Shame of accident blackspot record

MORLEY is home to six out of seven of the worst accident black-spots in Leeds.

The figures have been published in the council’s annual road safety report, Sites for Concern, which lists junctions that have had 15 or more injury accidents in the last five years, or four or more in 2006.

The report is used to give an overall picture of the injury accident situation at junctions throughout Leeds and target those areas most in need of improvement and development.

The worst site is Gildersome Roundabout where Gelderd Road meets the A650 and at number six was its partner roundabout where Gelderd Road has its junction with the M62 and M621.

Leeds’ worst site had seen 107 accidents between 2002 and 2006, though in 2006 there were 15 accidents, down previous years.

Coun Robert Finnigan (MBI, Morley North) said: “It is a great disappointment to see that we are still the worst site for concern across the Leeds City Council area and not only the worst, but the worst by a substantial margin”.

He added that number two on the list, the junction between Gelderd Road and Canal Street in Armley, had 58 accidents between 2002 and 2006, 49 fewer than Gildersome roundabout.

He added: “The top five remain as the top five, though it should be noted that Tingley roundabout used to be the worst site but since signalling was improved it has fallen to number five and continues to fall.”

Coun Finnigan said the Highways Agency intends to start work at the site early in 2008 and he would be holding them to that.

investment

“The Highways Agency are aware that it is at the top of the sites for concern list again and that we have been banging on about it for years but the Highways Agency is central government and has a lot of demands on its finances but it is our view that they need to find this investment and we are pushing them, along with colleagues from the Leeds highways department, to get this problem resolved,” he said.

Five of the sites for concern that are in Morley are the responsibility of the Highways Agency and include Gildersome’s two roundabouts,Tingley Roundabout, the junction between the M621 and Elland Road, the M1/M62 roundabout and the Bradford Road/Royston Hill junction with the M1 at Junction 41 at East Ardsley.

A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency confirmed that extensive works were under consideration for Gildersome’s roundabouts, with work planned for next year.

Improvements to the slip roads at the M1/M62 Lofthouse Roundabout is also planned for 2008/9.

Where roads are the responsibility of Leeds City Council there has been a reduction in accidents overall.

A drop in accidents and improvements in road safety by Leeds City Council has meant this is the shortest list they have published. This year’s report listed 98 junctions.

Coun Andrew Carter, executive board member responsible for road safety, said: “This report provides the council with important information to help us concentrate our road safety schemes in areas where they are most needed.

“Road safety officers and highways engineers are constantly working to improve the safety for everyone who uses the city’s roads. It is good to see this hard work is paying off – but there is still a lot of work to do and we will continue to work towards lowering accident and injury rates even further.

“There is no room for complacency when it comes to the need to reduce accidents in the city.”

l What do you think of road safety in the Morley area and how it can be improved? If you have any views email us at editorial@Morleytoday.co.uk or write to us at the Morley Observer and Advertiser, 40 Queen Street, Morley, LS27 9BR.