Lower speed limit plan for road is a ‘helpful first step’, say campaigners

‘GOOD, but not enough’.

That was the reaction of safety campaigners this week to proposals to cut the speed limit between Old Pool Bank and Otley.

Eighteen year old Kate Whalley died after being hit by a car on the A660 Leeds Road, close to its junction with lower Old Pool Bank, on June 22, 2017.

The Old Pool Bank Road Safety Group was started in response to the tragedy and has been pushing, with local councillors, for the 40mph limit on the stretch of road to be cut to 30mph.

That hasn’t happened but Leeds City Council has just confirmed it is proposing to:

*Extend the current 40mph stretch further down the A660 towards Otley, and put up village gateway signs at Old Pool Bank

*Lower the speed limit on the rest of the road between Otley and Old Pool Bank from 60mph to 50mph

*Keep an electronic 30mph speed advisory sign on the approach to Bar House corner.

The council is also planning to lower the speed limit on lower Old Pool Bank – to 40mph from the A660 to the old railway bridge, and then to 30mph down to the junction with Pool Bank New Road.

Annie Goodyear, from Old Pool Bank Road Safety Group, said: “We welcome any measure which will make driving through our village safer.

“Reducing the speed limit on lower Old Pool Bank and extending the 40mph limit on the A660 to beyond Cragg View are helpful first steps.

“But they are not enough.

“We understand that Highways Agency guidelines clearly state that there should be a 30mph limit through villages and we will continue to campaign for that.

“This is a dangerous stretch of road and we need proper traffic calming measures if we are to prevent further tragedies.”

Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) was told about the A660 proposals when he asked about the outcome of a road safety consultation conducted last autumn.

He said: “We’ve started to move the council in the right direction and this reduction from 60mph to 50mph will mean drivers will be approaching at a slower speed as they come up the hill, which should make it easier to slow to 40mph.

“However it is important that Highways make the case to the Camera Partnership about the importance of getting a mobile speed camera used regularly on this road.

“What will help is the council’s intention to clearly mark the village gateway, so drivers have no excuse for not knowing they are coming in to a lower speed limit area.

“I think it will be easier after this, in a year or so’s time, to argue that the speed limit from the Dyneley Arms crossroads to the end of Cragg View should be reduced to 30mph, and then down to 40mph for the stretch to Otley itself.”

The road safety questionnaire had actually focused on options to improve safety on lower Old Pool Bank and its junction with the A660 at Bar House corner.

More than 220 households completed the survey with the vast majority – 211 – supporting lower speed limits on the narrow road.

The issue of making changes at the junction, however, proved more divisive with no clear preference shown.


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