Stretch of road being investigated following accidents



Our Highways officers are investigating a mile-long stretch of road following seven motoring accidents in the last month.

The Bellstring Lane and Liley Lane area has seen five accidents in the last two weeks alone.

Our officers have been looking in detail at each of the incidents as well as the condition of the road surface, markings, signs and any other factors. Potential permanent solutions will depend on the results of these investigations.

In the short term, we are installing “slippy road” and additional bend warning signs to alert drivers to the rural nature of this road – these are however, interim measures.

The road was resurfaced in August 2014, and the friction was rechecked last year with no faults found.

Police officers have noted a number of factors in the collisions ranging from high winds, excessive speeds, poor road positioning and mud on the road. Three quarters of the crashes took place in wet weather.

Cllr Steve Hall, Cabinet Member for Place, said:

There is nothing immediately obvious in the road condition or sight lines that would lead to so many accidents in such a short stretch of road.

But the recent incidents mean there have now been 18 recorded injury collisions, in 18 months. Two people have been seriously injured.

I understand there have been other damage only incidents, which the police did not attend, so there is no formal record, but walls have been damaged.”

Heavy traffic

Traffic is heavy for a rural B road, with volumes increasing when the route became an unofficial diversion during motorway roadworks. Even though the work is now complete, the amount of traffic has not reduced.

The B6118 is narrow along the majority of the length between Kirkheaton and Healy Green, where these collisions have occurred, with bends and deceptively tight corners. It has a maximum speed limit of 40mph.

There is also a high proportion of HGV traffic because of the two quarries on this road, and the rural nature of the surroundings.

Cllr Hall said:

We will investigate further to ensure that we have missed no defects that might lead to these accidents. We will talk with police and local councillors, and ensure , lighting and signs are appropriate.

We have already redone tests to evaluate the surface friction, and working with the quarries to ensure the road is clean and that trucks are using the wheel wash facilities provided on site.

We are also undertaking automatic speed measurements to allow us to put the full picture together.

Nothing is being ruled out, including considering measures which might reduce the attractiveness of this road as an alternative to the motorway.

One comment

  • 18/8/16 B6118
    Over the past several days I have had to travel this route and been forced right up against the wall by larger than average HGVs including two car transporters, one of which held up traffic for a considerable length of time while it tried to cross the bridge over the Huddersfield Broad canal. The last thing that is needed is widening the road as these vehicles travel at over the 40 limit anyway, and certainly do not slow down for oncoming traffic. They are invariably way over their side of the white line, where such exists. Given that the far wider road, through Flockton, has both HGV ban, as well as interventions to narrow the road to allow only single file traffic, would this not be a far cheaper solution on narrow and winding roads such as this? Or is it necessary to wait for a set number of deaths before the danger is taken seriously?

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