I felt I must put pen to paper this time after reading yet again about issues of speeding on Bolling Road by Ilkley Community Against Speeding.
Bolling Road does not have the fraction of the traffic that Leeds Road has, this being the main road carrying goodness knows how many heavy goods vehicles per hour and the majority of traffic passing through Ilkley in both directions.
Like Bolling Road, Leeds Road is also supposed to have a speed limit of 30mph, yet it seems that it is only the minority of vehicles which adhere to this. Most seem to travel well above this limit.
Leeds Road also has Ashlands School, with many pupils and parents walking to and from school every day, often with younger children in pushchairs with traffic speeding by alongside them.
It also has what I and many others consider to be the most dangerous crossing in Ilkley. This is the zebra crossing near the bottom of Colbert Avenue.
I suggest the speed campaign spend time trying to use this crossing, particularly from the Colbert Avenue side because most drivers don’t seem to be able to see that someone is waiting to cross. This was a dangerous crossing 40 years ago and there was nothing like the amount of traffic then compared to today.
So whilst I am not saying there are no issues with Bolling Road, enough is enough. Let us have something done about Leeds Road instead.
Sunset Drive, Ben Rhydding
Common sense is needed for drivers to stick to speed limits
Predictably, we are once again hearing the voice of the self-appointed members of ICAS (Ilkley Community Against Speeding) recently referred to as a ‘pressure group’ by a respected Ilkley parish councillor.
This time – and once again – they are calling for a reduction of the 30mph speed limit in Bolling Road which is a nationally classified B road and has, traditionally, always been the principle route between Ben Rhydding and Ilkley.
Coincidentally, the spokesperson for ICAS happens to live along this road.
Twenty mph is certainly a safer speed limit than 30mph, as indeed is 10mph and also 5mph! No recognition whatsoever is given to the fact that there has not been an accident on this road caused by speed limits being exceeded for a considerable number of years. Only fairly recently did the Bradford highways chief state, as reported in this paper, that ‘Bolling Road was no longer a cause for concern’.
These facts seem to be totally ignored in this repetitive hyped-up demand. Let us temper common sense and reason with the requirement to observe the existing speed limits in Bolling Road and elsewhere in the town.
Cheltenham Avenue, Ben Rhydding
Privacy, protection of property and blending with landscape
Since few issues of the Gazette seem to be free these days from heated “for” and “against” argument about local issues, I wonder if Ilkley is becoming prone to the French pastime of continuous, incipient civil war.
A democratically elected planning authority reluctantly grants permission for conversion of a former water pumping station into residential premises, but some members and voters seem to be churlish about acceptance of its implications in relation to the consequential right of its new owners (whom I do not know) to reasonable security and privacy.
A case of wanting one’s cake and eating it? The inability to live with the consequences of a decision, which I myself regret, would be even more disturbing if applied to decisions in other areas of local government.
Such ex-post-facto opposition is pointless. Whilst conceding the right to privacy and protection of property, it would, however, be reasonable to encourage a way of achieving this by means which blend better with, and reflect, the local topography.
Many past and present Ilkley residents have achieved this through a plentiful supply of rockery stone, often available at the end of a spade, resting not far below the surface of Wharfedale’s glacial boulder clay, and the planting of heather. This would require offers of help, with design and materials, and diplomatic persuasion, rather than unconstructive opposition and crying over spilt milk.
And as if this were not enough, some Bolling Road residents have now joined in the “war” by seeking to inflict on others – in the absence of any democratic mandate – a reduced speed limit, which is arguably needed only in the immediate vicinity of Bolling Road Primary School.
An informal limit of 20-25mph already exists in Springs Lane in the vicinity of the health centre and Tesco’s, since it is usually impossible to go faster than this, given the amount of parked vehicles which already act as a traffic-calming choke-point.
As for the rest of Bolling Road, a wide road with good sight lines, at most times it is often as bereft of pedestrians as any Los Angeles freeway. Agitators would do better to get behind those motoring organisations arguing in favour of variable speed limits, or create a genuine road safety issue by persuading many more people to leave their cars at home and walk along Bolling Road. Other means of dissuading visitors and commuters from using Bolling Road as a bypass are available, but these should first be proposed in election manifestos.
Moorfield Road, Ben Rhydding
Tesco’s leaflet raises more questions than it answers
I have recently received a PR leaflet from Tesco regarding their proposed new store in Ilkley and I believe that, as appears normal for Tesco, it is disingenuous.
Firstly, those of us who were astute enough to retain their first leaflet will instantly notice that the revised plan shows the store to be larger than their original proposal.
In view of the fact that much of the criticism they attracted was due to its massive increase in size over their current store, such an alteration is something of a kick in the teeth to people who hoped that they were listening to concerns.
Secondly, the leaflet states that they have reduced the height of the building, while naturally not stating by how much – inches?
In any case, the large light collectors they have placed on the roof completely negate this and will yet further blight the outlook for residents.
Thirdly, they yet again fail to explain how they propose to deal with all the traffic problems. It is completely wrong to consistently fail to provide details of exactly what measures they will be demanding. No doubt an avalanche of speed bumps, yellow lines and traffic lights.
Lastly, they make no secret of the fact that they will be selling electrical goods, even showing photos of irons and televisions.
That will surely spell the death knell for several local retailers and finally close down what is still left in Ilkley.
It is also a bit strange that they refer to it as “your new store” – does that mean they are providing us with shares in it?
Brewery Road, Ilkley
We must tell the planners that new Tesco is not wanted
We have received an artfully conceived leaflet from Tesco eulogising on its proposed new superstore in Ilkley. What the pretty pictures don’t show is the traffic it will generate on our already congested roads. (There is one picture showing a couple of parked cars on Railway Road – artistic licence taken to a fantasy level!) Nor does it explain the impact that a store of this size will have on local residents and the safety hazards to pupils and parents of nearby schools.
Of course, Tesco’s marketing department will have asked its own customers if they want more of this or that to get the answers it wants. Has it asked the people of Ilkley if they want even more delivery lorries in Brook Street, Station Road, Little Lane or Valley Drive, the most congested parts of town? No it hasn’t.
We do not need a large Tesco store and we must make this plain to Bradford planners.
Bill Fisher and Maura Fisher Peake
Melville Grove, Ilkley
Grouse shooting on moor raises worries about public safety
After the recent news stories regarding shooting on Ilkley moor, I would like to bring your attention to a serious accident that recently occurred in Derbyshire where a man was shot in the back during an organised pheasant shoot. I believe there are very serious health and safety concerns over bringing shooting to a public moor, and I demand to know to what extent councillors have considered the potential for a disturbing accident such as this, and how they are going to try to ensure safety on the moor when people are firing shotguns.
Godwin St, Bradford
Thanks for help after fall
On Saturday morning, January 31, my wife had a nasty accident whilst passing the Ilkley Central Car Park toilets. A very kind gentleman came to her immediate aid and calmly took control of the situation. He then helped her to the nearby tea-room and stayed until the ambulance arrived. Due to the trauma of the occasion and my wish to escort the ambulance to Airedale Hospital, I failed to thank this ‘Good Samaritan’ as well as the staff of the Yorkshire Deli and others who helped. So, along with my wife, I would like to state how deeply grateful and thankful we are to all concerned. It is most reassuring to have so many kindly people around.
Howard and Margaret Davies
Thrilled with tree cutback at tarn
I am delighted to see the trees have been cut back at the Tarn – it looks as it did when I was a young girl in the 1930s. It was wonderful when frozen and I had much fun skating and playing ice hockey there with many other young people. Also, we can see the beautiful scene in the distance - wonderful Wharfedale.
Abbeyfield Court, Riddings Road, Ilkley
Thanks for delivering my letter
May I, through your paper, thank the very kind person who, last weekend, finding a letter on the pavement outside All Saints School which was addressed to me, very kindly put it through my letter box. Thank you.
Skipton Road, Ilkley