New road safety meaures on Leeds shopping street

Pictured in Austhorpe Road, Crossgates are, from left, members of the Crossgates Forum, Gwenda Towers, Richard Burgon, PPC Leeds East Lab, Bob and Jacki Lawrence, Kirsti Cale of Arts and Flowers, Coun Pauleen  Grahame, Roy Dobson

Pictured in Austhorpe Road, Crossgates are, from left, members of the Crossgates Forum, Gwenda Towers, Richard Burgon, PPC Leeds East Lab, Bob and Jacki Lawrence, Kirsti Cale of Arts and Flowers, Coun Pauleen Grahame, Roy Dobson

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People power has helped win major road safety improvements on a busy shopping street in Leeds where a woman was killed.

Two zebra crossings are to be moved on Austhorpe Road in Crossgates, following fears for pedestrian safety after a number of accidents.

The move comes after an 83 year-old woman was knocked over by a lorry and died at the scene on November 26 last year, near to Wilson’s Butchers shop.

The 47-year-old HGV driver, from Wakefield, who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has been released from police bail but inquiries are continuing, said police today.

A special meeting was held of the Crossgates Forum with support from Crossgates and Devonshire Neighbourhood Watch groups and several resident forums, backed by ward councillors.

Now highways bosses are making a number of safety improvements including moving the crossings on Austhorpe Road, relocating a bus stop and introducing a one way system.

A new pedestrian crossing with traffic lights may also be built. Work is due to start in April.

Leeds City Council’s highways department has made the unusual move after attending the forum meeting and hearing at first hand the risk from traffic.

Resident Eileen Sutcliffe, who has lived at Manston Lane for 51 years, said: “The traffic is horrendous. There is no alternative for lorries they have to use Austhorpe |Road to cut through to the M1. We desperately need and want a link road to be built, but it seems to be on hold.

“Two new housing estate of 300 homes have gone up in recent years as well making the situation impossible for everyone. It has never been as bad and we welcome any improvements.”

Councillor Pauleen Grahame (Lab, Crossgates and Whinmoor) who is chair of the Crossgates Forum said the road was a nightmare for people to cross: “Leeds City Council is in drawing up a highway improvement scheme to address the number of injury accidents along the commercial section of Austhorpe Road from Station Road to Church Lane with a view to improving road safety.

“I have encouraged and supported the forum working on this very serious issue which effects not just local people in their everyday life .

“It affects the traders and visitors from all parts of east Leeds to the shops on Austhorpe Road and the shopping centre.

A spokesman for Leeds City Council’s traffic management said: “We are currently designing the works with a view to work starting on site in April, subject to public support and approval.”

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