A YEAR after the notoriously traffic-locked Saltaire roundabout was replaced with traffic lights and a new road layout, the change still splits opinion.

The change-over took place shortly before Christmas 2013 and businesses then told how their takings were down due to months of road works.

But chairman of Saltaire Traders' Association, David Ford, admitted a year on the scheme still had its detractors although the general opinion was positive.

"I think it's a bit of a mixed bag, but over all the new system is safer for both the traffic and pedestrians in Saltaire," Mr Ford said.

"Saltaire is a great shopping centre and it seems much busier this year, although it did take time to entice people back after the roadworks.

"To my mind it's better for visitors than it was before - it's quite a delicate balance to get these things right.

"I think the new pedestrian areas and seating will only really come into their own this spring and summer when the trees and plants have really bedded in and people have got used to the new space."

Care worker and mum-of-two Lucy Johnson said the walk into Saltaire was now less stressful.

"The roundabout meant everyone was competing to get around it and so all the drivers were tense and you could even feel that when walking.

"Although the queues aren't much shorter, at least everyone knows what to do at the lights," she said.

Rose Ward, receptionist at Opula Opticians, said she thought the designated crossing places had improved the look of Bingley Road.

But Hugh Evans, of the Evans Partnership jewellers, said he thought those crossing points were dangerous as they encouraged people to march out into traffic.

Charlotte Walsh, manager of April & Mae lingerie shop said the ban on the left hand turn at the top of Saltaire Road had single-handedly hit trade.

"If you miss the earlier left turn to get to Saltaire the only option is to drive down to the roundabout by the Bankfield Hotel and then come back in again.

"It really puts people off."

Ward councillor Martin Love also said feedback from residents had been "generally positive".

"There are some things which need tweaking - for example traffic calming in some of the surrounding roads and HGV movements, and there is some money left to do that," Cllr Love (Green, Shipley) said.

"The left turn out of Saltaire Road had to be stopped so that the traffic signals could work without totally stopping drivers in order to let pedestrians across the junction.

"But the response from most residents is that they are generally much happier."