A Bracken Bank shopkeeper is backing a school’s campaign for safety improvements at one of its exits.

Oakbank School has barred students from leaving at lunchtime via the sports centre entrance in Ingrow Lane.

The ban was imposed due to safety concerns for students either crossing the lane or walking along the side without a pavement.

David Mortimer, who runs nearby Bracken Bank Stores, claims lunchtime trade has plummeted as a result of the closure.

He wants Bradford Council to provide a new pavement on the school side of Ingrow Lane.

The school has previously requested either a new pavement or a pelican crossing, so students can safely reach the other side, where there is already a pavement.

Students can still leave Oakbank via an exit further down Ingrow Lane, but the distance from school to Bracken Bank Stores is further.

Mr Mortimer said: “I’m not having a go at the headteacher’s policy – I know the safety of children is paramount.

“But I wonder why, in this day and age, there’s no footpath. I want to make it safe for students to walk down – there should be a footpath on the whole length.”

Oakbank headteacher, David Maxwell, said he understood Mr Mortimer’s situation.

But he added: “The health and safety of the children has to come first. We’re very concerned about them walking on the road to the shop.

“I completely agree with Mr Mortimer about the path, and we also want a pelican crossing.”

District councillor Jan Smithies said she had met with Mr Maxwell to discuss safety concerns on Ingrow Lane.

But she is not optimistic Bradford Council will be able to provide cash for a new pavement.

She added Keighley and Ilkley’s six council wards had to share £145,000 a year for all road schemes, from safety measures to winter gritting.

Coun Smithies said: “We’ve got seven or eight requests in Keighley West ward alone, and I’ve had three new requests from residents in three areas this week.

“A lot of these have a good case. We will look at Ingrow Lane and put it on the list, but it will have to compete with all the other requests in the ward.”