I’ve long pushed for 20mph zones and when the Woodlesford 20 mph zone was given the go-ahead I asked Leeds City Council Highways if children from Woodlesford Primary School could design the sign. As a result council officers have worked with Woodlesford Primary head teacher Robin Scott to organise a competition for pupils to design the new sign.
Robin then organised the competition in school. The school shortlisted the top 10 pictures from each year group and gave them to Leeds City Council for judging. I was delighted to be asked to be on the judging panel and really enjoyed going to have a look at the pictures. There were some amazing drawings. We weren’t just looking for the best pictures though, we had to think what would be effective with drivers and we viewed them from a long distance as well. Bold designs seemed to work the best. The winning six drawings will then be made into signs by the council’s sign workshop.
I’m really looking forward attending a special school assembly on road safety day on Wednesday, February 25 and awarding the prizes to the winners.
The road safety day will also see safety rangers and police at the school to help teach the children about road safety, pedestrian safety and HGV awareness, as well as using SID (the speed indication device) to show how fast cars are travelling.
The Woodlesford 20mph zone follows a successful zone in Carlton where the signs were also designed by a pupil from Carlton School. A further 20mph zone has also been put in near Haigh Road School and there is also an advisory 20mph speed limit near Royds School at school start and finish times.
It’s fantastic we can get the children to design the signs as this helps to teach them about road safety and really gets the local community involved in supporting the 20mph zones. Now we’ve got three in the ward I’m lobbying the council to see if we can get more 20mph zones on roads near to more of our schools. I want further ones introduced in more of our schools this year.
After a long campaign with residents and road safety action group LAWRRAG I’m delighted that we’ve finally succeeded in getting a new road crossing to make it safer for children from Woodlesford and Oulton to get to Royds School. The crossing will be near to the roundabout and Rothwell Leisure Centre on the A639 and will be put in after April so it is ready for the start of the new school year in September.
The new crossing is part of our long-running campaign to support local people in the Leeds and Wakefield Road Residents Action Group (LAWRRAG). This included arranging for speed monitoring surveys to provide evidence of too much speeding traffic on Leeds Road and Wakefield Road. I arranged for officers from Leeds City Council highways department, Cllr Richard Lewis (the executive board member responsible for highways), Cllr David Nagle and Claire Rowlinson from the neighbourhood policing team to meet residents and agree what action could be taken.
I demanded crossing surveys be carried out along the road because of great concern by residents about the speeding traffic and children crossing to get to Royds School from the Woodlesford and Oulton communities. It is fantastic news that our concerns have been listened to and we are to get a crossing which will make it much safer for our children and young people to cross to the school, as well as improving community access to the leisure centre.
We also got council highways officers to do a review of signs all along the road, as we’re concerned that some aren’t visible enough, such as the 40mph signs at Dewans at the top of the road which are obscured by trees.
The flashing speed sign on Leeds Road which was set incorrectly and flashed at too low speeds, has now been corrected so it flashes correctly at 41 mph.
The council’s highways officers have done some further speed monitoring on behalf of the group and this will be discussed at the next meeting which will be held on Tuesday 3 February at 5.30 at the junction of First Avenue. If you would like to contribute you’re welcome to attend.
Here is an important statement I’ve just sent to the Yorkshire Evening Post in response to a very dangerous blog post from Rothwell Liberal Democrat Councillor Stewart Golton:
STATEMENT TO YORKSHIRE EVENING POST
Local Liberal Democrats have been scaring and misleading vulnerable local people by falsely claiming that there will be a black out on streets.
Quote from Cllr Karen Bruce, Rothwell Labour councillor:
“I’m very concerned that Cllr Stewart Golton’s irresponsible and misleading comments are scaring vulnerable people who as local councillors we have a duty of care towards. With just one in 10 lights being turned off in the middle of the night there will be no black out as there are no streets where all of the lights will be turned off!”
“Leeds has taken a very cautious approach and is only turning off a tiny number of street lights after midnight, in contrast to many councils some of which are turning 70% of lights off compared to our 10%. There are 2,805 street lights in Rothwell ward and just 287 lights will be switched off after midnight, not the 8,000 claimed by Cllr Golton yesterday on his blog.”
“Cllr Golton forgets to mention the environmental benefits as it will reduce the council’s carbon emissions from street lights by almost 5% which is something I welcome. He also forgets to mention that his government has cut the council’s budget so turning off a few lights helps us save money that can be invested in maintaining the roads, keeping leisure centres and libraries open and providing vital social care to help older people live in their own homes. Cllr Golton is one of a small minority who want to waste money and damage the environment as public consultation has found that 75% of people agree with switching some lights off to help the environment and save money.”
If you want to see the truth about which lights will be turned off I uploaded all of the maps to document sharing site Scribd at the start of last month. There are maps for all of Rothwell, Calton, Woodelsford and Oulton so take a look at what is happening on your street. I don’t know why Stewart has to use political spin instead of simply sharing the actual maps and letting people make their own minds up. You decide.
You may have heard from Cllr Stewart Golton, the Rothwell Liberal Democrat councillor about a ‘blackout’ that will happen in Rothwell. It is only right to set the record straight, sadly Cllr Golton has been irresponsibly scaring residents by telling them there’s going to be a ‘blackout’ in Rothwell, this is simply not the case.
Your Labour-led council is taking tough decisions to protect front-line services in the face of huge funding cuts from Cllr Golton’s own coalition government. Switching a small number of lights off saves money and is better for the environment. We’ve led the way in Rothwell with food recycling as we like to do our bit for the environment. When we all go to bed most of us switch off at least some of our lights, we need to do the same as a community. Our own daughter comes home from school and tells us what we can do to save the environment for her future, lets listen to our children as the future is theirs!
Facts on street lighting in Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton and Carlton:
Only one in 10 of lights in the Rothwell area will be switched off
- Lights will only go out in areas where it is safe
- Lights will only be out between midnight and 5.30am
- Consultation found 75% of the public agree with the switch off
- There has been no rise in crime in other areas adopting the policy
This is a map showing the small number of street lights that could be turned off from midnight to 5:30am. If you zoom into the maps, by clicking the links below, you’ll see that it’s only some lights in some streets that could be switched off not whole streets. If any residents have any concerns you can contact me or my ward colleague Cllr David Nagle, the plans haven’t been finalised so there is a chance to address any issues anyone may have.
Rothwell Street Lights Part Night Switching Map Woodlesford and Oulton 1 by karenbrucelab
Rothwell Street Lights Part Night Switching Map North Rothwell and Oulton by karenbrucelab
Rothwell Street Lights Part Night Switching Map North East Rothwell by karenbrucelab
Rothwell Street Lights Part Night Switching Map South East Rothwell and Carlton by karenbrucelab
I’ve held several meetings at the school with Leeds City Council Highways department, police, governors, school, parents, residents and the road safety crossing after concerns were raised and this proposal has come as a result of those meetings and the many concerns expressed. Everyone involved has put a lot of thought into contributing to the discussions. Residents will be aware that there was a near miss some time ago involving a child at the school and this is what kick started the meetings and subsequent actions. It is a minority of parents who park and drive inconsiderately which affects everyone. The safety of the children and residents is the most important consideration and therefore action needs to be taken to resolve the parking problems. Being part of the local community l I see first hand the problems on a daily basis and I hope that these measures will help to reduce the problems each morning and afternoon at drop off and pick up times.
The scheme includes double yellow lines on several junctions near the school where dangerous parking has been occurring and I’m hoping this will contribute to keeping our children safe.
We welcome the reduction in the speed limit to 20 mph on many of Carlton’s streets as if a child or anyone else is hit by a car at 20mph the chance of survival if hit by a vehicle is far greater than if someone is hit at 30mph. I spoke at full council a while ago calling for 20 mph zones and am delighted that the Rothwell ward is getting some of these zones imminently.
We are working with the police and I have asked for regular monitoring and checks to be carried out to try to ensure safer parking around the school at these times.