Police hope speed can be calmed at Huddersfield Road accident blackspot

POLICE hope to get the funding in place so they can tackle problems of speeding cars on a road that has turned into an accident blackspot.

One man was killed and another suffered life changing injuries in separate incidents along Huddersfield Road in Lees last month.

Now after being approached by Sadleworth Parish councillors, Greater Manchester Police’s team for Saddleworth and Lees hope to secure cash to get a speed enforcement device of their own.

Police at the scene of road traffic collision in Lees

In an email seen by the Independent, Sergeant Paul Heap explains: “We recognise the importance of the issue and I have had three officers from the team trained in the use of a speed enforcement device.

“At this time we have to loan out such a device from our colleagues within the traffic network department, which at best limits our ability to combat the issue, as they rightly have primary use.

“I have made enquiries and escalated the matter to our senior leadership team and it has been acknowledged that speeding is an issue across the district.

“I have therefore submitted a funding bid to the council for a speed device to be purchased for the district to use.

“I’m confident that the bid will be successful, following which the team will be able to take positive action in areas deemed at risk of high speed.

“It will be my intention to have a designated Single Point Of Contact who will risk assess key locations ensuring they are relevant and conform to health and safety regulations.

“This will then form part of the team’s core business in the future.”

On Thursday, August 6, a man in his 60s died after sustaining serious injuries in a collision with a silver Ford Transit van.

On Monday, August 31, a 20-year-old motorcyclist, on a blue Suzuki motorbike, suffered a serious injury and a cyclist, a man in his 50s, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries following another collision.

In regards to the later incident, Greater Manchester Police say a 20-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of causing injury by dangerous driving remains in hospital.

The incidents have raised further concerns about speeding along Huddersfield Road, both from those living in the area and councillors.

And in another e-mail, police officers revealed they had been in the area, even the day before the first incident.

The message said: “Our team has been around this location several times recently (we were there the day before the gentleman was knocked off his pushbike and died) carrying out speed enforcement.

“We do not have our own speed testing equipment but have put a bid in for the team to try and obtaining a set. The cost is around £2,000 plus yearly calibration fees.

“The traffic PCSOs do regularly conduct speed checks on Huddersfield Road, usually higher up towards Scouthead.

“They will be made aware of these incidents and asked to conduct further checks at this location along with our team when we can.

“It is a fast part of the road due to the width and the fact that vehicles travelling downhill pickup speed.”

One option to prevent anyone speeding along the stretch – which has a speed limit of 30mph – would be to introduce traffic calming measures.

Options include narrowing the carriageway, laying rumble strips, better signage and island bollards.

However, any implementation would rest with Oldham Council rather than the police.

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