Flockton Delegation Best Presentation At Kirklees Council

Well done to those who represented Flockton at the Council meeting on the evening of 10 October 2018. The presentation, under the heading of point 6: Deputations & Petitions (From Members of the Public) was very well presented and equally well received.

Audio version:

This meeting was chaired by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mumtaz Hussain, in the absence of the Mayor, due to illness.

Unfortunately, Cllr. Richard Smith’s question, at the end, was once again cut off by the Council. This was the fourth time Kirklees Council had filled time to prevent the question from being asked and answered!

Cllr. Richard Smith shared this to our facebook page:

“I would like to apologise to the people of Flockton for the shameful display earlier this evening at the Full Council Meeting.

“When the Deputy Mayor announced that we were running out of time and made it clear we would not have time to discuss the Motion I had prepared in relation to traffic issues in Flockton, the Bypass and other major road projects in Kirklees, I firstly asked that we suspended Standing Orders, which would have allowed us to discuss the motion and give it the consideration it deserves. After having lost this vote, due to, it seems many Councillors in other groups wanting an early night, I asked the Deputy Mayor, as Chair of the meeting to exercise, as is his right, discretion and grant this anyway. When this was also declined, I asked if we could take a vote on the motion.

“Unfortunately, the Deputy Mayor refused and closed the meeting at 20:58.

“I am very disappointed with the lack of courtesy shown to the good people of Flockton, especially after a small number of you, including some school children made the effort to attend the meeting and present a very well thought out and presented deputation relating to the same issues.

“I can only say I tried my best to prevent this from happening and I have already written to the Clerk, formally requesting that this be placed on the next Full Council agenda.

“The 3 Ward Councillors will continue to support the residents we represent and in time we will have our time in the Council Chamber.

“All the best, Richard.” –  Kirkburton Ward Councillor


Residents responded with a number of comments (some paraphrased)

“That must have been so frustrating – so much bureaucracy and sounds like as it doesn’t affect them then it can keep being put back – I personally think it’s a disgrace!”

“Angry doesn’t come close. I was involved in the deputation, and know how much work we put into it. I also know this is the 4th time Richard Smith has tried to discuss Flockton’s issues at a council meeting and he has failed to get a hearing. This time, perhaps with many more of us watching, we can get angry at the way some of our council casually dismissed his motion because they wanted the meeting to close. I feel let down by those elected to represent me.”

“They’ll avoid at all costs. They don’t want to spend the money. Not your fault at all, you did your best.”

“It’s like history repeating itself same as when we tried no body seemed to take us seriously and always bottom of the pile it’s disgraceful.”

“It reminds me of the shenanigans in Westminster. They are given an important issue to discuss, and waste their time on something useless until time runs out to debate it.”

Another resident added:

“I will help out where I can, no problem. I can’t help but think that the time for pussy footing around Kirklees Council has come and gone. I’ve lived here all my life and am sick of hearing all the false promises the council make and the blatant disregard for how dangerous the road has become. It simply beggars belief how they can just ignore the issue. Instead the council pass planning for even more house building , making the road even more congested. If they could make money from a bypass the bulldozers would be out road building right now! For Christ’s sake this has only been going on for 65 years to my knowledge, how much more patient does this village have to be before something is done?”

Cllr. John Taylor said:
“This has been an a shocking outcome, it was clear from earlier on in the meeting that Labour did not want us to get to the motion. In the past we have extended the Council Meeting to complete important business. Whilst I am angry for myself & Richard who have worked hard on this I am really angry for the disrespectful way they have treated you Charlotte Michael & the rest of the group especially after you came and spoke so well & were applauded by the Council when you finished. It was a disgraceful outcome, showing contempt for local residents but Richard & I will try again next month & will continue to do so until we succeed, this is far too important to let them get away with. Questions need answering & support provided.”

Cllr. Richard Smith replied:
“I have asked for a list of all the elected members that voted against suspension of Standing Orders. I am not certain I will get it, but if I do, I will be passing it to the Examiner.

“There are some of them that think they are there for themselves, as opposed to representing the people in our Wards and I think those that think an early pint or Coronation Street is more important than Council business should be named and shamed. I can say categorically that your 3 Ward Councillors, John, Bill and I tried to get this heard.”

Resident and bypass campaigner, Elena said:
“I also felt very let down but the worst part was the feelings of the children we took to speak on our behalf as part of the deputation. They were excited and proud to be part of the democratic process and spoke confidently, passionately and eloquently and became more and more interested with the whole process following it live online after we’d left. They felt so let down and just couldn’t understand why the council didn’t have time to hear the motion prepared by our councillors. Especially when they realised this was the 4th time of trying. They knew that this was an important part to follow on from their deputation and despite the fact they are young and inexperienced, could clearly see that we’d been ‘fobbed’ off. I was shocked to hear the deputy mayor say on live webcam at the end. ‘It’s 9 o’clock, I’ve had enough’ when it actually wasn’t 9 o’clock and he’d purposely wasted time!! So disappointing but it has made me all the more determined that our voice will continue to be heard…”

See the Huddersfield Examiner article here (or scroll down to later post).


 

Flockton Bypass Group members to attend Kirklees Council meeting 10 October 2018

Members of the Flockton Bypass group will be among a limited number of the public, attending this meeting.

Flockton Bypass Deputation to Kirklees Council - flocktonbypass.co.uk
(From left to right: Elena D, Charlotte D, Ella B, Charlotte M)

Wednesday 10th October 2018 5:30 pm, Council
Venue: Council Chamber – Town Hall, Huddersfield

Commences 5:30 pm. Live on webcast if not attending.

The motion:
14: Motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 14 as to Flockton Traffic Issues.

To consider the following Motion in the names of Councillors Smith, J Taylor and D Hall.

“This Council notes that work is now underway to produce an Option Assessment Report in relation to the North Kirklees Orbital Route which will help to determine if this is a viable scheme to develop.

Additionally the £77 million Cooper Bridge by pass, linking the A644 near junction 25 M62 and the A62 near Bradley Bar is currently in the Design phase.

The Council recognises that both these schemes have the potential to significantly affect the volume and flow of traffic in and around the village of Flockton and on the B6118.

Given the existing severe traffic problems affecting the village of Flockton and the undoubted increase in the future with developments already in construction and the potential from the Local Plan , the Council recognises that even if it were to overlook the 2 major road schemes already mentioned, without intervention, this situation will only continue to deteriorate.

Therefore the council calls on the Cabinet to undertake an assessment of any impact upon the village of Flockton & B6118 from the NKOR and A62 scheme and to ensure that due consideration is given to the issues in Flockton prior to any work starting on either of these road schemes.”

Council Agenda information and documents.


 

Time for an update may be, Yorkshire Life?

A 2013 article by Yorkshire Life, provided a summary of life in Flockton. However, as mentioned by resident and campaigner for a Bypass, David Rawling, perhaps it’s time for an update.

“One to consider. The “Link” was sunk, quite rightly, in the early 90s, as the planned road would have affected many more than a much smaller relief road that would do a similar job. i.e. take most of the traffic out of Flockton.

“Since then, Grange Moor Industrial Estate has appeared on the scene. 50 companies currently listed there. 3 separate (smallish admittedly) housing developments in Flockton and Grange Moor. The 2 ongoing developments and another planned in the village, along with a few others dotted about, will see approximately 225 new houses within our village having been built since the Link was proposed (and in fact, passed for construction at one point by Kirklees).

“Time that this was recognised. If these developments had all come at once, now, it’s almost certain the infrastructure would have been taken into account as Kirklees would be more than happy with their extra annual income from the rates (£350k pa, may be from houses alone) and wouldn’t be worried about traffic being “encouraged” or “”moved quicker” into Waterloo, Dalton, Kirkheaton, etc., as they say they are now. Relieve Flockton with a relief road!”


 

 

Submit Your Views Before 12 October 2018

Flockton villagers may, or may not, be aware of the TRO (Traffic Regulation Orders). This relates specifically to that sign you see at Grange Moor roundabout, and a second smaller one, coming down the hill.

No access - flocktonbypass.co.uk

So what’s the problem?
The original TRO was written in 1971, using the terminology and language of the time. It was updated in 1992 to conform to metrication of the weight, but since then, Police have said that the prohibition cannot be enforced. This has led to a re-write, costing Kirklees Council £5,500. However, what the wording on the sign should say is up for some debate, as ‘No access To M1 through Flockton village’, didn’t actually help residents.

As a further point of interest, Kirklees Council are apparently responsible for enforcement, according to documentation on their website: “The council’s Civil Enforcement Officers enforce the Traffic Regulation Orders on the public highways.”

The feeling of the Bypass group, is that the sign should properly enforce the ‘agreed with Wakefield’ gyratory system, whereby HGVs over the stated weight limit, should only enter Flockton from the east side (Midgley side), towards Grange Moor, and not from Grange Moor, travelling eastwards through the village. Using a sign that says ‘Except for access’ could possibly be abused by HGV drivers, who pretend that they are making deliveries. To avoid any confusion, or excuses, HGVs should be made to enter and leave the village in only one direction – regardless of whether they are actually delivering, or not. We are not wishing to stop important local traffic, such as farmers, buses, or emergency vehicles – this is purely to prevent the through traffic of articulated lorries/HGVs over 7.5Tonnes in weight.

If after reading about the TRO for Flockton, you wish to have an opportunity to contact Kirklees to state your views or any preferences, contrary to those proposed, then use the information shown below:

If you go to this link, or click on the TRO image below, you will be able to access the documents located at the top of the listings:

Proposed TRO - flocktonbypass.co.uk

Send grounds of your objection in writing to reach the undersigned by not later than 12th October 2018, quoting reference DEV/JE/D116-1804:

Julie Muscroft – Assistant Director – Legal, Governance and Monitoring Kirklees Council, 2nd Floor, High Street Buildings, High Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2ND

Or possibly by email: 


 

Call for Government to pay for bypass for Flockton

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.

Lorry in Flockton - flocktonbypass.co.ukClr 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.

 Read full article on Examiner Live.


 

Cllr Peter McBride in Flockton for over 2½ hours

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.

Bypass meeting - flocktonbypass.co.ukFrom 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).

See other supporting documents of interest on our Documents page.


 

Cllr Peter McBride to Visit Flockton

Cllr Peter McBrideThe 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.

Please show your support and have your say.

Ongoing Road Closure Information

During the road closure period through Flockton, this post will be added to and updated. You can also join in with conversations on our social media platforms.


People you may wish to report issues to:

Kirklees Highways Princpal Engineer, Andy Walsh: Tel. 01484 221000

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner: 


Latest News


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.

Flockton roadworks - flocktonbypass.co.uk Roadworks at the traffic calming end of the village

Flockton closure signs - flocktonbypass.co.uk 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.

Road resurfacing Flockton - flocktonbypass.co.uk


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.

Joanne Windle - not amused - flocktonbypass.co.uk

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.”

Read the full story here.

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!

Reversing HGV - flocktonbypass.co.uk

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:

Flockton by The Huddersfield Daily ExaminerClick 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:


Grange lane on Thursday 2 August, evening:

Grange Lane - flocktonbypass.co.uk


 

Flockton Traffic Survey Results

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.

Traffic Survey Results Map - flocktonbypass.co.ukMap with higher resolution text (to download and magnify)

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.

*The 85th percentile as a tool for improving roads and streets.

Please follow discussions about this in our facebook group.


 

Flockton Residents Receive Proposed Speed Reduction Plan

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.

Speed Reduction Proposal Letter - flocktonbypass.co.uk

Speed Limits Map - flocktonbypass.co.uk