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Electronic speed warning sign installed in West Lane, Haworth
10:34am Thursday 19th June 2014 in Keighley
Councillor Rebecca Poulsen, right, joins Haworth residents at the new sign designed to curtail speeding
RESIDENTS who must negotiate a busy Haworth road have received a new, electronic roadside warning sign to encourage motorists to watch their speed.
The vehicle-activated sign has recently been installed by Bradford Council, near West Lane Methodist Chapel.
It was put in place after alternative measures to help pedestrians were judged to be unworkable.
Worth Valley ward councillor Rebecca Poulsen said the sign was the result of three years of dialogue and consultation to help make the location safer.
She explained: "There have been concerns for a number of years. That end of Haworth has quite a lot of elderly residents living on both sides of the road.
"When I was elected in 2011 I started going to residents' meetings at Heathcliff sheltered housing, and one of the first things they mentioned were the problems with crossing the road."
Several possible solutions to the problem were considered, including a zebra crossing and a traffic island.
However, the zebra crossing proposal was discarded after highways officers decided that this would be too close to a bend, so would not be visible enough to approaching motorists. They also concluded that the road was too narrow at this point to accommodate an island.
Coun Poulsen added: "The next idea was for a vehicle activated flashing sign to help slow down traffic coming round the bend.
"But even then we needed to agree a suitable site, put funding in place and consult with local people. A couple of residents weren't happy because they said the flashing sign would be too close to their properties.
"But we carried out a full consultation, and the majority of residents were in favour."
In February of this year, Bradford planning officers recommended the sign should be approved. They cited surveys showing that, of 1,510 vehicles on that stretch, one was clocked doing over 61mph, 252 between 36 and 41mph, and in total 61 per cent were breaking the 30mph speed limit.
They noted that a consultation exercise showed 86 per cent of respondents supported the scheme, with only 14 per cent against, and that the trigger speed for the sign should be set at between 28mph and 33mph.
Coun Poulsen said: "It has been quite a long process, but the sign was finally put in two weeks ago. We will monitor its effect and make sure it's working as it should be."
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