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Batley shopowners in council dispute over safety bollards

White Lee Off-License on Leeds Old Road.
White Lee Off-License on Leeds Old Road.

The owners of a family-run shop in Batley are in a dispute with Kirklees Council over the implementation of safety measures designed to protect their customers.

White Lee Off-Licence, on Leeds Old Road, has had vehicles crash into its shopfront four times in as many years, devastating the shop floor and, on one occasion, missing a parent and toddler by seconds.

Ashika Patel, daughter of owners Kiran and Hasu, said that aside from the cost of the bollards, the family have been told they are unable to build the extra measures on publicly-owned pavement outside the shop.

Ashika said: “It’s really dangerous. In March, the car came right in through the shop and could have hit a baby, something needs to be done about this before someone gets killed.

“There are two schools nearby and children come into the shop all the time. We need to sort this out.”

Karl Battersby, Strategic Director, Economy and Infrastructure for Kirklees Council said: “We realise that the situation for the shop owners is difficult, however it is not practical to install bollards due to the narrowness of the road and footpath, and the need to maintain space for pedestrians and traffic to move.

"We believe that the best course of action is to prevent collisions at the junction, which is the main cause of vehicles making contact with the shop.

“Over the last 12 months we have improved lighting, road markings and, by lowering an adjacent wall, visibility at this junction.

"We have also installed a central island on Smithies Moor Lane, all aimed at reducing, if not preventing, collisions happening here in the first place. In turn, this should stop vehicles from colliding with the shop. We are now closely monitoring the situation.”