`

Thousands sign petition to make Blacker Lane safe

David Flint campaigning to get trafic off Blacker Lane as it is a danerous road.'Pictureds with David Rawling from Flockton Bypass
David Flint campaigning to get trafic off Blacker Lane as it is a danerous road.'Pictureds with David Rawling from Flockton Bypass

Around 3,000 people have backed a push for safety measures on a notorious road which saw 24 accidents in the space of a year.

Blacker Lane at Netherton has become the focus of a community campaign and the strength of feeling has led to over 2,500 signing online, and hundreds filling in a paper petition.

Following a successful meeting in February involving with the police, councillors and Wakefield Council’s Highways department, the decision was to take to make small changes to improve conditions for drivers.

Earlier this month the road was shut for three days for overhanging vegetation to be cut back from the road, have potholes filled in, pathways cleaned and road signs secured.

But within 90 minutes of the road re-opening on the third day, a Fiat car collided with a van, closing the road for hours. Two days later two drivers narrowly avoided a serious crash when their cars clipped, smashing off their wing mirrors.

Campaigner David Flint, who has regularly driven along that road for around 30 years, said: “I’m not really surprised, it’s been an issue for years.

David Flint campaigning to get trafic off Blacker Lane as it is a danerous road.

David Flint campaigning to get trafic off Blacker Lane as it is a danerous road.

“You can see where people have driven on the mud at the side of the road in parts, so it needs widening.

“It also needs a temporary speed limit of 30mph, down from the national speed limit (60mph), because we hear about people driving sensibly along there often get other drivers right on their back bumper, which can be really intimidating.

“It’s an issue that been raised time and again but nobody has listened in the past - but it’s more of an organised effort this time.

“We have had overwhelming support and engagement through our campaign.

“It’s about time something was done about the road, it can’t go on like this. Officially, there’s been 24 accidents in 12 months, but there are a lot more that have not been reported.”

A survey is now being conducted using a ‘golden river’ - black pressure wires stretched across the road to measure vehicle numbers, speed and weight.

Weight has become a main issue because of the number of lorries using the road, with claims that many HGV drivers are ignoring the 7.5 tonne restriction.The sheer size of the vehicle leads to many oncoming drivers being forced into the ditches by the juggernauts.

The campaigners say a reduction to 3.5 tonne is needed, along with better road signs.

Other suggestions include rumble strips, a solid white line on some bends to prevent any overtaking and cats eyes due to the lack of street lighting.

Neil Rodgers, Service Director for Planning, Transportation and Highways at Wakefield Council said: “Following discussions with the community earlier this year, we have recently carried out essential maintenance works on Blacker Lane to repair the road surface, refresh the road markings, clear roadside vegetation to improve visibility and emptied the road gullies.

The Express will be supporting the campaign for safety measures on Blacker Lane and people are encouraged to sign the online petition tinyurl.com/BlackerLane and join the Facebook group at www.BLRSC.org.uk.