The head of a traders’ group has called for the traffic restrictions in Pyenot Hall Lane to be lifted while major roadworks take place in Cleckheaton.
Bollards were installed on the road in October to stop rat-runners, but motorists say the closure has already led to long queues of traffic coming into Cleckheaton.
Now they fear total gridlock as a three-month scheme to repair gas works in the town centre – involving the closure of Westgate from Hightown Road to Northgate – begins on Monday.
Spenborough Chamber of Trade chairman, Viv Laycock, says Cleckheaton’s already busy road system needs help and that lifting the restrictions in Pyenot for the duration of the works could alleviate the congestion.
She said: “Traffic is bad coming into Cleckheaton and it will affect small businesses even more when Westgate is closed, as people could be put off coming into town. The work has to take place in Westgate, so we need to look at Pyenot Hall Lane, it seems unreasonable to keep it blocked off when traffic is bad already.
“I understand the need for traffic calming measures in residential areas, but why do we have to close roads when we could have speed bumps?”
Coun Kath Pinnock said Kirklees Highways was already looking at ways to alleviate pressures on the road system, and other factors had contributed to recent traffic problems. She said: “I understand traders are concerned that a major road coming into the town will be closed for 12 weeks and the effect this will have on the town and traffic levels on other roads.
“Highways have been looking at ways to help, such as adjusting the timing of the lights on St Peg Lane, so Bradford Road can take more of the traffic. Recently, there have been problems, but this was not a fair representation of our roads, as we have had other factors such as diversions from the M62 which have been causing queues in Cleckheaton.
“The bollards in Pyenot Hall Lane are there for a reason – we don’t want main road levels of traffic going down a residential street.”
Northern Gas Networks says it will be putting on a shuttle bus service during the roadworks, which will run until September 1. The 230 service will be free and will run from Greenside via Bradford Road, Windy Bank Estate, Moorside and Halifax Road.