Common sense prevails in Diggle

Councillor Garth Harkness has succeeded in substituting common sense for an excessive proposal for parking restrictions in Diggle when the new Saddleworth School opens.

As part of the plan for the approach to the school, council officers proposed a parking ban between 6am and 6pm Monday to Friday on Huddersfield Road between the school entrance road and the new car park.

Councillor Garth Harkness said: “In response to comments from residents in the latest consultation, before the lockdown, I proposed to the council that waiting restriction times could be reduced in order to help with resident parking. The council still preferred the longer restriction, arguing that it would allow overnight parking.

“Most people don’t leave their house at 6am and pupils don’t arrive at school then, so I challenged it and am pleased that the Traffic Regulation Order Panel decided to make this accommodation. It is disappointing that my Labour and Conservative colleagues in Saddleworth North let this go by default.”

Cllr Harkness added, “The traffic management of Huddersfield Road in Diggle has understandably brought about much anxiety amongst residents. As many views are polar opposites it is impossible to accommodate everything and I understand that some people will not be happy with the outcome.

“The process has been going on for about 8 years. I remember a number of village consultation events quite some time ago and the proposals have been amended many times.

“The turning circle, extra car park and parking spaces at the back of some of the houses on Huddersfield Road are all concessions we have pushed for, so I do feel efforts have been made to accommodate concerns as much as possible .

“We need a new school and my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I decided long ago that it was better to work for the safest and least disruptive solution for pupils and residents, not stand on the sidelines and carp, as some local representatives have done.”

The Traffic Regulation Order Panel is a cross-party group of councillors who scrutinise proposals for schemes such as this, to ensure that they are in the best interests of the borough’s residents. The Panal agreed to Councillor Garth Harkness proposals to reduce these restrictions to 7.30am to 5pm.

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