THOUSANDS of people have signed petitions against plans to close swimming pools in Castleford and Knottingley.
Campaigners presented their petition, of more than 2,000 signatures to Wakefield Council as a public consultation on plans to replace the pools with a £15m leisure complex closed.
The two pools could close in January next year, and Pontefract’s existing swimming pool would also close when the new leisure centre in Pontefract Park opens.
Fears have been raised that the plans would limit access to swimming pools for elderly and disabled people who would be unable to travel to the new centre.
Campaigners Dave Davies and Chris Stebbings presented the petitions at Wakefield County Hall on Tuesday.
Mr Davies said: “We have elderly and disabled people in our area who just can’t make it to Pontefract swimming pool.
“I help a lady who is in her 80s go to the pool every week so she can go for a swim. People in Castleford rely on the pool for their health and well-being.”
Campaigners say the plans would reduce swimming pool capacity for people in Pontefract, Castleford and Knottingley by 56 per cent.
The Castleford and Knottingley pools could also close before the £14.8m Pontefract Park complex opens at an unspecified date, it is feared.
Campaigner Chris Stebbings said: “Classes at the pool are full up now at peak times.”
Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the five towns leisure consultation.
“All the responses will be looked at in detail and will be carefully considered.”