New restrictions aim to keep kids safe on traffic-clogged Birstall street

Bus company managers, highways staff, head teachers and councillors have met to thrash out a solution to a narrow traffic-clogged street that could pose road safety risks to schoolchildren.

By Tony Earnshaw, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 3:30 pm
Birstall councillors Josh Sheard, Mark Thompson and Liz Smaje have unveiled road safety proposals on Windmill Lane, which is a traffic-clogged route
Birstall councillors Josh Sheard, Mark Thompson and Liz Smaje have unveiled road safety proposals on Windmill Lane, which is a traffic-clogged route

It will mean yellow lines on Windmill Lane in Howden Clough, Birstall and greater enforcement as well as a crossing patrol.

Congestion is worsening on the busy street, particularly outside Windmill Primary School and Batley Girls' High School during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times.

The street is a major bus route for services between Dewsbury, Birstall retail park, Bradford and Leeds, with buses frequently meeting each other during peak times.

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Double-parking along the street makes it difficult to drive both ways or to manoeuvre between parked cars, with the result that buses grind to a halt and the road is blocked.

In an attempt to fix the problem and ensure the safety of schoolchildren, local councillors Liz Smaje, Mark Thompson and Josh Sheard, who all represent Birstall and Birkenshaw for the Conservatives, have brokered meetings to discuss traffic restrictions and enforcement.

They have met with Windmill Primary, Batley Girls' High, officers from Kirklees Council’s highways department, and bus operator Arriva where plans for greater traffic enforcement on Windmill Lane during school hours were unveiled.

Further traffic restrictions are being proposed including the redrawing of yellow road markings outside the schools and plans to form a crossing patrol to keep children safe.

Coun Smaje said: “We are continuing to be in contact with both schools and the Kirklees highways department to ensure a resolution to this very present problem is delivered as quickly as possible.

“Our priority will always be to ensure children are safe travelling to and from school.”