Cllr Ryk Downes

Liberal Democrat Councillor working all year round for Otley & Yeadon Learn more

Queensway chicanes work set for new year

by rykdownes on 26 November, 2015

Cllr Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) has confirmed that work to replace dangerous chicanes on Queensway, Otley is due to start early in the new year.
The council plans to replace the controversial chicanes with speed tables that will slow the traffic down while keeping it moving, making the road safer and the air cleaner.

The chicanes were introduced to slow down fast traffic on Queensway, a busy road lined with family homes. But installing the chicanes on such a heavily used road has created long queues of traffic, leading to frustrating delays to motorists and increased air pollution on a residential street. Frustration has led some drivers to make dangerous manoeuvres, nipping through narrow gaps in traffic to avoid waiting longer.

Cllr Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said:

“We have been pressuring the council for these works for two years now, and I personally promised local residents last year that I would make sure it gets sorted.

“I have finally received a reply and the works should start in the new year. There will be some disruption whilst the work takes place, but it should be well worth it.

“As soon as I have a firm date for work to begin, I will let residents know.”
*** UPDATE ***
The contractor was due to begin the works on Monday and it was anticipated that the works could be completed within a fortnight. Our Network Management team have prohibited us from undertaking the road closures on consecutive Sundays as we had planned, which would have allowed for the chicane removal and speed table installation. These closures are required due to the narrowness of the carriageway. Their decision is on the basis that parts of the diversion route run through Yeadon town centre and also along the A65 past Westside Retail Park and Guiseley centre. They had concerns that on the lead up to Christmas, these areas are especially busy and by placing a high number of vehicles on these routes that would have otherwise used Queensway was likely to cause severe traffic congestion, to which I have a degree of sympathy.


It is therefore planned from Monday for the contractor to undertake all of the works for the scheme, asides the chicane removal/speed table installation. These works will include the footway improvements, tactile paving installation and drainage works, of which can be done under lane closures. The road closures to allow for the chicane removal/ speed table installation will occur immediately into the new calendar year, when we see lighter weekend traffic.


It is unfortunate that we cannot accommodate the works together, however the contractor is fully programmed up until February through the week and I would rather have this scheme in place as soon as we can. It is because the closures on Queensway are weekend only that we can still undertake these in the early new year.


2 Responses

  1. Jean Fickle says:

    I agree that the chicanes should be taken out but for residents of Queensway the chicanes do allow a break in the traffic so that the road can be crossed. Without the chicanes , crossing Queensway will become very hazardous, particularly for children leaving the primary school and trying to cross at the junction of Coppice wood and Queensway, there are bus stops here at both sides of the road. If no thought has been given to a pedestrian crossing in this area it is only a matter of time before accidents happen and even with speed tables there are those drivers who, as today, just look at Queensway as an area to speed as much as possible.
    Please can you send me full details of pedestrian provision for this project.

    • rykdownes says:

      This is the response I have received from highways. “The chicanes and narrowings on Queensway had no pedestrian provision built into them, although we appreciate that they are used as crossing points. Whilst it clearly depends on the final destination, pedestrian traffic from Coppice Wood Avenue and the school is catered for by the zebra crossing at the bottom of Shaw Royd. If further formal crossing points are requested then we can assess them in the usual manner.
      The current scheme is to replace the chicane-type features with speed tables. These tables have informal pedestrian facilities (low kerbs and tactile paving) to encourage pedestrians to cross at the point where drivers are at their lowest speeds. The aim of this is to maintain lower traffic speeds along the road and to reduce the incidents of aggressive driving where one driver tries to beat another through the chicane – the behaviour that has led to the need to reconsider the type of calming feature.”

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