Road markings blunder causes confusion

What would you do at this junction?
What would you do at this junction?

A road markings blunder has caused confusion in Heckmondwike.

Thomas Street, which was formerly a through-road, was split into two where it met separate sections of Brunswick Street and ‘give way’ markings were painted on the new parts where the roads connect.

The road appeared as a four-way junction where drivers approaching it would have had to stop if anyone was coming in the three different directions – so nobody had clear right of way.

The markings have since been re-painted to how they originally were and Kirklees Council has confirmed the markings were made in error.

Sian Makepeace, owner of Reunion Cafe in Batley, said the markings defied common sense.

Her daughter Rebecca Cooper was in an accident at the junction in January, before the road was re-painted, for which she is still receiving counselling.

Sian thinks the new markings made the junction more dangerous.

“What an utter waste of time and money spent making a mockery of the original right of way to traffic along Thomas Street.

“I am quite sure the residents in the area are completely bemused by this and what on earth are they supposed to do when four cars all approach this section? Play chicken? Sit and wait until someone makes a move?

“Words simply fail me as to the sheer stupidity of this latest Kirklees blunder.

“It begs the question – how much more money has been wasted removing the offending markings? This story just gets more confusing as each day passes.

“I think if that had been my job I would have thought ‘Are you sure about this?’”

Sian’s cousin, who lives in America has told her that these sorts of junctions are common in the USA, and that right of way is given to whoever arrives first.

But she said it caused drivers to speed up to get right of way, and the crossroads at Thomas Street is in a 30mph zone near a nursery and centre for the disabled.

A Kirklees Council spokesman confirmed that the markings were incorrect and being replaced.

“We will investigate how the error arose to avoid repetition in future.”