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Residents speak out over short cut roadwork by Bradford Council
8:50am Tuesday 25th September 2012 in News
Controversial plans to close a “rat-run” through a Bradford estate have been criticised as “pointless” by some residents, including one woman who has lived there since it opened 55 years ago.
This would prevent them reaching Broadstone Way – the major part of a popular rush-hour shortcut.
But some residents claim the disruption caused to ordinary life would outweigh any claimed safety benefits.
Geraldine Parker arrived at Holme Wood as a four-year-old when her family moved into one of the very first homes – before the roads were even completed.
Having lived there ever since and helped run the estate’s Toy Library service for 24 years, she believes barricading St Margaret’s Avenue would have no effect on overall problems.
“I can’t see why they need to shut it off – it’s a pointless idea,” said Mrs Parker.
“I can’t remember any serious accidents on that road ever. St Margaret’s only gets blocked up for three quarters of an hour in the morning and afternoon when people take or collect children from the primary school.
“It’s just going to make life more difficult for everyone who lives here and anyone who knows the estate will just find another way to link up with Broadstone Way.
“Traffic is a problem and there are more cars, congestion and idiots, but it’s always going to be that way.
“What are they going to do? They can’t close off all the roads.”
Her daughter Kath, 26, agreed: “I don’t think it will make any difference at all. My friends know all the other ways through the estate.”
At a meeting to discuss the plan, residents told councillors and officers that:
* school-time traffic would be made worse
* speeders along Broadstone Way would no longer slow at the St Margaret’s Avenue junction were it to be closed
* The real problem was Tong Street with its 2-plus lane and badly-timed traffic lights.
But Holme Wood vicar, the Reverend Steve Davie, said he welcomed any attempted improvement.
“Admittedly I’ve only been here since March, but Holme Wood is a community – not just a cut-through to somewhere else,” said Mr Davie, of St Christopher’s C of E Church.
“I can sympathise with parents on St Margaret’s Avenue whose children play on the road and who want to stop the boy racers and those cutting through.
“So I think the engineers need freedom to try something and see if it works.”
But Mr Davie said he also suffered the frustrations of Tong Street – and confessed to using short-cuts himself.
“I tried to get through it the other day and it was so bad that I just gave up and used a back-street way I know,” he said.
Speaking at the forum meeting with residents in July, Bradford Council’s principal traffic and highways engineer Darren Badrock said the proposed temporary closure would be for six to 18 months and recognised concerns from residents about the risk of accidents.
The plan will be discussed at a Bradford South Area Committee meeting tomorrow. If approved, work on the scheme could start in November.