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Lib Dems fight for Bramham school 20mph limit

by Wetherby Liberal Democrats on 14 March, 2019

David Hopps is mystified why impending 20mph speed limits throughout Bramham have not made Bramham School an obvious priority

Wetherby Liberal Democrats have called for Leeds City Council to think again over imminent plans for a 20mph speed limit throughout Bramham village which does not adequately consider safety issues around Bramham School.

David Hopps, Lib Dem candidate for Wetherby ward in the May 2 elections to Leeds City Council, said: “Bramham School is situated on a dangerous bend on a hill and has major parking issues which put the safety of pedestrians – especially children – and drivers at risk.

“Yet the proposals of Leeds City Council’s ruling Labour group show Bramham’s impending 20mph limit changing to 30mph actually on the bend only a few metres from the school on Clifford Road. It’s as if they have forgotten that the school actually exists.

“It’s all a bit strange as the initial driving force behind 20mph zones was safety outside schools.

“I have written to Leeds’ Highways Department to ask them to adjust these plans. There is a final four-week consultation period during which last-minute changes can be made and I appeal to everybody who cares for the safety of the children at Bramham school to do the same.”

Hopps, who is also a member of Bramham Parish Council, which operates on a non-political basis, said: “The Parish Council has pushed this issue consistently on behalf of the village and has advocated upgraded Speed Indication Devices in the vicinity of the school.

“I met Leeds City Council officers and Conservative ward councillors on behalf of the Parish Council and reasserted the long-held belief that safety outside the school was paramount.

“That makes these proposals even more disappointing. I call upon ward councillors to recognise the strength of feeling on this issue – not just in Bramham but in Clifford – and to be pro-active in achieving changes. Sometimes small tweaks can make a considerable difference.”

Bramham School has grown to around 150 pupils, the majority from outside the village, and the lack of adequate parking causes a traffic log-jam during the start and end of the school day.

Labour-controlled Leeds City Council plans to enforce 20mph limits throughout Bramham village but has not prioritised low speed limits close to Bramham school

“Parking issues essentially turn Clifford Road into a one-way street at the start of the school day and again at ‘chucking-out time’,” Hopps said. “The dangers are growing – and the least the Council can do is impose a 20mph limit.

“On behalf of Bramham Council, I’ve begun discussions about the potential for expanded car parking facilities with Leeds Diocese, who own nearby land but a successful outcome will need broad-based support.

“Bramham School deserves praise for putting difficult times behind it and becoming recognised as one of the most successful in the Wetherby area.

“But, as so often, as it has grown, the infrastructure has not grown with it. If Parish Councillors, Ward Councillors and Leeds City Council show the energy and ambition to work together, I’m sure we can achieve a good solution.

Legal notices about the 20mph changes are due to be issued next week, although a four-week consultation period does not officially end until April 6. Until then comments can be sent to Ben Broxholme, traffic engineer, at ben.broxholme@leeds.gov.uk