Flockton village required at least 3,000 signatures before our bypass request could be debated by Kirklees Council. As of 14 September 2018, we have 4,508 signatures. Still increasing, thanks to all our supporters. All additional signatures are still helpful and will add weight to the increasing call for action from our local authority. (Read more …)
Please do not make donations on change.org as this money does not go to Flockton Bypass.
Kirklees Council should apply for government funding to pay for a much-needed bypass.
That’s the message from veteran Conservative councillor Bill Armer who said calls for a bypass for Flockton village date back to the 1930s.
And he accused Labour colleagues of being “defeatist” over the issue.
Clr Armer described the increasing volume of traffic passing through Flockton on the A637 Barnsley Road as “horrendous.”
Traffic engineers with Wakefield Council are unwilling to divert HGVs from Flockton through other villages in the Wakefield district or to support an HGV ban claiming it would move the problem further back to Horbury Bridge.
That stance echoes Kirklees Council’s position, with senior figures including Clr Peter McBride claiming a bypass at Flockton would have a knock-on effect on neighbouring areas including Kirkheaton, Waterloo and Bradley , and towards Cooper Bridge.
Clr McBride recently met with residents to listen to concerns.
Despite some people wondering whether a visit would actually materialise, credit has to be given to Cllr. Peter Mc Bride for not only turning up 20 minutes before the meeting time of 9:15 am, but for then staying until 11:30 am. He was joined by Liz Twitchett, Kirklees Operational Manager for Highway Engineering. 14 residents were able to attend.
From left: Liz Twitchett, Cllr. Peter McBride, David Rawling, Jimmy Paxton
David Rawling, resident and bypass campaigner, prepared a 6-page document with an extensive list of residents’ concerns and a copy of the map showing the proposed 20 MPH zones. The visitors listened attentively, as David went through the details of 30 items in support of a relief road for Flockton.
The presentation with hand-outs, which you can download: Word or PDF was given and then responded to by both Cllr. McBride ( Kirklees Council, Cabinet Member for Economy, and West Yorkshire Combined Authority) and Liz Twitchett (Kirklees Operational Manager for Highway Engineering) with several major points.
The main areas that Kirklees Council are coming from are as follows:
1. You have to be seen to be getting value for money from road schemes, better returns etc., with developments, both residential and industrial, bringing much-needed income into the council, as well as meeting housing demands. Schemes such as that at Cooper Bridge. The relief road at Holmfirth was also discussed. Flockton’s case would be much harder to justify.
2. The feeling within Kirklees Council, as expressed by their 2 representatives, is of one that the problem that is Flockton would only be moved elsewhere (i.e. to Waterloo, Dalton, and Kirkheaton, towards Cooper Bridge) with more traffic being encouraged off the motorway if there was to be a minor relief road. The long term solution, it was said, will be when the North Kirklees Orbital Route comes to fruition – at least 20 years away if passed. And a direct link between the two motorways, not the Link Road originally passed in the early 90s.
The Bypass Group are of the opinion that although it could well be of some benefit in the future, though not fully, ever increasing traffic levels and ongoing and possible future developments would still result in the problem that is Flockton, without any major improvement to the A637. The road is on the Government’s MRN system after all and should be improved according to the guidelines, announcements, and publications. For those unaware, including Cllr. McBride in fact, the MRN is the Major Road Network. (And SRN is the Strategic Road Network, for anyone interested).
One of the other points of discussion was the changes being made to the HGV restrictions. The Bypass Group have since been made aware that an announcement was published in a reasonably local paper (and may well have been in others) regarding the changes. Please check out the TRO link here and respond with anything you feel is not of help, or otherwise. We have our concerns. Let’s see if others amongst you agree. We can all play our part in getting Flockton a better, safer road after all. You can comment on these issues via our facebook page and our twitter. (Use the social media links floating over this page, or see all our social media links here).
You can download a summary of some notes made at the meeting, here, or view a pdf version here. (Please note it’s a bit of a draft and is still under review).
The Bypass Steering Group has arranged a visit to the village by Labour Councillor, and Cabinet member for Economy on Kirklees Council, Peter McBride, on Friday 14 September 2018 at 9:15 am, so he can witness traffic and road safety issues, on Barnsley Road, first hand. It had been hoped that the visit could have taken place at a busier School time, but we are nevertheless grateful that Cllr McBride is coming.
Residents and parents of school children are invited to stay around for the visit, if able to do so, and if anyone wishes to take a short video clip of traffic during their walk to school, there may be an opportunity to share this, particularly in the event that traffic may be a bit calmer by the time of the visit.
Some lorries think that they can squeeze through the road closed signs, but what may appear to be clear in the mind, is not clear on the ground. However, there are diversions for cars, and visiting local businesses in Flockton, such as the Sun Inn, Jacks Craft Ale House, and local shops, is still encouraged.
Roadworks at the traffic calming end of the village
Signs on Barnsley Road by Hardcastle Lane
Friday 24 August – The road through Flockton reopened around lunchtime.
Wednesday 22 August – Road resurfacing continued throughout the day.
Monday 20 August – We were expecting the road to reopen on Wednesday 22 August, but this is when resurfacing is due to take place. The road will be planed and resurfaced. It as now anticipated that the road will remain closed, at least until Saturday morning 25 August.
Monday 13 August – Meeting of the Bypass Steering Group
A few things that were mentioned at the meeting:
Drains, gulley clearing, and street lighting have been completed.
Holmfirth Police intend to monitor HGVs and pavement parking, when the road reopens.
On Wednesday 22 August, some road resurfacing work is due to take place.
The Bypass steering group is finalising details for a visit by Kirklees Labour Councillor, Peter McBride, to visit the village and witness traffic issues first hand, sometime on Friday 14 September.
Sunday 5 August – The Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Not amused! A disgruntled Jo Windle, Landlady of the Sun Inn, poses for an Examiner photographer behind one of the ‘Road Closed’ signs in Flockton village.
Confusion caused by both signage and some of the Kirklees village ‘gate keepers’, has led to potential visitors to the pub thinking that they cannot reach it and that it is closed. A very small section of the major route has been closed to through traffic for essential drainage works, but visitors to the village are able to gain access through diversions.
Jo said, “We’ve got a fantastic beer garden and there’s absolutely nobody enjoying it.”
Jo has also appealed to local villagers, via social media, to visit the Sun a bit more often during the road closure weeks.
Saturday 4 August – 07:48 hrs
This foreign driver chose not to stop at Grange Moor, despite both the road closed and all restriction signs, as well as the operatives instructions, resulting in him reversing almost a full mile back up Barnsley Road!
And a very similar lorry tried to do the very same, the following evening – only from the other direction. At least he didn’t have to reverse quite so far, using the Sun’s car park as his reversing/turning area.
Thursday 2 August – an initial appraisal
After the first couple of days, it seems that ‘gate keepers’ at each end of the village (by the Black Bull at Midgley and Grange Moor roundabout), are letting most cars through without question, either assuming they are residents, or will easily be able to turn around if they thought they could get through a closed road. Buses are running through the village in both directions, mostly on time, with route diversions where necessary.
Sunday 29 July – Joanne, from the Sun Inn, has provided the following information:
People who are controlling the entry points to Flockton have been told to allow entry to anyone wanting to access businesses within Flockton. Coming from Huddersfield, cars will be diverted up Haigh Lane and back down Pinfold and be able to turn left to access homes and businesses. Throughout the closure only one side of the road will be closed which is on The Sun Inn side of the road up to our top car park from Haigh Lane.
There has been mention of a vehicle escort service through the village, but residents are hoping this may only be used between Haigh Lane and Doctor Lane.
Saturday 28 July – Month-long closure of busy route from Huddersfield to the M1 begins next week:
Click on image to link to article by The Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Monday 30 July
The first day of closure brought peace to Flockton, but chaos to surrounding areas. This was Middlestown, early evening:
Following a chase-up by Graham B (Bypass Steering Group), on the recent traffic survey, a reply was received from Phillip Waddington, Principal Engineer of Highway Safety:
“I would be able to provide you with the full data at a cost to yourself as per the Fees and Charges report for Kirklees Council. The data is currently £88 including VAT for each set of count information. There were 7 counts undertaken and shown on the summary sheet giving a total cost of £616. Please could you let me know if you wish to proceed with the request and I will speak to our traffic census team regarding the methods of payment. Kind regards Phill”.
David R, also on the Bypass Steering Group, commented:
“A summary of the data was sent free of charge. There are some rather worrying figures on this alone. [We discovered that the average of 419 HGV’s (7.8% of the overall traffic volume) and the average speed across all the counts (around 28 mph eastbound and 32 mph westbound) travelled eastbound towards the M1 (in 24 hrs), in contravention of the existing weight limit order.] Speeds and HGV numbers (although the latter is only shown as a percentage*). The full information must show a far worse picture with regard to traffic numbers in general, the number of HGVs on the narrow road, and excessive speeds by many. Surely, this data should be fully disclosed, without any cost. If not, why not? we ask.”
Here is a summary of the recent traffic measurements carried out.
We have been informed that to obtain full details from Highways would cost us £88 per set, so £616 for all 7 sets! he mean averages are obviously impacted upon by slow moving peak time traffic, whilst having 15% shown as exceeding over 37 mph in places is very worrying.
Flockton residents have received official notice from Kirklees Council, that 20 mph speed limits are to be considered for parts of the village, to improve road safety. This comes after residents requesting a bypass have continued to lobby the Council to take a more proactive stance on the safety of pedestrians, particularly in the more vulnerable areas of the village, such as in the vicinity of the Primary School and existing traffic calming. The images below can be clicked on to enlarge and downloaded if you don’t already have copies.
Any comments or concerns can be sent to the Council, via the email shown in the letter, or made by phone call, by 27 July 2018.
Put your questions, concerning the issues relating to the A637 road through Flockton, to some of our local leaders at a live Question Time style event at Dewsbury Town Hall on Monday 16 July 2018 as part of National Democracy Week.
The panel of party leaders will include:
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Labour Group Leader
Councillor David Hall, Conservative Group Leader
Councillor John Lawson, Liberal Democrat Group Leader
Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party Group Leader
Come along and ask your questions about the things that matter to you and your community.
As reported previously, the road through Flockton will be closed from 30 July 2018 for up to 4 weeks, for drainage repairs and improvements. Mike Wood has provided some details of the proposed route, from Kirklees Council.
(Click on image to enlarge)
David Rawling commented on social media, that…
“From the Grange Moor End they [HGVs] should follow their regular diversion. As agreed with Wakefield MDC many years ago, when the one-way system was set up, i.e. Kirklees/Flockton has them going westwards, Horbury/Netherton going eastwards. Ideally, they head towards Wakefield and back out, avoiding Netherton Lane. (But we know which is the shorter).
“Any who usually head for Grange Moor and vicinity, will probably come via Horbury Bridge and to the north of the A637. Those heading towards Huddersfield will, in the main I guess, use this route. Adding about 6 miles and maybe 15 minutes on to their journeys.
“It shows the importance of the A637, lending more weight to the need for a small relief road/bypass avoiding Flockton village. Anyone in the URTU? Or know hauliers? Time for their involvement. It won’t be the last time there will be problems here.”
The latest from The Huddersfield Daily Examiner (25 June 2018)
A petition demanding a bypass for Flockton has gained more than 4,000 signatures meaning Kirklees Council will be forced to debate the issue.
Incensed villagers say enough is enough after a spate of near misses, HGVs flouting the rules by using the main road through the village as a short cut, plus a major spurt in building houses that will lead to more vehicles on the winding road through the village. Read the full article here.