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Racetrack road “will result in more deaths”

Thornhill Road, Dewsbury.
Thornhill Road, Dewsbury.

A racetrack road that was the site of a recent fatal accident will see more deaths unless something is done to slow drivers’ speeds.

Riders at an equestrian centre near to Thornhill Road in Dewsbury are among those begging Kirklees Council to take action.

They say a crash last month, in which a man in his 30s was killed, will not be the last.

And they fear that the next victim could be a child.

Cars are often seen speeding on the road, which leads to a sharp blind bend near Water Lane. Parked cars are a further hindrance, forcing drivers into the middle of the highway.

Riders who leave the Spen Valley Greenway say they feel they are taking their lives in their hands every time they cross the road beyond it.

And despite writing directly to Kirklees Council’s chief executive Jacqui Gedman to highlight the dangers, they have had no response.

Dewsbury businessman Siddiq ‘Sid’ Birader, 49, appealed to the council to address cars’ speeds and to consider installing some sort of crossing.

“When you come out of the Greenway you can hardly see anything. You can be halfway across the road before you see a car. Sometimes you can’t even see the car – and it can’t see you.

“Parked cars at the side of the road makes visibility even worse.

“That road is used by ramblers, cyclists, riders and parents with kids in push buggies and prams. It’s a short-cut to Ravensthorpe.

“But drivers speed along that road because it’s open. Even if they were able to see a horse and stop, the horse could still be spooked and bolt. Young children on ponies are particularly at risk.

“I definitely believe there will be another fatality. In fact more than one. It’s just a matter of time. My concern is for kids and for parents with pushchairs and prams.”

Following the fatal crash on June 13 – in which the driver of a Toyota Yaris died when his car overturned – Mr Birader wrote to Ms Gedman. So far he has not had a response.

In calling for safety measures he wrote: “I’m sure that you will agree with me that in light of this recent tragedy this needs some urgent attention. It is my understanding that several complaints have been made to KMC in the past with nothing having been implemented.

“My question is how many more tragedies have to occur before measures are put in place to make this stretch of road safer for all?”

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “We are working with West Yorkshire Police following the fatality on the road to access what is the most appropriate course of action for us to take.”