CAMPAIGNERS’ desperate pleas for change at a ‘death trap’ crossroads have been heard - and it’s been revealed work is planned to take place in the coming months.
Question marks remain over whether the agreed measures will be enough to minimise risks to motorists at Whams Road, Hazlehead - at the centre of a heated public debate late last year following an accident which caused life-changing injuries to one person involved.
But a timescale for works - which will be finalised in Barnsley Council’s maintenance programme for the coming financial year, and are expected to be started by May - has been welcomed by concerned locals.
A safety review taken into account collision statistics was carried out by the council following the most recent incident, on October 4.
And while there are no plans to reduce the speed limit, works will be centred on giving drivers more notice as they approach the junction.
This will include improving visibility of give way markings, new high-friction road surfacing, ‘slow’ markings and ‘dragon’s teeth’ that are hoped to give the effect of the road narrowing.
Penistone West Coun Hannah Kitching said once the measures were in place on Whams Road, the situation will be monitored to see whether they’ve been sufficient.
“Residents, parish councillors and campaigners have been calling for something to be done for decades,” she said.
“It’s a crossroads in my patch that’s seen the most killed or seriously injured people over the years.
“People have been campaigning on it as long as I’ve been alive.
“It’s time we do something. We often have frustrating conversations with the highways department but this time they’ve stepped up to the plate.
“It’s a series of measures that make it more obvious the junction is a dangerous one, and improve visibility.”
Coun Kitching has been surveying residents of the Dunford parish for their views on the proposals over recent weeks.
“Residents are concerned the measures aren’t going far enough,” she added.
“We know a lot of people are concerned that maybe the speed limit needs to be lowered.
“We will be working with Barnsley Council to ensure the measures that are put in place will be reviewed, to see if they’re adequate or not.
“There might never be another serious accident.
“I’m really pleased something’s happening and I hope it’s enough.”
Penistone town councillor David Wood chaired the public meeting in October alongside Dunford parish councillor Allen Pestell, and said he was pleased action has been agreed to be taken - but he believes traffic problems at Hazlehead are indicative of wider issues that need to be addressed.
The A628 through Penistone, Silkstone, Thurlstone and Millhouse Green - recognised as one of the nation’s most high-risk roads - has already been targeted for a number of traffic control measures, including orders to stop on-street parking and an extension of a 40mph limit, after a £1.4m government grant.
“It’s about time - a lot of time has passed, and a lot of accidents have occurred,” said David.
“These are very busy roads, that need to be safe for all - not just for Penistonians.
“And the more houses that are being built, the more people are using these junctions.”