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Keighley Road

From Ron L

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Have other people noticed the increasing traffic chaos between Hebden Bridge and Old Town on Keighley Roa? So far the Council's attitude has been to say they know about it but can/will do nothing.

After last year's resurfacing fiasco the white and yellow lines were either not put back or were moved so as to be ineffective. Vans parked outside Nutclough Mill are a particular problem.

From Andy M

Friday, 15 April 2011

There's often quite a bit of short queuing etc but it serves to slow the traffic down - I never get held up for long.

From Emma S

Saturday, 16 April 2011

That spot by Nutclough Mill is a nightmare. Cars / vans park all round the bend so that if you are coming uphill you have to drive on the wrong side of the road on a blind bend, unable to see if anything is about to come round the corner. I've had several near misses there.

It really does need some yellow lines painting on that bend.

From Heather Morgan

Saturday, 16 April 2011

On a number of occasions I have contacted Janet Batty and Calderdale with regards to this issue, they seem oblivious to the dangers posed by the over parking on this road.

Soon somebody will be badly hurt and they will not be able to bury their heads in the sand as they do now.

There prime reason given by Janet Batty for not reviewing the parking issue is it is a vote looser, which is a real shame when votes are more important than the safety of the community.

People on this road need to be more considerate when parking, especially the owners of the camper vans that never seem to move.

The parking at the junction of Lee Mill road which is used by most people to turn around is dangerous and should be monitored by Calderdale and its enforcement offices.

I agree totally with the initial comments, parking on this road is dangerous and selfish.

From Anthony Rae

Monday, 18 April 2011

Just for the information of people on this thread: Calderdale Council officers made an attempt some five years ago to deal with the problem by proposing a reduced parking scheme on this section of Keighley road. I had advanced sight of the scheme because the Hebden Bridge Traffic Review was ongoing at the time and suggested something slightly more reduced in scale, but still effective, because I was anticipating that residents and others parking their cars there would object in force. I don't think Calderdale did revise the scheme down (no reason why they should do) but when it went out to consultation what I had predicted then duly occurred. There was (I understand; I've not seen the extent of the correspondence) considerable opposition which resulted in the entire scheme being withdrawn.

So, in addition to a lesson about carefully pitching the scale of an initial proposal such that it doesn't prompt an overwhelming response, the other one is that there is a worked-up scheme on the shelves of the Council's Highways Department waiting to be revisited.

In these sorts of situations it is the responsibility of local councillors (whether Calderdale or Town) to broker a compromise which nonetheless still improves safety. Maybe they could be requested to return to the issue?

From Sarah T

Monday, 18 April 2011

If you think you've got it bad at the bottom end of Keighley Road, try the top!

Pecket Well has traffic jams every day involving buses and tractors because of inconsiderate parking on the blind bend. There are rented properties in the village which have loads of private off-road parking, but because it's 50 yards away and they can't be bothered walking these lazy residents would rather park on the road and force buses and cars onto the wrong side of the road on a blind bend, causing a jam.

Pecket Well Mill is a big problem too, with only two visitors parking spaces for about 30 houses so they end up parking on the road. Right next to the mill entrance too, or overlapping it, which makes it really dangerous getting in and out. And most of them park right on the pavement, which means having to walk on the road.

From Cllr Janet Battye

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

We were about to work this proposal up again because it has been brought up with us from several different sources over the last 3/4 months but, unfortunately, the key Officer in Calderdale Council died unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I'm going to get Highways Officers to revisit it shortly after Easter. They have done some more work on the old proposals and we will get them recirculated very shortly.

From Ron L

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I agree with several of the contributors. The Council have also been forewarned about road problems over the forthcoming bank holidays, but (unsurprisingly) are so far unwilling to take any sensible actions such as temporary cones to alleviate the problems.

From Steve Sweeney

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The road in general is a problem and difficult to negotiate at times but the bend below Nutclough is a particular hazard as the cars parked at the side of the road force you into oncoming traffic on a blind bend.

The problem has got much worse since the resurfacing as the road markings have not been replaced. When they were present the people parking could clearly see that they were blocking the lane completely on the bend and were discouraged from doing so. Putting the road markings back does not require planning permission and would help alleviate the situation whilst the debate about double yellow lines is resolved.

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

I agree with Andy M that parked cars have the useful effect of slowing traffic down. As someone who has family living at Nutclough I don't want to revert to a situation that allows boy racers and white van men to see how fast they can take blind bends. As a pedestrian I'm positively grateful for the parking on the Nutclough Mill bend, because when drivers come up the hill at speed that's a very dangerous stretch of pavement, especially if the road is wet or icy. There really should be a crash barrier on the bend, but I suppose that's wishful thinking.

And as a driver, I find I'm rarely held up for more than a few seconds, so I don't see what the fuss is about. Longer holdups are often caused by drivers who don't read the road ahead and can't cope with a little reversing.

I don't see a safety issue if people drive sensibly, and if they insist on not driving sensibly I'd argue for as much roadside parking as possible to make them slow down.


From Em F

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

I fairly much agree with the 'parked cars slow people down (and that's a good thing)'.

I've always found it weird that all obstacles, lumps and potholes are taken out of roads... and then speed-bumps and strange little road-narrowing bollards are put in to slow people down. Surely (especially in these cash-strapped times) it makes more sense to let speed be subdued by spontaneously occurring bumps and road-narrowing parked vehicles, thus saving two lots of expenditure...?

From Ross M

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Completely agree with Sarah regards the top end of Keighley Road. Pecket Well's traffic problems could be solved in three steps:

1. The rental residents who have off-road parking actually using it.

2. Pecket Well Mill providing a couple more visitors' spaces - there is room.

3. Sort 1 and 2, and you'll be able to have a 30-yard stretch of double yellow lines approaching the blind bend from the top of the village, to let buses, tractors and HGVs see each other coming and have a decent area to pull in and allow the others to pass.

In addition, pavement parking is becoming increasingly common in the village. If you can't leave all four wheels on the road without worrying about losing a wing mirror, that's a hint that the approach to a blind bend isn't a great place to park.

From Andrew Hall

Thursday, 21 April 2011

One of the problems now is there seem to be more cars parking on Keighley Road (at the Hebden Bridge end, these appear to be long stay parkers - presumably people who work in town).

This has in previous years been an irritation, a minor inconvenience on the journey to and from Keighley, but it does now appear to be getting worse, particularly with a few irresponsible car owners parking right on the blind bends. As previous posters have pointed out, it's only a matter of time before there's an accident on this road, and sadly, despite reassurances from councillors, it is probably only this that would galvanise the Council into some sort of action.

I don't subscribe to the idea that parked cars should be used to regulate the traffic flow for three reasons. Firstly, why should local residents be expected to put up with broken wing mirrors and scratched paintwork in the name of health and safety? Why should they be expected to do the job of the Council's Highways Department? Secondly, more cars stuck in queues with engines idling means more exhaust fumes and a resultant reduction in air quality- hardly good for local residents. And thirdly, rather than slowing some drivers down, it can actually speed them up! As Graham quite rightly says, the only way to drive on this road is to look well ahead and anticipate road conditions. If you see a gap or 'refuge' beyond a line of parked cars, you may well put your foot down to get to that gap before any oncoming vehicles block your way.

The simple fact is that this is a major A road linking the Aire and Calder Valleys between two popular tourist attractions and commercial centres. There is no viable alternative route. Congestion is going to get worse. Sooner or later the Council is going to have to act.

From Martin M

Thursday, 21 April 2011

I fully agree with Graham about driving sensibly. Over the last two years I have used that road frequently and whilst this obviously does not explain every situation of difficulty a driver driving uphill finds him/herself in, looking ahead properly can help a lot.

Driving downhill I have many times almost been bumper-to-bumper with someone driving uphill with the consequent bad temper on my part and incredulity on the part of the other driver because the driver going uphill had not seen, or had not wanted to see, a space between vehicles on his/her side into which he/she could (and should!) have driven to let vehicles going downhill pass. In many cases there seems to be the attitude that "I want to go uphill even if it means using the wrong side of the road, and I don't care if anyone is coming down at the same time".

Mind you, that particular aspect of brainless driving is not restricted to Keighley Road: it is (unfortunately) fast becoming the norm. If I see a vehicle blocking my path and can pull behind it or into a gap in the line of cars on my side of the road, I do and let the other driver correctly use his side of the road. Many drivers coming towards me seem surprised that I have let them pass.

As I understand it, if you hit a car when you are on the wrong side of the road you are liable, not just with regards to an insurance claim but possibly a charge of driving without due care.

From Em F

Saturday, 23 April 2011

I agree that drivers should drive more carefully.

But I don't think reducing parking is the answer as it will just let people go faster and make it a more desirable route - so more people will drive it, and at speed. We'd lose lots of parking and it would be less safe.

How about leaving the parked cars and put in traffic lights on the bad bits to make it one-way-at-a-time? That way no-one would lose parking and it'd be safe... And it would remain (or become more of) an undesirable route, which would hopefully persuade more people to take the bus, walk or cycle instead of driving.

i don't expect many to agree...

From Rev Tony Buglass

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Martin, isn't there a convention that we give way to people coming uphill? So if you're coming down the hill, and find yourself bumper to bumper with someone coming up, perhaps it's because he thought you were about to give way - you are very clear that the other guy didn't see or chose to ignore a space he could have used to let you pass, but might he not have been thinking the same thing about you?

Keighley Road is always difficult, and will remain a difficulty until the oil runs out and there is plenty of room for horses and carts to pass - unless there remains a collection of rusting hulks nobody can remove... There are plenty of places and situations where conflict can occur, which can be avoided mostly by a bit of anticipation, and even better by a more co-operative style of driving. People tend to drive competitively - I'm sure driving co-operatively (giving room if we can, letting people out, etc) makes more sense, and gets us all where we want to be much more smoothly and with less stress.

From Graham Barker

Saturday, 23 April 2011

There's nothing I can find in the Highway Code on this, but my understanding has always been that the vehicle coming uphill gives way, on the grounds that it's usually easier to reverse downhill.

From John Knapp

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The convention has always been to give way to motorists coming uphill.
This goes way back to the time when vehicles had a low horse power and also crash gear boxes. which made it difficult to change to a lower gear. But more importantly, once stopped on a steep hill there wasn't enough oomph to get going again! It wasn't unknown for passengers to get out and walk uphill, or for the vehicle to go uphill in reverse gear as this was generally the lowest gear.

Now motoring is a free for all competition, such nuances wouldn't matter anyway.

From Em F

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Yes, Rev, people should try to drive co-operatively not competitively - please everyone try it and enjoy the side effect of lower blood pressure and a less furrowed brow!

Can anyone clarify with certainty the who-generally-gives-way thing?

Obviously if there's a space on one's own side of the road it's courteous to use it - and if everyone's going slowly enough and being co-operative there's usually opportunity to communicate with nods, waves and flashes of the lights - but I did think the general rule was that people going uphill have right of way if possible (allowing them to keep up a little forwards momentum - otherwise it can be difficult to get going again, especially in an older or bigger vehicle). I'm thinking here of a situation where there is room for both vehicles so long as one of them pulls in... if someone has to reverse, that's different, as reversing uphill is more difficult than reversing downhill so the person travelling uphill should reverse.

From Martin F

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The situations that I have been describing are variations on a theme but basically: I am driving downhill and have already started to pass cars parked on the opposite side, the distance between my car and the parked car is less than the width of a car. There is no gap to pull into on my side, just the pavement or the wall. The car coming uphill is either just approaching the end of the cars on the uphill side or, where the width of the road allows two lines of traffic plus parked cars, is approaching a narrower section (not enough room between me and the car parked on my right) and has driven past a space large enough to fit into. In that situation the driver coming uphill should let me pass. I agree it is a convention to let cars coming uphill to pass and one that I follow - when appropriate. However, if you are driving on the wrong side of the road you should be constantly looking out for places to pull into if you need to.

I don't think you'll find anything specific regarding going uphill, I think it will be included in what to do generally if there is an obstruction on your side of the road and a vehicle is approaching from the other direction. As I remember, the Highway Code says (said) that you have to wait for the other driver to pass, rather than just rushing round the obstruction and hoping the other driver will (be able to) let you pass (the competitive driving mentioned by the Reverend). I remember the convention as he says, but as I remember the reasoning behind it is that if you are going uphill and have to start again after having stopped, you may stall the engine (clutch control etc.).

As I said, what I consider to be an increasingly prevalent bad practice is not just confined to Keighley Road. Yesterday, I was driving along another road with a line of parked cars on my right: a straight and flat piece of road, middle of the day, with my driving lights on. A car came from the other direction but did not stop before the first vehicle in the line to let me through, it just drove on. We had to stop and I asked the driver why he/she didn't wait behind the vehicle at the start of the line and got the reply that he/she didn't see me! What if, instead of my car, there had been an animal or a child?


From Emma S

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The most courteous driving in the world is not going to alter the fact that due to the parked cars at Nutclough driving on the wrong side of the road uphill round a blind bend is hazardous.

I am one of the courteous drivers of the valley, and still I feel the addition of double yellows in one or two specific spots is needed.

And it would be better to separate the issue of speeding traffic from the issue of dangerously parked cars.

Some speed bumps at relevant points would take care of speeding drivers, clearing the way for the parking issue to be addressed.

And while they're at it, the council could lay some more speed bumps in Old Town village too - it's crazy how fast many people drive through the village, completely oblivious of the fact that round the next bend there might be dog walkers, people on horses, children playing, slow tractors, people on bikes etc, all of which you see on any given day up here.

From Sutti H

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

I'm affraid this is a very basic problem where there is a very old fashioned solution. It's called common sense. I'm not sure if it just lacking in Hebden Bridge or the whole country, but that's all is required to solve the problem.

It does say in the highway code not to park on bends. The police could spend a good hours work issuing tickets for dangerous parking, there is no need for yellow line to issue a ticket.

It was at one time common knowledge to give way to traffic coming up an hill, but again common sense must be used in these situations. Maybe the driving schools should start to teach basic common sense, and not just how to pass a test.

I have to say though it is a few years since I passed a driving test, but I did pass a few different tests to a high standard, so I think it is one of the few headlines I'm qualified to comment about.


From Cllr Janet Battye

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Just to bring people up-to-date: I have been talking to Calderdale's Highways Officers again about this. They've shown me some revised plans which focus on the Nutclough area. I'm going to arrange a consultation meeting shortly for local residents (and other interested people) to have a look at and comment on these before they finalise the plans.

I'll post information about that here as soon as it's confirmed.

From Heather Fitzpatrick-Morgan

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Just to clarify, should any of my neighbours on Lee Mill Road or Midgehole Rd or Keighley Road, have read a previous comment by 'Heather Morgan', Heather Fitzpatrick-Morgan of Fernhill does not have a strong view on people parking on Keighley Road, I certainly do not think it is selfish to do so, it is a necessity for some people. Yes there is a problem but I do not have any answers, the parked cars do slow traffic down, which is most cases has to be a good thing but large vehicles struggle and emergency vehicles in particular need access. Along with many of the uphill drivers on Keighley Road I find myself in the middle of the road on this issue! Heather Fitzpatrick-Morgan.

From Steve Sweeney

Thursday, 16 June 2011

On Monday 20th June there will be a drop in session in the Greenwood Room at the Townhall from 6.00pm to 6.45pm where a Traffic Engineer will be available to discuss the proposals and collect comments regarding parking the A6033 between the White Lion and a point above the traffic lights at Nutclough.

The time is limited as there is another meeting at 7.00pm.
If you have a view and want to comment get along

See also

HebWeb News Keighley Road parking (June 2011)

HebWeb Forum Keighley Road (Autumn 2005)

HebWeb News Keighley Road (Autumn 2005)

HebWeb Forum Keighley Road (November 2004)

HebWeb Forum Keighley Road: accident waiting to happen (May 2000)