Road safety measures blocked by Historic England
Historic England has objected to proposals to introduce traffic calming measures on a local street – meaning Bradford Council will now have to go back to the drawing board.
Plans to install speed cushions on Caroline Street in Saltaire date back several years, and were part of plans to mitigate any traffic issues cause by the changes to the Saltaire Roundabout.
Council officers had prepared a scheme to reduce speeding on the road, which residents claimed was being used as a “rat run” by people looking to avoid the new junction.
But Saltaire’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has halted the scheme – with Historic England claiming the measures would “adversely affect the character” of the village.
Officers will meet with local Councillors next week to see how to progress, and may have to use measures like staggered parking to reduce speeds on the road.
The plans have been estimated to cost £10,000.
Saltaire has high levels of protection due to its status as a well preserved model Victorian village, and much of the village, from homes to public buildings, is listed.
Councillor Kevin Warnes (Green, Shipley), said recent traffic surveys on the road had found that hundreds of vehicles were travelling on the road over the 30mph limit each week.
He said: “We’re extremely disappointed. We’ve been trying to get traffic measures here for some time. This is the last remaining pot of money from the old Saltaire Roundabout scheme – there was money attached to that development to alleviate any traffic problems linked to the changes.
“The new junctions does work more efficiently, but it has increased rat running through Saltaire.
“We had the scheme, but that had to be assessed in terms of Saltaire’s heritage and the impact it would have on the street scene.
“Whatever scheme is chosen needs the support of residents whose houses front right onto the road.
“It is a beautiful area, but it is also a living community through which flows thousands of commuters a week, and we have a responsibility to residents to make sure this causes as few issues as possible.”
A Bradford Council spokesperson, said: “When considering traffic calming measures in a UNESCO World Heritage Site like Saltaire there needs to be careful consideration of the balance between improvements to the highway and the need to preserve the character of the village.
“We are investigating options to slow traffic down on Caroline Street that are suitable for a World Heritage Site as well as being affordable and would cause minimum disruption to residents.
“Officers from our Heritage and Highways departments will be meeting the Ward Officer and Ward Councillors on March 1 to discuss the options including how introducing staggered parking to act as chicanes to reduce speeds could protecting the fabric of the World Heritage Site.”
A Historic England spokesman said: “We have been in discussions with Bradford Council about traffic calming proposals along Caroline Street which may adversely affect the character of the Saltaire World Heritage Site.
“We have suggested they explore some alternative options and look forward to further talks with the council about the best way forward to alleviate the issue of rat-running.”