No crossing for Boston Spa Children’s Centre

Wetherby councillors John Procter, Alan Lamb, and Gerald Wilkinson at Boston Spa Children's Centre.
Wetherby councillors John Procter, Alan Lamb, and Gerald Wilkinson at Boston Spa Children's Centre.

There is no sign of any moves towards creating a crossing outside Boston Spa Children’s Centre, almost two years after it was called for.

A member of the public broached the idea at the 2013 annual parish meeting after claiming his child had been almost knocked down and, in May 2014, Wetherby Coun Alan Lamb (Con) told the News he had taken up the cause.

He has been lobbying Leeds City Council (LCC) since that time, but it is still a case of not enough money for too many deserving causes.

Coun Lamb said this week: “I raised the issue with LCC, and I pointed to Boston Spa Children’s Centre as an example of the problem.

“What is an endless source of frustration to me and members of the public, and the line I hear most often, is does someone have to die for us to get a crossing in this area, and the answer seems to be yes.

“It sounds crude to put it that way because LCC only has so much money for crossings and road safety provision and it is from the government to prevent accidents, so they have to be able to tick a box and say that has happened.

“Because of that they will always prioritise the money where there has been a history of fatalities, so if you read it backwards it is like someone has to die, and that is incredibly frustrating.”

However, Coun Lamb said another possible way of getting the necessary funding would be to lobby landowners as well as to add traffic measures as part of their contributions.

“I completely agree and support the residents but we are trying to push developers to include a crossing in their contribution for any community schemes they have and that is another way we can get around it,” he said.

“It is consistently in my mind to get a crossing there, and in many other places where people have realised we need one.

“It is difficult to measure something that didn’t happen, but if we could put a crossing there and save just one life it is worth it, so I will keep pushing for it.”

Boston Spa parish council chair Terry Gaussen said the question of the placement of crossings is part of an ongoing major process reviewing traffic through Boston Spa High Street, along with speed limits, and Boston Spa Children’s Centre will be part of that once completed.

This will be on the agenda at the 2015 annual parish meeting in May.

“That is for the future and there are all sorts of considerations like 20mph speed limits which would alter the need for a crossing,” he said.

“Recognition of the need for a crossing there would be part of the overall scheme.”

An LCC spokesman said: “Previous surveys carried out by the council have found that the pedestrian crossing numbers in this area of Boston Spa are low. However, we will be looking again at any measures which could be introduced to help pedestrians in the area as part of our annual review.

“We are also working with the parish council and ward members to look at measures which could be put in place in conjunction with development projects locally.”