BARNSLEY Council’s highways bosses have been accused of not prioritising residents’ road safety concerns after dismissing a large petition which called for urgent action at a speeding hotspot.
Calls from 239 Paddock Road locals in Staincross have been rejected, despite the council announcing a one-off investment of £90,000 to pump into small anti-speeding schemes put forward by councillors.
Coun Steve Hunt, who represents the Darton East ward, nominated Paddock Road – from Shaw Lane to Wakefield Road – for speed hump work but it was shelved by highways officers.
A council report said: “Having considered the request in detail, the traffic team does not support the request for a road closure or traffic calming as the road in question does not have a history of personal injury collisions.
“In addition, traffic calming features would have a direct impact on a number of properties in the area and the views of those residents would need to be sought and considered before making any permanent changes.
“We will add Paddock Road to the list of locations to be assessed for deployment of our speed indicator devices.”
However, Coun Hunt blasted the decision and urged the highways department to act.
“The road is becoming busier and is used as a rat-run by motorists to avoid the nearby Turnpike crossroads which is over its design capacity,” he said.
“Residents say that the road is becoming unsafe and there is a serious accident waiting to happen.
“I have worked with the local neighbourhood policing team who intermittently installed a speed indicator device.
“This is welcome but don’t go anywhere near far enough – a permanent highways solution from the council is required to alleviate resident concerns and significantly reduce the risk of a serious accident.
“The council introduced a road safety pilot where £90,000 of funding was made available across Barnsley for road safety measures promoted by elected members in their wards.
“I was disappointed that Paddock Road did not receive any funding as part of this.
“There is no transparency as to where the money will be spent – I requested months ago that all councillors were provided with a breakdown but it seems to be shrouded in secrecy.
“It is disappointing but not surprising – this council does not prioritise road safety highly enough and they do not have a road safety strategy.
“They wait for accidents to happen before acting, rather than following the usual health and safety protocols to take action following reported hazards and near misses.
“This council is in the slow lane when it comes to road safety and clearly lagging behind other comparable local authorities.
“They need to step up.”