Richard Davies says changes are needed

As Labour’s candidate for Otley Town Council’s Danefield Ward, I believe that a major rethink is needed for some of the town’s roads in and around the ward.

Traffic levels and parking problems have continued to rise in Otley, but not enough is being done to ensure the safety of local people.

In recent years, our councillors have pushed for some well-intentioned changes, such as the one-way system on Walkergate and 20mph limits on residential streets, but these have been poorly thought through or enforced. 

Three particular issues stand out.

  • Firstly, speeds on main roads like Bondgate and Leeds Road are too high and cars regularly pull out of busy junctions into oncoming traffic.
  • Secondly, the 20 mph restrictions on streets like Cambridge Street are widely ignored.
  • Thirdly, crossing the junction of Charles Street with Bondgate has become a game of Russian Roulette for pedestrians and drivers. I am worried that there is going to be a serious accident if something doesn’t change.

I would like Otley Town Council to work with Leeds City Council and local residents to get changes made. There are some sensible things that could be done quickly.

I would like to see electronic speed indicator signs, like the one on Bradford Road, installed on roads like Bondgate, Leeds Road, and Cambridge Street to help drivers keep within speed limits. The Police also need to enforce these limits. I would like the City Council to address the on-going consequences of the one-way system, for example by removing the top parking space on Charles Street to provide space for cars turning in from Gay Lane.

‘Improved cycling and walking provision’ was a key policy in the Otley Neighbourhood Plan, but the Town Council seems to have lost interest in this. It’s time for the Town Council to show leadership and turn this policy into an action plan.  As a former member of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, I would like to help make this happen.