By KLTV Newsdesk
Kirklees Council has announced they are putting in place temporary measures to help keep pedestrians safe in Heckmondwike.
The changes will make it clearer for both drivers and pedestrians where there are crossing points and where extra care has to be taken by everyone at the A638 in the centre of Heckmondwike.
This will form phase one of works within the town centre, and if successful, will be followed up with more permanent measures in the coming months.
Heckmondwike is a busy town centre with shops and businesses set on either side of one of the main routes connecting Cleckheaton with Dewsbury and other Kirklees Towns.
This means that pedestrians, cars and HGVs are often looking to occupy the same space, as such it is important that all road users stay alert when travelling through the town.
To help raise awareness of the risks, and support people to cross as safely as possible, the council says they will be putting in place temporary barriers to reduce the number of places where people have the opportunity to cross and will also be providing a larger temporary island between Royle Fold and Cemetery Road.
Their aim is to help focus the attention of both drivers and pedestrians to the crossing point. The council claims it will also aid the visibility of pedestrians wanting to cross, with the aim of reducing the risk of pedestrians crossing in the blind spots of drivers in heavy goods vehicles.
The temporary measures will allow the Council to monitor the effectiveness of certain proposals to ensure that any permanent features installed are done so with a minimum impact for all road users of Heckmondwike.
Early indications suggest that installing a formal crossing at this location for example a zebra or signalled crossing wouldn’t be feasible here due to the impact on a number of users however these will be investigated thoroughly as part of the feasibility assessments and design of the permanent proposals.
Cllr Rob Walker, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “No road can be completely safe. All road users need to be aware of the potential risks of people crossing stationary traffic that is waiting to move.
“Formal crossings always provide the safest place to cross, and sometimes travelling further along the path to find one, or doubling back on yourself really is the safest option. However, if you do choose to cross at a more convenient location please make sure the driver can and has seen you before you step into their path.
“Drivers should also remain aware of their surroundings when waiting at lights, watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, and give them time to cross.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with the family of the person who sadly recently lost their life after colliding with a lorry in this area.
“I hope that the measures we are putting in place will encourage all road users to take extra care in this busy location.”