Calls made to reverse ‘totally illogical’ one-way system in North Staffordshire town



Calls have been made to change a ‘totally illogical’ one-way system in a town.

Controversy has taken place following the Sainsbury’s development in Leek, when the floral roundabout was removed and a new traffic flow was introduced.

Following the new network system residents in Ford Street have to enter and leave their homes by using the main shopping area road in Derby Street.

Now the town’s mayor is leading the calls to have the one-way system in Ford Street reversed, which, it is claimed, will help residents and at the same time take vehicles off the main shopping area.

Leek mayor Councillor Stephen Wales said: “Ford Street’s one-way direction is the wrong way. Traffic flow through the town is aggravated by poor design. The direction of the one-way traffic in Ford Street is totally illogical.

“Residents leaving their homes in Ford Street in Leek must drive down their street, then turn right along Bath Street to another right turn into Derby Street, then drive up the town’s main shopping street then right again into Market Street and passing the top of their own street before emerging into Stockwell Street and Leek’s larger road system.

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“This circuitous route forced on residents increases the traffic volumes in the narrow streets of the town and adds to air pollution right in heart of the town unnecessarily.

“Similarly, the owners of the lock up garages in the yard off Ford Street must follow the same journey – as do all home delivery drivers servicing those residents every day of the week. The solution is reversing the direction of the one-way street – nothing more complicated than that.

“I am told of the need for feasibility studies, but it is so obvious that this one simple change would mean quick access to and from Ford Street would be by the two existing routes, which are just 50 metres directly into Stockwell Street. There are then other wins to be had, including with minor changes the temporary pedestrianisation of the whole of lower Derby Street for events, parades and markets.

“If, as we emerge from Covid-19 we want the streets to fill with shoppers and families bringing life into the town, we need radical thinking in directing Leek’s traffic flow and better access to low-cost parking including more disabled parking facilities. This one idea would be a first step in improving our town centre.”

The idea has won the support of the area’s county councillor, Charlotte Atkins.

She said: “This Ford Street proposal is definitely worth exploring as it would take traffic out of Derby Street and the town centre. I would happily fund the feasibility report out of my county council funds.

“But, unfortunately, county highways move incredibly slowly so it will not be possible to complete such a study before the run up to the county council elections on May 6. Should I be re-elected, this plan will be at the top of my divisional highways priorities.”

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