Campaigners call for a joined-up approach to tackle speeding drivers

Campaigners fighting to make the roads safer met with Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater and Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire Alison Lowe.

ROAR group protest in Batley town centre
ROAR group protest in Batley town centre

Members of the action group Reclaim Our Area’s Roads (ROAR) attended a 90-minute meeting with the newly-elected Labour MP and recently-appointed Ms Lowe, who has responsibility for policing and crime in the county.

Also at the meeting were Kirklees Council’s director of highways Sue Proctor and Chief Insp Alan Travis, of West Yorkshire Police.

Concerned local residents were able to put their questions on a range of issues including speeding drivers, police enforcement and traffic calming measures.

ROAR group protest in Batley town centre

The meeting at Heckmondwike Community Centre on Monday night was also attended by local councillors including Gwen Lowe (Lab, Batley West) and Steve Hall (Lab, Heckmondwike).

It was agreed that only a co-ordinated approach could help tackle road safety problems across the district.

ROAR had wanted to broadcast the meeting on Facebook Live but some of those attending – understood to be members of the public – were not comfortable with that. Instead the meeting was audio-recorded and ROAR plans to make a transcript available.

ROAR spokesman Nigel Harnell said he was satisfied that they had got their message across and he was happy their concerns were being taken seriously.

“Kim has been very supportive and she is talking the talk and starting to walk the walk,” said Mr Harnell.

“We want Kim to take our concerns to Parliament and see what happens.

"Speeding isn’t just a Batley and Spen problem, it’s everywhere. If we can get the issue out there, maybe other towns and cities will join us.”

Ms Leadbeater said safer roads were needed and everyone had to play their part in finding solutions.

She added: “That may be by reporting dangerous driving to the police and providing them with as much supporting evidence as possible.

“Or it may be by bringing home to family members the potential fatal consequences of driving too fast.

“Every speeding driver is somebody’s relative.

“For my part I’ll be looking at what can be done at Parliamentary level along with reinforcing my commitment to working with local stakeholders including the police and the public, and I am very clear that only by working together can we cut the incidence of deaths and injuries and facilitate behaviour change.”