I recently met on site with a parent and also met a number of parents separately and I have also received  a number of emails raising concerns about crossing the A660 Leeds Road, Bramhope. Set out below is the response from the Highways Engineer:

“Dear Cllr Anderson, 

I have undertaken some work to try and determine whether any measures could be provided around the pedestrian refuges to try and improve conspicuity of the islands to drivers. I am not comfortable that there are any measures that would have a realistic benefit. The refuges are well-lit and have marker beacons. I do not believe that any additional road markings here are going to provide any tangible benefit and there is no signage prescribed within the regulations to indicate that pedestrians utilise these as a crossing location. 

One proposal I wish to take forward is to widen the islands. They are currently one metre wide, which is below the desired width, although I am aware their presence was more to prevent overtaking manoeuvres than to provide dedicated crossing locations. You will recall the issues we had in Adel with the need to widen the carriageway to accommodate cyclists, who desire a 4 metre space between footpath to island thus allowing them to be safely passed by a vehicle. I do not have the opportunity to widen the carriageway here as the footway on the north side is at a level difference and the cost to raise would be disproportionately large, however I can achieve a 0.5m width improvement on the island by Church Hill and a 0.75m width improvement on the next island – used by the residents as they showed us at the meeting. 

There is no funding available for this at present, however I shall look to add this to the list of schemes for consideration as part of the pedestrian crossing review for the 2018/19 budget, where it’s likely cost and benefit will be ranked against other schemes on that review, with a hope that it achieves the funding necessary for implementation. I accept that this decision will not be taken until circa-March 2018, but in the absence of funding, this is all I can offer at this current time. 

I am sorry I cannot seek to provide any measures at the current time – it would be inappropriate and unnecessary to implement measures that are believed would have zero impact on how drivers use the A660 at this point. I trust that the commitment to try and obtain funding for improvements to the refuges in the next financial year is of use to you at this time.”

I have also had a number of queries about the accidents that have seen a number of vehicles lose control at the bend of Leeds Road and Church Hill. Set out below is the latest update from Highways:

“We have been in communication recently regarding the incidents that have taken place on the bend at the junction A660 Leeds Road with Church Hill, Bramhope and I wish to detail to you how we intend to proceed, following discussions between Traffic Engineering, Highway Asset Management and having also taken information and opinion from PC Ingham at West Yorkshire Police. 

–          We have identified a desire to improve skid resistance on the bend in question, to assist in preventing the incidents that have been taking place. Colleagues in Highway Maintenance shall be undertaking a design to resurface the bend and also approximately 50 metres on each approach. It is currently intended to undertake this resurfacing during the summer holiday period. Further detail on this shall follow upon the investigations, design work and programming being undertaken.

–          Cleansing of the gullies in this area has already taken place to minimise the amount of standing water around the bend. This will be accompanied by further clearing of the combined drain and kerb system currently found on the western kerb line to maximise available drainage capacity. Investigations will take place into the need for additional drainage in this location.

–          In the short term, additional warning signage shall be placed on either side of the bend to warn drivers of the potential for the carriageway to be slippery.

–          The existing bend warning signage shall be upgraded so that it is a more conspicuous yellow background, better drawing attention to the sign and the impending bend. This will be for both signs on either side of the bend.

–          PC Ingham has identified a concern where Otley-bound drivers will cut through the bend, thus placing them in conflict with vehicles entering the right-turn pocket for Church Hill. We shall therefore extend the existing continuous double white line system on the Otley-bound side further around the bend from where it ends between the hotel entrance and Church Hill. The line shall be extended back to a point somewhere between the bend and the bus stop shelter. This should act as a more visual deterrent to drivers, informing them not to enter this area.

–          ‘SLOW’ text road markings shall be provided on both approaches to the bend. I will provide an update on timescales on this in due course. 

I trust the information above is of use to you at this time. To note, none of the incidents that have occurred have been confirmed to us as being the result of the speed of the vehicle. I shall address the speed limit and speed of traffic in a separate email next week.  

I will be happy to respond to any comments that are raised and as stated, I will seek to provide further information on certain points when that becomes available.”