CCTV captures lorry driving straight into tree on Calderdale 'rat run'

CCTV footage has captured a lorry driver hitting a tree on a country "rat run" that residents fear is an "accident waiting to happen."

Campaigners have been calling for safety measures on Jumples Crag in Halifax for more than five years after large numbers of drivers started using the route to avoid traffic calming measures on nearby major roads.

The HGV can be seen driving into a tree by the roadside, causing a large branch to fall down onto the windscreen.

The incident was caught on a camera installed by a resident whose home has been hit by different vehicles three times.

Clare Simeunovich said: "My home was hit by a heavy goods [vehicle], my home was hit by two cars. There's problems every single day.

"What needs doing is making us safe, a chicane would make us safe, two chicanes would make us safe, a hump would make us safe."

The tree now has to be felled Credit: ITV News

Ms Simeunovich and fellow campaigners have accused Calderdale Council of not taking swift enough action to limit the amount of heavy goods traffic and speeding on the narrow road.

Linda Thornber has lived by Jumples Crag for five years and says she is "sickened" by drivers speeding down the 20mph lane which is only wide enough for one car in parts.

Ms Thornber said: "There's going to be a death on this road there's no two ways about it."

"It's just a massive accident waiting to happen," she added.

Calderdale Council has insisted it understands the concerns about the volume of traffic and is working to resolve the issue.

Cllr Jenny Lynn said: “We are introducing a ‘maximum 3.5 tonne except for access’ restriction to stop larger vehicles passing through Jumples Crag.

"We received positive feedback on this option when we consulted with local residents."

She said that bringing in the new restriction required a "lengthy statutory process."

Cllr Lynn said: "This is now complete, and we are now designing the signs that are needed to implement the traffic order. This includes diversion signage for HGVs to direct them away from Jumples Crag. Once the designs are complete, the signs will be made and installed on and around the site.

The council said there has been a junction alteration at Raw Lane to help improve the issue.

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