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Angry claims that Tesco talks are slowing work
Fury has erupted at delays to the upgrading of a pedestrian crossing on a busy main road.
Councillors say funding for the £35,000 scheme in Kirkgate, Silsden – at the Elliott Street junction – was approved a year ago but nothing has been done.
And they fear the safety improvements will be further stalled amid claims that Tesco – which is seeking to build a store in the town – could be asked by Bradford Council to finance the project as part of any planning approval.
Silsden ward councillor Adrian Naylor said the upgrade of the facility, from its current zebra status to a traffic-light-controlled crossing, is desperately needed.
He claims children are at risk because the council has been unable to replace a retired school crossing patrol officer at the site.
“I am concerned an attempt to get the applicant for the Tesco scheme to pay for the junction improvement will cause further delays,” he added.
“The problem with trying to get a third party to finance the upgrade rather than Bradford Council is the application could be delayed, or if planning permission is granted, it may never get implemented. Keighley Area Committee approved this improvement scheme and the funding 12 months ago.”
His anger is echoed by Silsden Town Council chairman Coun Chris Atkinson.
“How long does it take Bradford to get to work?” he said. “We’ve already waited a year. Do we now have to wait while the Tesco application is determined?”
Calls for action were stepped up in November following a serious accident near the site.
An elderly pedestrian suffered head injuries after being involved in a collision with a car.
At that time, Bradford Council said design work for the upgraded crossing was well advanced and that consultation would “start shortly”.
The council said this week the project was still progressing and it confirmed talks were being held with Tesco but it denied the upgrade was dependent on the outcome of the company’s planning application.
“The scheme is being drawn up and will then go out for consultation,” said a spokesman. We are having discussions with Tesco, but the progress of the scheme will not be affected by the determination of its application.”
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