Safety campaigner calls on police to tackle 'lawlessness' of drivers in Batley

A roads campaigner believes police could do more to tackle the “lawlessness” of drivers in Batley.
Cars parked on the pavement in Batley town centreCars parked on the pavement in Batley town centre
Cars parked on the pavement in Batley town centre

Nigel Harnell, one of the founders of Reclaim Our Area’s Roads (ROAR), has spoken of his frustration after he came across two police officers parked up in Batley town centre.

Mr Harnell went into Batley after reports of a Lamborghini “flying up and down” Wellington Street. After going to Wellington Street, he went into Batley town centre.

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He saw two cars parked fully on the pavement outside a restaurant on Commercial Street and started broadcasting on Facebook Live.

Close by he spotted a parked police car so he went up to speak to the officers. In the video Mr Harnell explains who he is and points out the two cars.

He also mentions the Lamborghini and the male officer admits they were aware of it. A female officer explained that pavement parking isn’t really a matter for the police.

Mr Harnell said: “I know the police work hard and these two officers were having their dinner and might have been coming to the end of a long shift but it’s the perception.

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“They admitted they were aware of this Lamborghini but they were parked up eating chips, probably bought from the same place where these two cars were parked on the pavement.

“If I was a police officer I would have ticketed these cars. I know they were only in a panda car that wouldn’t have kept up with a Lamborghini but they could have called traffic police.

“There’s a lawlessness and drivers do what they want even when police are there. It’s like we’re banging our heads against a brick wall.”

ROAR was set up following the death of Carol Andrew, 69, killed as she crossed White Lee Road in Heckmondwike in July.

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The group holds a weekly protest at speeding hotspots and on Saturday (6pm) it’s Walkley Lane, Heckmondwike.

Chief Inspector Alan Travis, of Kirklees Police, said: “We are aware of the concerns of residents in Batley regarding road safety and have been meeting with them and partners recently to put plans in place to address their concerns.

“Improving road safety and tackling dangerous driving is a priority for the Batley Neighbourhood Policing Team, which continues to run its Operation Tireminster operation to address these issues.

“The team regularly seizes vehicles in the Batley and Spen area for issues such as dangerous driving, driving without tax and insurance and driving over the limit.

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“Recent activity has included a car seized from Birstall on August 28 for having no road tax and the arrest of a driver on August 31 in Heckmondwike for a number of offences after a car was seen speeding.

“Those who think it is acceptable to drive dangerously in Batley or anywhere else in Kirklees, should be under no illusions that police are taking action, and are committed to working with residents to make sure we are taking the action they want to see.”

A police spokesperson added that officers attended the area following the report of a vehicle driving dangerously but it was not present on their arrival.

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