, removal of on-street parking to widen the footpath on Britannia Road and moving a bus stop.

But they stopped short of raising zebra crossings on Britannia Road and Carr Lane, instead favouring further investigation with local councillors and assessing the accident report where an 80-year-old lady broke both ankles on the Carr Lane crossing.

Council leader Clr Sheard said: “I’m one of few people in the council who don’t agree with 20mph zones... but if there’s a place for them it’s in the centre of a village.

“The mean speed is 20mph, that means half of people are doing more than that.”

The works are funded by Aldi, but Clr Nicola Turner, Colne Valley Lib Dem, said the £125,000 could be better spent.

She said: “It would be much better to put the money into a pot to spend on something more comprehensive. People will perceive this as council money and it could be put to better use.”

Clr Donna Bellamy, Colne Valley Conservative, asked councillors to re-look at the positioning of the Carr Lane zebra crossing, the location of a recent accident.

Police cordon after road accident in Slaithwaite
Police cordon after road accident in Slaithwaite
 

She also read a letter form local MP Jason McCartney who urged Cabinet members to take “local knowledge into account”.

Slaithwaite shop worker Angela Dews spoke of the loss of parking on Britannia Road and said: “The zebra crossing is too close the roundabout. We feel with new developments the problems will only become worse.”

Resident Robert Bamforth urged Cabinet to look at the wider impact of the Globe Mills development. He was dismayed Kirklees “bulldozes through change against the wishes of Slaithwaite people” adding: “That is not democracy.”

Caroline Hall, of the Green Valley Grocer, said: “I don’t see speeding as an issue in the village centre. We don’t need the extra street furniture for a 20mph zone when your own survey says we don’t speed.”

She said the money would be better spent improving the road network which has been damaged by HGVs and tipper-trucks going to and from the Aldi build.

Developer Dave Hale, of Dransfield Properties, which is working on the build, said: “The proposed works are excessive and we would welcome simplification by the council, but we will carry out the arrangements if there is not a delay to Aldi opening in November.”

Clr Turner told the meeting planning officers had informed her they would not prevent Aldi opening while a plan is being developed.

Colne Mills has now been demolished and Aldi’s steel frame erected. Dransfield hope the work will be complete by October with the store opening the first week of November.

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