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Dangerous and reckless drivers.

From Andy G

Sunday, 3 August 2014

As a regular customer at the Fox & Goose, I have recently noticed that an increasing number of moronic drivers are making llegal left turns out of Heptonstall Road into Bridge Lanes to save, at the most, two minutes needed to go round the turning circle.

What these idiots don't seem to realise is that when the traffic lights are showing green for coming out of Heptonstall Road, the pedestrian lights for crossing Bridge Lanes are also showing green, so it is only a matter of time before one or more pedestrian(s) who are lawfully crossing Bridge Lanes under the protection of the "green man" will be seriusly injured or even killed.

Will the offending drivers please note, that from today onwards, regulars at the Fox & Goose will be noting registration numbers and reporting such offences to the police - and there will be plenty of witnesses!

Nearly as bad are the numerous drivers who fork left from Bankfoot up Heptonstall Road, often at high speed, without indicating their intentions, or indicating at the last second when they see someone crossing the road in front of them. This makes entering and leaving the Fox & Goose a very dangerous game - even when sober.

From Paul Rigg

Monday, 4 August 2014

I have long thought the exit from the Fox is potentially quite dangerous.

And what makes it worse is that there is a simple solution. If you moved the traffic light at the bottom of Heptonstall road about 50 yards up the hill you could widen the pavement outside the pub.

Traffic would only pass in one direction at a time so only one lane would be required. It would probably also have the effect of slowing down the traffic going up the hill.

From Paul D

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The obvious and sensible solution would be to do as suggested and move the stop line uphill and give the Fox (and public) some respite. On the illegal turns, it was legal until they decided not to allow people who knew the junction to use it carefully. A better design, moving the stop line 25 yards down bridge lanes would also allow a left turn for light vehicles, I've made that turn in a truck.

There is of course the 'Calderdale prereq' that assumes people who live here are incapable of doing anything without firm guidance from idiots from CleckHuddersFax. So at times, taxi drivers, cyclists, motorcycles, people in a rush, hippies, farmers, mavericks, think 'sod it' and revert to a time when individual judgement extended to a junction where it's dead easy to turn left if you hang right. The turning circle could be for HGVs and PSVs if we assume people can be trusted.

From Matt Bruce

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

I completely agree with the idea of taking down number plates (or better still filming) people making illegal left turns out of Heptonstall Road.

The pedestrian crossing mentioned is regularly used by parents with prams to get to the children's centre and it is surely a matter of time before a needless accident does occur.

On the idea of changing the road layout - I had the same idea a couple of years ago (although my reasoning was so that we could get a pram from the pavement on Heptonstall Road to Burnely Road without having to go on the main road). I sent an email to the council saying:

"At the traffic lights at the bottom of Heptonstall Road there are two lanes of traffic but due to the way the traffic lights work, only one is moving at one time. Would it be possible to widen the pavement here reducing the number of lanes to 1? It would mean that traffic moving down the hill would need to stop further up the hill, but otherwise shouldn't cause problems."

And this is their response:

"Your suggestion seems quite straight forward and simplistic, however, pushing the 'Stop' line back on Heptonstall Road necessitates a longer 'green time' to get vehicles out of Heptonstall Road, this would result in a longer 'red time' on Burnley Road leading to an increase in congestion on an 'A' classified road and subsequent rise in pollution. Also to be considered is the fact that Heptontall Road is utilised by 'National Cycle Route 68', hence the exemption to the left turn ban at the bottom of Heptonstall Road for cyclists, this would have to be factored in to the 'green time' on Heptonstall Road giving an even longer 'red time' on Burnley Road. I'm afraid it's a typical example of the highway infrastructure versus topography scenario."

From Andy G

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Paul D, I know where you're coming from regarding drivers who know the junction, but that does not alter the very important fact that any vehicle making a left turn from Heptonstall Road into Bridge Lanes will pass through the pedestrian crossing while the green man is showing. Sooner or later somebody is going to be killed or injured - let's hope it's not your wife or child. Let's think safety here folks!

From Paul D

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Andy - it'd only mean that if they didn't phase the lights to account for it. If they did then there's no problem. I think you're assuming that the left turn would be into people when the left turn wouldn't need to be as they'd have the same opportunity to cross on a green man just 5-10 metres further down the road. You'd just phase the lights up and down to allow for that. The priority of course is to get the junction safer by moving the stop line uphill and making it single file. But as is often the case there will be a hundred and one reasons whay that can't be done.

From Kez Armitage

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Some years ago there was a proposal to widen the pavement outside the Fox and Goose, and relocate the lights on Heptonstall Road a little further up that road, and make the length of road outside the Fox one way (which in effect is what it already is. Even now, cars go up and down, but never at the same time). This would have cured all the problems at that junction at a stroke. A projecting pavement on the Fox side (perhaps with a few kerbside bollards) would mean that cars physically wouldn't be able to make the illegal right turn from the main road or left turn down from Heptonstall. It would also mean that cars approaching Heptonstall Road would have to check their speed rather than accelerate up the hill from Church Lane. And a wider pavement would make entry to and exit from the Fox that bit safer. It would also enable wheelchair access.

I understand this was, at that time, rejected by Calderdale on the grounds that it would cause too much delay to traffic flow on the associated roads and also that there was little evidence of accidents at this site. This makes a mockery of 'risk assessment'. Surely we should be preventing accidents, rather than waiting for them to happen and then preventing them. But, hey, it's Calderdale we're talking about!

Perhaps this is something that the Fox and Goose steering committee could look into. Coming out of the Fox, and being within inches of a HGV travelling at speed up the hill can be quite a traumatic experience.

Incidentally, the problem of U-turns at that spot is not unique. It happens even more regularly at the bottom of Church Lane by people who most definitely know about, but can't be bothered to use, the turning circle.


From Andy G

Thursday, 7 August 2014

All the suggestions that have been posted on this thread are eminently sensible and I thank all those have taken the time to put finger to keyboard. However, given Calderdale Council's lack of financial resources and the recent political shenaneghans within the council, I concede that is unlikely that anything constructive will be done in the foreseeable future apart, hopefully, from occasional police monitoring of the Heptonstall Road junction. Therefore I would appeal to the better nature of the small minority of drivers concerned and ask them to use the turning circle
provided and not put peoples' lives at risk. Thank you.

From Graham Barker

Thursday, 7 August 2014

I agree entirely with Kez Armitage that it's dangerous nonsense for Calderdale to cite a lack of accidents as a reason for not improving safety at the Fox & Goose, or anywhere else where common sense says there's a real risk.

For a good ten years now I've been trying to get Calderdale to do something about the Burnley Road junction with Bridge Gate and Holme Street. As many people will know - particularly parents taking children to and from school - traffic regularly backs up across the pedestrian crossing and the eastbound lights need adjusting to stop traffic in good time for the 'green man'. But I (and Cllr Janet Battye and former Cllr Lesley Jones) have made no headway at all, because Calderdale keeps trotting out the excuse that without a significant record of accidents their hands are tied and nothing can be done.

I'm starting to smell a rat. I'll raise it at the next ward forum if necessary but does anyone know which act of Parliament, statutory instrument or whatever creates this stupid state of affairs? Exactly where is it written down that road safety measures can't be taken without a record of serious accidents?

The suspicious part of me wouldn't be surprised if there were no such authority. Could it prove to be something made up or distorted by couldn't-care-less councils to keep the hoi polloi off their backs? I would genuinely like to know.

From Paul D

Friday, 8 August 2014

I think we assume all lives are equal but pedestrians are clearly not. Why for example, does Calderdale stand back as pollutants measured on Market Street consistently breach national and international safety limits? These pollutants, including deadly particulates, are concentrated at toddler nose level. The turning circle increases this, so if a child walks from say holts to mytholm or mytholm to centra st. they walk up a polluted funnel of toxins. So why would an authority that stands back as our children choke be even slightly intereted in a side road or a pub?

We need to take our streets back and expect less from political members as they deliver nothing - consistently. This isn't as set out above through lack of effort but because compared to HX1 it's quite obvious that we are - not so much hated - but snearingly despised. If we can get the authority that stops at Tuel Lane to take this seriously then the issues in HX7 simply don't

From Jan Scott Nelson

Friday, 8 August 2014

I remember that, many years ago (26+), when I lived in Cragg Vale, there were several attempts to have a speed limit imposed on the main road through the village. (It was a complete and terrifying nightmare walking 3 children to school and back, just under a mile each way, with traffic thundering by at alarming speeds.) Each time the response from Calderdale was 'no' with the lack of accidents being cited as justification for this decision.

However, for many years now there has been restriction on Cragg Road so either a. Calderdale finally saw sense b. there was a sudden spate of accidents which made all the difference or some legislation may have changed. I can scarcely believe the local authority is still rolling out the same old excuse!

From R Prince

Friday, 8 August 2014

Another issue with this junction is the number of drivers pulling illegal U turns in the openings of Mytholm Close, Colden Close and Church Lane: I have even seen police vans do this despite the clear signage! The motivation, of course, is the amount of time it can take you to rejoin the east-bound A646 from the turning circle and I think that is also a reason why people do the illegal left turn from Heptonstall Rd. The solution? Replace the turning circle with a roundabout.

From Tim M

Friday, 8 August 2014

Just to pick up on Kez's point about the crazy u-turns at the bottom of Church lane - presumably by people who are in too much of a rush to use/can't understand the concept of the turning circle - oh, and tend to do it without any signals. Any scheme could (carefully placed island /bollard in the junction?) address this cheaply enough. Perhaps a bit of police enforcement now and again might be helpful. I think the Ward meeting would be a place to raise all this.

From Catie G

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Bad and dangerous drivers are everywhere and they seem to think they own the road. Whilst travelling home on Friday in the terrible heavy rain and flooding on the road i was tailgated by a large white van. Because I was driving at what i thought was sensible speeds, I was given hand signals had the horn blown at me and was verbally abused. My car has sensors on at the rear and these were going off when I was stopped at road works at Luddenden Foot so you can imagine how close the van was. Everytime i had to stop at road junctions etc the sensors were going off. I eventually slowed down and even put on my hazards at one stage to try and get the van driver to back off to a safe distance, but that didnt work.

After leaving the main road and driving towards home I met another driver coming the other way who was travelling far too fast on a single track road. I spoke to her and asked her to slow down as people were walking up the road she said she wasn't going fast but I think the black skid marks in the road where she slammed her brakes on may say other wise.

From Julie C

Sunday, 10 August 2014

I want folk to stop parking on the left/uphill side of the blind bend on Birchcliffe Road, between Eiffel Street and Edward Street. It's horribly dangerous at this spot, especially for the bus. Drivers are forced onto the wrong side of the road, unable to see what is hurtling towards them coming downhill.

From Adrian Riley

Sunday, 10 August 2014

It doesn't seem that many years ago that Highways increased the width of the road approaching the Fox and Goose from Mytholm. I seem to recall the large retaining wall was moved back and the approach to Heptonstall Road widened and footpath narrowed, thus making it easier for cars to proceed up hill. In my experience the Highways Department is not easily subject to influence by the public or Councillors. They often cite the various Highway Acts of Parliament which give them autocratic powers and this keeps only the most determined at bay.

From Brenda N

Saturday, 16 August 2014

I totally agree with Julie C on the hazards created by the increasing number of drivers who seem to think it is OK to park on the blind bends on Birchcliffe Road. This seems to be more prevalent at the weekends, and I am totally dismayed to see vehicles actually parked on both sides of the road on the blind bend between Edward Street and Eiffel Street on a regular basis.

It is not only the parked cars and builders vans that are hazardous, but also the drivers who constantly clip the bend making it dangerous for drivers coming uphill, not to mention the drivers who are going much too fast coming down the hill. The number of times I have had to stop on the bend coming uphill due to either parked cars on the bend, or drivers clipping their side of the road and taking half the space of the opposite lane is increasing. I would like to think it is visitors to the area, but sadly the reality is that it is most likely local residents and builders who are the culprits.

I have started to take photographs of the offending vehicles over the last few weeks as I have noticed there are at least two offending drivers, as it is the same vehicles nearly every weekend parked at the most hazardous points on the bend. Once I have collated enough photographs I shall be submitting them to the council and also the local paper, in the vain hope that at least the local paper will write an article raising awareness. Perhaps those responsible will actually question their actions and move their cars to a safer parking place in light of their shame, ignorance or lack of common sense.


From Graham Barker

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Brenda, show your photos to the police, especially if registration numbers are legible. They can take action immediately. Taking them to the council and HBT is probably a waste of time.

From Brenda N

Sunday, 17 August 2014


Yes that is something I was also going to do, but from what has been said about previous issues relating to dangerous drivers, the police appear to be non active in dealing with the problems, and you are left wondering whose responsibility is it? However, as most of the photos do show registration numbers, then yes it may prove fruitful. I shall take them down over the next week.

From Anthony Rae

Sunday, 17 August 2014

In response to Adrian and Brenda's last points about the Birchcliffe corner - with which, as a resident of Chapel Avenue, I completely agree - a couple of comments on the background:

During the Hebden Bridge Traffic Review (now a decade ago) I recall trying to get some additional protection for pedestrians walking up on the blindside pavement from being menaced by vehicles clipping the apex of the bend, by e.g getting the kerb raised a bit. It was a point of detail - compared to the much bigger issues the review was dealing with; in the same way that I tried to get non-existent pavement on the south side of the A646 at Machpelah extended just a fraction to allow pedestrians to continue their journey to and from the station on that side in greater safety - and so both got lost. But I tried.

At the last Ward Forum on 15th July - and still concerned about the danger to both pedestrians and traffic caused by vehicles parking on either side of the road - I raised precisely this issue with the police officer attending, PC John Stocks from the Neighbourhood Policing Team. I asked whether they would consider enforcement action. His response was that, unless he had evidence that the particular motorist/vehicle was deliberately creating such danger - ie had been warned on previous occasions by the police that they should not do this - then the police would not take any action because (he implied) they could not - Highway law was not on their side. Of course those conditions are never going to be met so I consequently suggested that maybe yellow lines were the answer.

So that's what I think we should do: ask our Calderdale ward councillors to request that presumably Double Yellows are put on the bend. And they can cite these postings as evidence of public concern. Maybe the Town Council could also support such action.

From Anne H

Monday, 18 August 2014

I think there is a simple solution to the non-enforcement of parking on the dangerous bend at Birchcliffe. First visit by the police - warn them. Second visit - book them. I'm sure there will be neighbours - maybe Anthony? - who can give them advanced notice of when they are parked there. If they can't do this, then the reason is lack of resources and not problems with the law. You might even find that a warning is enough, once they are told by an officer of the law that it is dangerous.

I agree that yellow lines would be a more permanent solution, but it might be a long way down the list of priorities.

In most circumstances, the existing kerb should be sufficient to protect pedestrians, but with the narrowness of the road, unevenness of the stone wall, the bends and people parking further down, cars, lorries and buses often need to go on the pavement in order to get past each other. Nobody is happy about that - certainly not the pedestrians! But the alternative would be complete gridlock. There is nowhere to back out of the situation.

On the subject of the title - dangerous driving - people should at least be going slowly around Birchcliffe. So why does the 20 zone finish before the worst bend!

From Paul D

Friday, 22 August 2014

It's interesting that the local detail is so important not just at the Fox but Birchcliffe, I imagine all 'problem' areas. That raising the kerb.

Anyone who has walked that hill listens on the way up knowing cars coming down clip the path. But driving down if you slow to 15mph or even 20 it's an easy bend so only an inept driver clips the kerb yet inept is the norm. The parking is and isn't a problem.

At slow speed its fine, if you encounter an idiot it's a problem. Same Sandy Gate. If you live here you wind your windows down before Birchcliffe, turn the radio off and listen as you approach and thus never pull out into traffic. If you moved here you leave the windows up. Leave the radio on. Talk into your mobile. And pull across the stop line regardless of vehicles driving up or down Birchcliffe. Hoping or assuming they know how stupid you are and how you require the local population to accommodate your stupidity.

It's more about stupid drivers who can't cope with narrow roads, steep hills and lack of parking than anything. Dangerous is subjective in that few accidents occur, few injuries are caused. So really it's just annoying people who don't think