Boston Spa’s fight for a pedestrian crossing

Wetherby councillors John Procter, Alan Lamb, and Gerald Wilkinson at the opening of the children's centre in Boston Spa.  (1109132AM4)
Wetherby councillors John Procter, Alan Lamb, and Gerald Wilkinson at the opening of the children's centre in Boston Spa. (1109132AM4)
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Boston Spa is fighting for a pedestrian crossing at the children’s centre a year after safety concerns were raised.

A member of the public broached the idea at the 2013 annual parish meeting after claiming his child had been almost knocked down.

Wetherby Coun Alan Lamb (Con) then took up the cause and has lobbied landowners Leeds City Council (LCC) since that time to little effect.

He said: “It is something that is much needed but there is only a certain amount of funding available and that is prioritised where there are more accidents. That is frustrating for me and the people of Boston Spa because we can see that it is an accident waiting to happen.

“We have been lobbying LCC but these things can take a ridiculously long amount of time, and we have to deal with the world as it is, not as we would like it to be.

“In the ideal world where councils work as everyone would like it would have been fixed by now. A year seems too long to take, but it all comes down to funding.

“That there will be a benefit to having it there is not disputed but there is a finite amount of money and the people who decide where it is placed have to prioritise.”

Coun Lamb hopes that, when funding is secured for the improvement of the facilities at Deepdale, money could be set aside for the crossing.

However, there is a need now for the crossing and Boston Spa residents are looking for other means of getting traffic calming measures in place.

One suggestion from the parish council is to introduce a 20mph speed limit as part of the development at Church Fields which, though not a pedestrian crossing, would have a marked effect.

Parish council chair Robert Wivell said: “It is a natural crossing place because of the facilities at Deepdale, like a skate park, a small football pitch, and above all a playground, so there is quite a bit of crossing going on. We are agreed on the principle of doing something and it is now a matter of getting LCC to recognise the need to get something done.”

An LCC spokeswoman said: “To ensure resources and funding are directed where they are most needed we keep locations under review. If it is deemed that there has been a change or increased risk at any given location, then this will be considered a priority for a pedestrian crossing and implemented. Given our finite resources, only locations that meet the criteria for a crossing can be justified. We appreciate the concerns of the community and can assure them that the situation will be kept under review.”