No agreement over double yellow lines plan among Penistone councillors

Councillors have ended up in a squabble over what should be done to help communities with traffic problems get double yellow lines installed in rural parts of Barnsley.

Friday, 15th February 2019, 10:47 am
Updated Friday, 15th February 2019, 10:52 am
The Green, Penistone

Austerity means Barnsley Council’s ability to impose traffic regulation orders, the legal process needed before yellow lines can be put down, are severely limited.

Responsibility for such action has largely passed to the network of Ward Alliances which cover the borough, organisations made up of councillors and others active in the community who have a council-sourced budget to spend each year.

However, Penistone’s Ward Alliance have been unable to move forwards attempts to get a traffic regulation order instigated at The Green, a side road where there have been long-standing complaints about congestion.

Now Coun Dave Griffin, who represents the Penistone West ward, has suggested another tier of local democracy should take on responsibility for trying to get such work moving forwards.

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Penistone Area Council also has a budget from Barnsley Council and is intended to use the money for ‘strategic’ projects, which benefit the whole area.

Coun Griffin’s belief is that by identifying community safety as one of the area council’s priorities and ringfencing a small budget for such work, it would open the prospect for communities across the area to put in bids for TROs.

They would be decided on merit, using a formal scoring system, so while no bidders could be guaranteed success, it would create opportunities which some councillors believe are currently denied under existing arrangements in the area.

However, the suggestion has split opinion with some councillors adamant that such work is not within the remit of the area council and should be a responsibility for Barnsley Council’s highways department, leaving the area council budget to go on other projects.

Coun Andrew Millner has been working for several years to try to get a TRO for The Green, which has caused friction within the ward alliance and – at this stage – no forward progress.

He is in favour of Coun Griffin’s suggestion and said: “If Silkstone Common trumps The Green, that’s fine.

“This would be one way of being able to tackle it, rather than going to the ward alliance.”

However, Coun John Wilson said: “Double yellow lines are not always the answer. We cannot enforce them when they are down on the road.”

Coun Paul Hand-Davis questioned where the money would come from to finance such scheme but Coun Hannah Kitching said the idea “Would give us an avenue to go down to help people”.

Area Council chairman Coun Robert Barnard said: “We need to check whether we have the power to do this” and councillors agreed it should be tabled as an item to be discussed at a future meeting.