Proposed plans for Menston roads shown

Residents gather outside Kirklands Community Centre in Menston to discuss future development in the village

Residents gather outside Kirklands Community Centre in Menston to discuss future development in the village

First published in Local news Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Ilkley/Otley Reporter

Menston residents attended a traffic management consultation event on Tuesday to view a proposed scheme for the village.

Highways officers from Bradford Council attended the event at Kirklands Community Centre to answer queries from residents about the suggested highway improvements for Menston village should the Derry Hill and Bingley Road development projects take place.

The plans will be on display for a week in Menston Library for anyone who was unable to attend the meeting.

Jackie Whiteley, Conservative councillor for the Wharfedale ward was among those who attended. She said: “I was able to meet and listen to residents’ concerns, but it seemed to me that there is some misunderstanding about the process. The first thing I want to stress is that nothing is set in stone.

“To date planning permission has been granted with a condition that the developers must pay circa £500,000 to improve facilities in Menston. In recent months the highways officers have been consulting with the parish council and ward councillors to get a picture of what improvements could be made to aid traffic flow and safety in the village given the expected increase in traffic. They have used their professional expertise to produce a workable scheme.

“At this stage it is just a suggestion and everyone can comment when the formal public consultation starts. The key points are that the planning permissions have been granted and should the developers build the houses there is £500,000 available to improve facilities in the village. Part has to be spent on improving the highways which might include; varying the speed limit and associated measures to support this, such as signage or road humps, we could even have a speed limit imposed on the whole village.

“We are still in the early consultation period but if nothing is done then the developers will get their money back. The money can’t be kept for a rainy day or used for other purposes so we need to think carefully what will be best for the village in the circumstances that we find ourselves in now if the developments go ahead.

“We know that Bradford Council is short of money and so we need to think carefully how and if this money is spent.”

The event was also attended by Dr Steve Ellams, of Menston Community Association, who said: “The event, which was very well attended over the afternoon and evening, prompted concerned residents to ask hundreds of questions ranging from congestion and parking to possible one-way systems being implemented. One of the major concerns was how do the heavy goods vehicles get on and off the proposed sites safely when there are far too many cars parked in and around the village already.”

Dr Ellams said he had submitted a detailed report from a Heavy Goods Vehicle Inspector on February 28, 2012, to the planning panel to say the route on and off the site for HGV vehicles was impossible, due mainly due to parked cars, however this had been ignored.

“There will be a follow up meeting in approximately four weeks after which time the public can send written representation to the proposed Traffic Management scheme for Menston,” added Dr Ellams.

“I will be resubmitting the report from the Inspector to point out the obvious flaws in the route to and from the sites.”

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