Residents demand crossing in Auckley

Angry Auckley residents are demanding action to make their roads safer after the expansion of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 11:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 7:00 am
Auckley residents Veronica Dobson, Robert Mee and David Fishwick, are angry over traffic arrangements for a planned extension to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, in Doncaster

And a web-based petition has been started calling on the Government to open a public inquiry into the plans.

Those living in the village were angry after Doncaster Council approved plans for an extension that will see the entrance to the park moved to Hurst Lane, where residents say there are already severe issues with traffic and congestion.

Now there is a call for the Wildlife Park to install a pedestrian crossing, with concerns that children could be injured on the road as a result of the move.

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Resident Sharon Loose, of Hawthorne Road, said there had already been accidents in the area.

She said: "The Hurst Lane crossroads with Mosham Road is used by children attending Hayfield and Auckley Schools, and patients for the surgery.

"Unfortunately, in December, there were two serious RTAs (road traffic accidents) in front of Hayfield School The school desperately needs a pedestrian crossing for the children, not when money can be found, not when work can be scheduled, but now."

There are concerns that Hurst Lane and Hayfield Lane are hotspots for speeding, she added.

Another resident, Veronica Dobson, said: "One of my children was knocked over on Mosham Road 10 years ago. We're not objecting to the park, just where the entrance is. There are always road traffic accidents happening there, and if the entrance is there is is an accident waiting to happen."

And resident Robert Mee said: "We were told it would cost £10 milllion to build a road linking it straight to FARRRS. What is a child's life worth? I fear there's going to be a death."

Ward Councillor Steve Cox said there had been talk of the park building a crossing on Hurst Lane and is now urging bosses to go ahead and build one. He was concerned about the traffic passing several schools.

He said: "We urge them to get the crossing put in now as a matter of urgency."

A petition calling for a public inquiry has been opened on the Government website change.org. It already has around 1,000 supporters.

The women behind the petition, Amber Hopkinson, said: "I am requesting a public inquiry with regards to the proposed entrance to Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Auckley. The Wildlife Park have put forward plans for a new entrance that have been accepted. I believe alongside majority of the village that the proposed entrance will be detrimental to both the safety of children walking to and from school and the increase of traffic pollution in the village will be immense.

"The safety of vehicles will be compromised by the increase in traffic and many fear that at peak times the village will become a standing car park and be grid locked. Several people have been injured surrounding that particular bridge before with one resulting in life changing injuries. This is sure to happen again on a much greater scale if action is not taken now."

A spokesman for the Yorkshire Wildlife Park said: "We are confident that the package of measures agreed with specialist transport consultants and Doncaster Council Highways Team will accommodate the additional traffic without creating any highway safety issues. YWP will continue to work with all parties to ensure this is the case whilst delivering this exciting development for the region."

The council said at the meeting most visitor traffic would be away from school hours during holidays and weekends.