A DECISION to remove a traffic light-controlled pedestrian crossing from a village’s busy centre - condemned by locals who blamed Barnsley Council for jeopardising shoppers’ safety - has been defended by highways bosses.

The crossing, on Barnsley Road in Cudworth, was deemed no longer necessary.

The Chronicle can reveal it will be moved elsewhere in the village to School Street, near Cherry Dale Primary, but shoppers blasted the council for removing the ‘essential feature’ from the busy shopping area.

They believe the decision will exacerbate current issues with speeding and make it more difficult for elderly shoppers to cross.

Barnsley Road and Pontefract Road, which connect, have been blighted by traffic-related concerns in recent years which has allegedly seen boy racers use the route.

Matt O’Neill, executive director for growth and sustainability, said: “Our highways team regularly assess our pedestrian crossings to make sure we’re targeting the locations where they’re most needed.

“The pedestrian crossing on Pontefract Road was originally installed to provide a safe crossing point for people accessing the local primary school.

“This school has since closed and, after a road traffic accident caused irreparable damage to the crossing late last year, we reviewed the site to see if it still met national criteria.

In Text Promo Image

“We looked at a number of different factors, including pedestrian usage, vehicle speeds and collision history.

“The review found that a crossing would now be better placed at the end of School Street.

“Work to install the new zebra crossing will begin later this month, and we hope this provides a safe and more appropriate crossing point in this area which better serves the community.”

Park Spring Road, which connects Pontefract Road’s roundabout to Grimethorpe, is an area known by police for its high speed and officers have carried out slow-down schemes recently.

Coun Joe Hayward said he was concerned about vehicles’ speeds between his Cudworth ward and the neighbouring North East ward.

“It’s good news that a new crossing will be created elsewhere in Cudworth but I have had complaints from people about the removal,” he added.

“There are still places to cross on Barnsley Road but the lights had been damaged.

“I’m aware of the concerns about the speed of traffic, particularly those who use the route through Cudworth to get to the Grimethorpe area, where speeding is a huge issue.”

Inspector Matt Collings allayed residents’ fears that the crossing’s axing will have a knock-on impact and warned ‘boy racers’ about their actions.

“We take a zero-tolerance approach to vehicles being driven and used in an antisocial manner.

“We are traffic officers and car enthusiasts ourselves; we understand people’s passion for cars, but coming together to showcase and enjoy them must be done in a safe way, and environment.

“We do not tolerate the associated antisocial behaviour and moving motoring offences that are associated with car meets.

“Organisers of car meets work alongside us to ensure they can enjoy meeting, without the risks and wider impacts on our communities.

“We are aware of current issues in Barnsley and led by community reports and intelligence, we are increasing our patrols in the area and will take an enforcement approach to anyone who poses a risk on the roads and to our communities.

“We encourage anyone experiencing problems in their area to report them to us, online, via live chat or by calling 101.”