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Keighley Road

From Jason Elliott

Friday, 4 April 2014

I wonder if anyone can enlighten me about Keighley Road?

Going up and down there today, I saw people having to reverse uphill round bends on three occasions as well as two very near misses for cyclists. On many other times I have seen minor scrapes, people shouting at each other as they try and squeeze through gaps they are clearly unused to and cyclists being "cut up" by drivers, all because of the parking of a dozen or so vehicles.

I appreciate that people like to park right outside their houses if they can, I know I do, but is there any obligation for the highways authority to provide safe traffic flow on an "A" road that has bus routes and HGV traffic, not to mention increasing numbers of far more physically-vulnerable cyclists?

This been going on for years of course, and could cleary be dealt with by a few carefully positioned double-yellow lines on the narrow bits if there was the will, unless, of course, they have no obligation to do so.

Does this fall under section 58 of the Highways Act that covers maintenance "whether the highway authority knew or could reasonably have been expected to know the condition of that part of the highway to which the action relates was likely to cause danger to users of the highway"?

Hebweb forum experts; enrich us with your nuggets of wisdom please.

From Ian M

Saturday, 5 April 2014

I totally agree. This road is dangerous to travel on now because of all the parked vehicles.

What I really can't believe though, is the people who have "acquired" traffic cones from somewhere and place them alongside their vehicles to make the road even narrower!

From Anthony Rae

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Quite quickly: during the Traffic Review (so maybe 8 years ago) Calderdale Council prepared a scheme to improve traffic flow on this road, with additional parking restrictions, for the reasons Jason identifies. When it went out to public consultation it met with considerable opposition, from householders who owned and parked cars on the street and so it was withdrawn. I think local politicians also got nervous about the controversy. When I saw the draft scheme I did suggest to the highway engineer concerned that it might be better to propose a more modest option as well, with slightly less parking restrictions, to assist its passage but that did not happen.

So there is a scheme prepared and ready in the Calderdale Council offices; it just needs councillors and officers with a little more determination but subtlety as well to try and find a consensus. And just to anticipate the usual responses: yes, parked cars do slow traffic down but that's not a justification for actually impeding a road fulfilling its proper purpose, which is for vehicles to travel along, safely and without manoeuvrings which increase risk and exhaust emissions.

From Martin F

Saturday, 5 April 2014

A couple of years ago I used to use the road three times a week in both directions.

Then, the problems were usually caused by drivers going uphill not looking ahead or going too fast past cars parked on the left and not being able to slow down or stop when they 'realised' that there was a car coming down. On several occasions they obviously saw me but didn't seem to care and expected me to drive into the wall so that they could get past.

They seemed oblivious to the fact that their cars were fully or partly on the wrong side of the road and so the onus was on them to drive carefully.

It seems that nothing has changed.

From Graham Barker

Saturday, 5 April 2014

I think drivers need to be a little philosophical about this. The problems, when there are any - I'm a regular user of Keighley Road and am rarely held up for more than a few seconds - last for a few hundred yards and then it's open road. Anyone driving through a city centre will have to put up with worse. And I imagine owners who use traffic cones are simply trying to protect their cars from getting scraped, which is perfectly understandable. There are still too many drivers who can't anticipate or give way, and expect the roads to be cleared for their convenience. Life ain't like that.

From Jason Elliott

Saturday, 5 April 2014

"There are still too many drivers who... ...expect the roads to be cleared for their convenience. Life ain't like that."

One thing I've learned since returning to Britain 14 years ago Graham, is the that the many (in this case several thousand daily users of one of the main links between the Aire and Calder valleys) usually have to be philosophical about the desires of the few (to block the carriageway of an A road).

Although I'm not sure which philosophical approach would have been going through the mind of the person having to reverse their horsebox uphill a few dozen yards this morning to let a van through.

Going back to the original point, and I completely accept the reality that no politician will jeopardise some local votes for the benefit of the "registered elsewhere" majority, does anyone know what the actual legal obligations of the Highways Authority are in a case like this?

From Ian M

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Sorry Graham but you are wrong on this.

The cars parked on this road are causing an obstruction and so are parked illegally. I travel this road twice a day and have lost count of the number of times I have had to reverse back around a bend, because oncoming traffic has been forced onto the wrong side of the road,all the while wondering what's coming around it towards me

With regards to the traffic cones, this a ridiculous trend that seems to be growing, the attitude seems to be "I'm parked, I'm going to turn my front wheels out and then narrow the highway even more with a stolen traffic cone so my wing mirrors are safe!" I used the word stolen because I'm pretty sure the Police don't give out their no parking cones to just anyone

From Jack Hughes

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Surely the first thing to consider would be the double-yellow-lining of the stretch between the White Lion and Nutclough Works aka Calrec? There are no houses there, and in my experience this has been the site of the most witless parking on occasions of tourist-attraction (bonfire night, duck race et al).

From Graham Barker

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Ian, I'm not bothered whether I'm thought right or wrong, but a few people might get upset at the suggestion that they've stolen their traffic cones. They're actually quite cheap to buy, and often free if you go to where roadworks have been and look over the nearest wall. There may still be several in Lee Wood.

If you're right and there is a traffic problem, surely all the coners are doing is respond to that problem from their own perspective, as they're entitled to do.

Whether cars are parked illegally I have no idea, but if they are and it's being reported, I imagine the police would be on to it. All I can otherwise contribute is the experience of suffering drive-by damage that was always expensive to repair and in two cases wrote off our cars. Factor in the impact on insurance premiums and I think if I lived on Keighley Road I might want cast-iron bollards, never mind traffic cones.

From Ian M

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Graham, if anyone who lives on Keighley Road and is in possession of one of the several tatty, clearly not purchased from a shop cones wants to show me a receipt then I will stand corrected

From Bri D

Monday, 7 April 2014

As previously said, it is a dangerous road at times, but the main problem is that a lot of "drivers" drive like idiots, and drive way too fast without giving themselves enough chance to judge whether or not the road ahead is clear. Narrow roads, parked cars, use a bit of common sense and slow down!

As for people turning their wheels out or using cones (Stolen? give me a break), do you blame them for wanting to protect their vehicles from these inconsiderate drivers? It's an expensive business repairing dented, scratched panels or broken wing mirrors and in most cases these "drivers" will just drive off oblivious of the damage they've caused through their incompetence.

As for calling for more double yellow lines, I'd like to know where residents are supposed to park their vehicles?

Other 'calming' measures would be better and would make the road safer for local residents who often feel like their lives are in danger as soon as they step out of their houses from people speeding up and down the road.

From Mo Norwood

Monday, 7 April 2014

I have to mention this other problem for pedestrians too. Has anyone else noticed that on Thursdays, rubbish collection day, we have to walk in the road as the wheelie bins / piles of refuse sacks block the pavement?

I'll contact CMBC but not sure what they can do as there is so little space on this highway.

From Lisa T

Monday, 7 April 2014

Actually, Ilive on Keighley Rd, and these cones were left by the men who left the skips when some neighbours had some work done. They are not stolen, and await collection by the people that left them. Insinuating they are stolen is actually slanderous!

We all have to put bins/cars etc and pay our council and road tax. What is the answer? Would everyone like more cars in the town centre?

Most of the aggro on this road is not due to tyres and cones but big lorries and buses that come up and down this road.

From Jack Hughes

Monday, 7 April 2014

Bri, there were no houses between the White Lion and Calrec last time I looked.

From Bri D

Monday, 7 April 2014

True Jack, point taken and I wouldn't have a problem with them there, but I fear some people would like them where there are houses.

From Dave R

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Having chosen to walk up Keighley Road last week on the way to Hardcastle Crags, I too couldn't help but notice the huge amount of bin bags awaiting collection. (Actually my first thought was does anyone around here recycle, as the bags were overflowing with all sorts of waste). The bags were piled several high and around 8-10 wide taking up large areas of pavement in several places making it impossible to use the pavement.

Therein became a greater problem in that you are forced to step into the road, around parked cars on a blind bend. Anyone with a wheelchair or buggy would really be in danger.

These bags were there for several hours so I assume they are gathered then collected later. Not the residents fault, but surely very dangerous if this is usual practise.

As for the hazard of the parked cars, one only wonders why all these people need cars, if they are parked there for what seems to be 24 hours a day and they live a short walk from the town, when do they use them?

From Pedro de Wit

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Dave, people have cars for their convenience. It is up to the individual to use their car either 10 hours a day or only on Sunday to drive to church so to speak. If we start to question why people have cars we might as well question why people living near a park need a garden.

Fact is that people on Keighley road have cars (like most of us) and need to park them somewhere. It is a reasonable expectation to be able to park your car near your home.

I travel up Keighley Road by car and by bike and agree it can be dangerous and that parked cars are a nuisance. However car drivers need to remember that they are not on the open road yet. In a town center there will always be 'obstacles' like parked cars, pedestrians, cyclists etc and you should drive accordingly.

My point is that I fail to see why drivers should be encouraged to speed along Keighley road but are slowed down on other busy roads in Hebden (like the A646). If we feel that there is a desperate need for traffic measures on Keighley road than instead of asking for double yellow lines we should maybe think of ways to slow down and regulate traffic.

From Bri D

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Yes we recycle; we recycle traffic cones, which have been left behind by workmen to protect our vehicles from careless drivers!

I agree that the rubbish and recycling on the footpath outside people's houses is a nuisance, but really, what do you expect those residents to do? Maybe they should surround their vehicles with them and also use them as protection?

Even if Ian thinks we're all criminals (stolen cones, illegal parking) we still pay our road tax, our insurance and keep our vehicles safe and roadworthy & actually USE them. What are you Dave, some sort of stalker who camps outside our houses for 24 hrs a day checking to see if we drive enough for your standards? Honestly, its none of your business.
Some of us have to commute to other towns to go to work, often where public transport isn't a viable option, or when we have to use our vehicles for work. Not all of us have the luxury of adorning our multi-coloured pantaloons and riding our unicycles to work in Hebden!

The main problem here is people don't drive with due care and attention. They drive too fast not giving themselves enough time to stop and allow oncoming traffic to pass parked cars.

As has been mentioned on this subject here before, some years ago; the parked cars actually do a useful job as they slow down the traffic.
I used to park my vehicle further away, until another local resident warned me against it as he'd had his tyres continually slashed. Sure enough I had my aerial snapped and someone punched the side of my vehicle and dented it. So now I park it outside, or as close as I can to my house. If that's not acceptable to people who don't even live here, then tough! Slow down.

Pedro is right, that the solution would be some sort of well designed traffic calming that involves parking spaces for residents. The kind that gives right of way to one direction of traffic. This would slow cars down & indicate (presuming the drivers can read road signs) who has the right of way!

Yes, its an 'A' Road, but its not the A1

From Jenny B

Friday, 11 April 2014

I don't think anyone using Keighley road on a regular basis can fail to see that cars are parked there almost full time. Is there really any need to accuse anyone of being a stalker?

Yes, people like to have cars for convenience, but there is an alternative, walk, bus, car share. For those who do want or need their own, that's ok, but we don't have a God given right to park outside your home unless you have a private driveway. If non residents are parking there, could residents permits help? It obviously is an issue, it is a nuisance for road users, pedestrians and residents alike. I don't agree that speeding is a problem, you can't speed because of the obstacles (parked cars) which act as traffic calming, as a bus user and pedestrian the main obstruction for me is parked cars.

I also have concerns about the amount of cars parked on Burnley Road near the station. Similar problems but it's a 20mph zone. Would a speed limit help at Nutclough or not?

From Colin C

Friday, 11 April 2014

Jenny, I agree about cars parking near the station becoming a problem, but doubt that the 20mph limit helps. Basically it's not enforced in any meaningful way. The only thing that calms traffic in the town centre is congestion, parked cars, bus stops,pedestrians etc.

Yes, we can all agree that people on Keighley Raod may or not need their cars. The truth is that unless some sort of impossible legislation is imposed to ban the motor car, they're going to have them and will have to park them somewhere. With this in mind, surely the answer is a joined up plan to help 'slow flow' up the road. Limited double yellows (away from houses), priority up the hill, etc?

From Bri D

Friday, 11 April 2014

Obviously if you just travel along Keighley road, at the same times every day, of course you might see the same vehicles parked. Its not rocket science to realise that people have routines governed by their jobs etc!

I am surprised at how long it would take for people to start saying we shouldn't be allowed to own cars…hence my facetiousness & yes I'm well aware of 'walking' and 'buses' and 'Lift Share' (of which I am a member).

As for speeding, do you live on Keighley Road Jenny? or do you just travel (not driving I presume) along it?

I'm sure plenty of residents who actually live on Keighley Road have experienced, like me, on numerous occasions the feeling of fear just from stepping out of their houses or trying to cross the road because of people driving too fast regardless of the 'rarely used' "obstacles" 'blocking' the road.

So the parked cars are bad or good? They slow down the traffic, but the slow down your bus too? We can't win can we.

I happen to think that if I own a vehicle that its really not unreasonable for me to park it near my house.

Maybe we could have traffic lights. One at the top where the speed limit is supposed to change from 50 to 30 and the one by Nutclough and just have them both permanently on red except for residents.

From Anne H

Friday, 11 April 2014

I don't think speed is the main problem here, though extending the 20 mph zone as far as Midgehole Rd might flag this up for the few drivers who think they can speed up as soon as they are out of the 20 zone.

A lot of buses, vans and lorries use this route and the parked cars, narrow road, and frequent bends mean that as a driver you can't always predict what you are going to meet coming the other way or whether there will be room to pass. This is why you sometimes have to back up, and if there is a stream of traffic behind you everyone has to back up, even round a blind bend or onto a pavement sometimes which is dangerous.

The width of the road and the number of bends cannot be changed. So the only thing that can be done to improve the flow of traffic and the safety of pedestrians and drivers is to reduce the number of parked cars, at least on certain stretches of the road. Going back to Anthony's earlier point about the Traffic Review, perhaps it's time to update that review. If it concludes that certain stretches need to remain clear for safety reasons then the parking will have to be reduced on these stretches - even if the residents don't like it, I'm afraid.

On july 6th, when le Tour comes through, there will be no parking whatsoever on the Keighley Road, all day. I believe alternative parking will be suggested to residents but you can't magic space out of nowhere. It will be interesting to see if anything can be learnt from what happens on that day!

From Dave R

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The crux of the matter here as I see it is not just selfishness. Drivers who 'speed' or ' wont give way'.

Part blame must also lay with residents who "happen to think that if I own a vehicle that its really not unreasonable for me to park it near my house" despite living on an A road with no designated parking spaces.

The solution as Anne says, is give residents some parking spaces but provide gaps so that cars, buses, vans, lorries - all of whom pay taxes to use this road, can pull in to allow safe passing.

That we don't live on the road but use it doesn't make us less important than the residents. Surely the safety of car user, pedestrians and residents is paramount. Rather than this perceived right to park outside your front door?

From Ross M

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Dave R has hit the nail on the head.

The problem extends to Keighley Road in Pecket Well. Residents can't be bothered to park their cars in more sensible places - like the long stretch of straight road with great visibility at the top of the village - if it means having to walk 50 yards to their house. Instead they'll park on a blind bend, or leave their car beached on the pavement, or over the concealed entrance to Pecket Well Mill.

I've offered the council the solution of a stretch of double yellows outside my house, giving vehicles - especially buses - somewhere safe to pull in where they can see traffic coming round the bend.

The council's response: it'll cost £15,000, so no. £15,000! I'll get a tin of paint from Bonsalls and do it myself for a fiver.

From Jenny B

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

All this talk of the right to park outside your home is seriously worrying. Unless you have an area covered by Residents permits or you have a private drive you have no rights as such. However, you are allowed to park on a public highway, providing that you are not causing an obstruction.

It matters not one hoot where I live, whether I travel Keighley road daily; weekly; by bus; car or on foot. I am obstructed in my passage by parked cars. This must be against Highway regs. Do we all just have an argument about it and forget it? Or can someone /dare someone take responsibility before there is a serious accident?

From Graham Barker

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The simplest and cheapest solution might be to downgrade Keighley Road from A6033 to B6033, thus aligning expectation more closely with reality.

If the Hebden Bridge end is a bottleneck of parked cars, so too are Pecket Well (as mentioned), Oxenhope and Haworth. Unless someone is prepared to carry out the car parking equivalent of the Highland clearances, the situation isn't going to get any better and the road will drift even further from anyone's idea of a major route.

And the real delays of course are in Keighley itself, which makes getting there any faster rather pointless.

Previously, on the HebWeb

HebWeb Forum: Keighley Road (2011)

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)