Action group to meet police over road safety concerns in North Kirklees

Campaigners fighting to make the roads across North Kirklees safer will have a meeting with Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater and police next week.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 7:00 am
ROAR action group members holding a protest in Gomersal last weekend

The Facebook group Reclaim Our Area’s Roads (ROAR) was set up in response to mounting concern over speeding cars and nuisance drivers.

The catalyst was the death of 69-year-old Carol Andrew, who was struck by a car and killed as she crossed White Lee Road in Heckmondwike on July 21.

On Saturdays since Mrs Andrew’s death ROAR has held a protest at a different speeding blackpot. Last Saturday it was Church Lane and Muffit Lane in Gomersal.

ROAR action group members holding a protest in Gomersal last weekend

One of the founders of ROAR, dad-of-three Nigel Harnell, spoke to Labour MP Ms Leadbeater at Saturday’s protest and she has agreed to meet a small delegation to discuss a way forward.

Mr Harnell said: “We spoke with Kim on Saturday and this meeting is what we wanted to achieve. It will be a calm and measured meeting but we are not going in there to be fobbed off.”

The meeting will be held at a venue in Heckmondwike on Monday between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Local police will be represented and Mr Harnell has also asked Kirklees Council leader and Batley West Labour councillor Shabir Pandor to attend.

Mr Harnell will be joined by fellow campaigners Paul Halloran, Jean Day and Carol Darbyshire. It will not be open to the public but Mr Harnell plans to broadcast the meeting on Facebook Live via the Batley and Spen Really Matters Facebook page.

“We have nothing to hide and people will be able to watch, hear what’s said and see what promises are made,” said Mr Harnell. “We’ll also have a video record so we can look back at it in six months’ time and see what action has been taken.”

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These are the 112 roads in North Kirklees with concerns about speeding drivers

Mr Harnell also wants Ms Leadbeater to push for legislation to control the rental of high-powered supercars which plague parts of the district including Ravensthorpe and Dewsbury.

“Only people of a certain age and maturity should be allowed to hire these sorts of cars,” said Mr Harnell.

“A 21-year-old is hiring a 160mph supercar for just one reason – to drive it fast and show off.”

Mr Harnell would also like to see tougher penalties for drivers who reach motorway speeds on residential roads.

“The penalties should be harsh,” he said. “Take their cars way or give them a hefty fine that makes them think twice, not just a £100 slap on the wrist.”

ROAR members are continuing to go out covertly videoing the roads and will pass footage to the police.

Weekly protests will continue and this Saturday at 6pm campaigners will gather on Commercial Street in Batley town centre, outside Jo Cox House.