Between 2001 and 2006 there were at least 146 road accidents near the Kirkstall District Centre where the police were involved. Most of the injuries were minor, and nobody has yet been killed, but 12 of the victims were seriously injured.
The accident locations are marked on the map below. In some cases there were so many accidents that the symbols obscure one another. Side streets were excluded from this survey, so the overall totals may be greater than those given here. These figures are higher than expected for suburban junctions, and the intersection between Abbey Road, Bridge Road, Commercial Road and Kirkstall Lane has been officially designated as a “site for concern”.
Most accidents occurred in dry weather during daylight hours. Accidents on the A65 were concentrated in the morning and evening peaks, but 38% of accidents on Leeds and Bradford Road took place on Sundays. Approximately one third of the people involved were aged between 20 – 29. Right turns were the major problem.
How come there are so many accidents when the entire complex was only recently designed? Part of the story dates back to 1994, when the council very hastily granted highway approval for a supermarket at Savins Mill Way before the relevant planning application had been delivered to the Council! Leeds City Council officers had previously favoured a supermarket on the Cardigan Fields site, which received a very easy assessment. The developer who fronted the Morrison’s scheme discovered about this "favouritism" and insisted on similar treatment.
His proposals were very rapidly agreed, despite the fact that computer models showed a queue of cars along what is now Savins Mill Way that was physically longer than the length of road that was supposed to accommodate them! Having once said "yes" the city would have faced a multi-million pound compensation claim if it later refused to build it.
The road layout was completely re-designed at least four times before construction in an attempt to make it work. At one point, the developers repudiated their own road designs, because everybody could see that they were unworkable. It is now being re-designed yet again to accommodate the A65 quality bus initiative and the new developments planned for the former Kwik Save and Allders / BHS sites. Although we asked to see the most recent traffic studies, the council has been extremely reluctant to release them. Cllr Illingworth had to appeal for access under the Freedom of Information Act.
Last updated 29 November 2008 at 20:58. Back to the top
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