I was recently contacted by local residents to raise concerns about St. Helens Lane, Weetwood Lane and Long Causeway in terms of getting some traffic calming measures installed. This is the response I have received from Highways:
“Dear Cllr Anderson,
My current understanding is that St. Helen’s Lane was identified as a route that could be included within the forthcoming 20mph zone, albeit the straighter, wider section to the Long Causeway-end would require traffic calming features to address the higher-than-desired mean speeds. I am not aware of yours and your colleagues response to the consultation regarding this matter.
With regards to Weetwood Lane, Leeds City Council received a deputation from local residents along with other community representations to extend the extents of the 20mph speed limit on Weetwood Lane. This was deemed to be a reasonable request, and would result in the lowering of speeds along a route that the Council receives frequent concerns about.
A principle aim in determining appropriate speed limits is to provide a consistent message between the road geometry and environment and for changes in speed limit to be reflective of changes in the road layout and it’s characteristics. For Weetwood Lane it was determined that the section proposed (and since implemented) as 20mph, this was suitable due to the presence of property frontages close to the highway and there being a fairly constant parking presence along varying sections of the road.
Long Causeway is not proposed to be included within the forthcoming 20mph zone, for two reasons. Primarily, the mean speeds are not satisfactory for a lower speed limit, with these being above 28mph as per surveys undertaken in 2016. Even with extensive vertical traffic calming features, it is not believed that the mean speed would fall to the 24mph as stipulated by the Police for a road subject to a 20mph speed limit.
Furthermore, the characteristics of Long Causeway between Adel Lane and St. Helen’s Lane differ quite significantly from those of streets to be included. There are minimal property frontages along the route, with the surrounding environment of the road being mainly high stone walls, foliage and trees. To the driver this appears to be more of a distributor route, as opposed to a street where people live and this is borne out in the speeds that we see. Where the characteristics change by the junction with St. Helen’s Lane and the presence of properties becomes more apparent, the speed limit then duly changes. This suitably follows the guidance on speed limits by providing a change in speed limit where there is a discernible change in characteristic and as such, drivers will better understand and appreciate that change.
Long Causeway has a good accident record, with the only two accidents in the last five years (excluding the recent accident) being classed as slight. The first in 2013 was a misjudgement at the cross roads with Adel Lane/ Smithy Lane where a vehicle entered Long Causeway and collided with another vehicle. The second was in 2014 by Sir George Martin Drive where a pedestrian crossed the road from behind a parked vehicle and was clipped by a passing vehicle. The Police have of course clarified to us that the recent accident was the result of the driver falling asleep at the wheel, something which cannot be mitigated. This accident level is in no way linked to the speed of traffic and does not require any direct engineering intervention at this time.
To conclude, it is believed appropriate for the speed limit on Long Causeway south of St. Helen’s Lane to remain at 30mph as this is the most suitable speed limit for the road characteristics and road environment.”