Gridlock on roads near Leeds Bradford Airport could lead to serious consequences in an emergency, campaigners are warning.
The chairman of a local action group has spoken of his fears after nearby traffic came to a standstill on Monday morning.
Dr David Ingham, of WARD (Wharfedale and Airedale Review Development), said traffic was totally gridlocked down Apperley Lane, Green Lane, New Road Side and part of Harrogate Road, where traffic was queueing to turn right to join Green Lane for Apperley Bridge. Traffic travelling south towards Bradford and Hudders-field was at a complete standstill. The chaos is thought to have been partly caused by the breakdown of a Huddersfield-bound train, which forced regular commuters to take to the roads instead.
Dr Ingham said: “Imagine a serious plane accident and fire at the airport.
“With gridlock such as I witnessed this morning, how long would it take for emergency vehicles to come to the airport’s assistance? There would without doubt be serious consequences.”
WARD is urging Leeds City Council to call a halt to any further housing development in Aireborough. The group also wants to see a moratorium while a proper sustainability assessment is carried out.
Dr Ingham added: “The Leeds LDF document contains plans to dump more than 2,300 extra houses into the area in the next 16 years. If this happens and nothing is done to improve the local infrastructure, gridlocked roads such as the one I witnessed this morning will be commonplace occurrences.
“With the help of its cross-party supportive local MPs, Stuart Andrew and Greg Mulholland, and their neighbouring colleagues, the WARD organisation will continue to lobby directly in Parliament for legislation to reform planning laws that allow housing development in highly congested areas, where it is clear the road and public transport systems are already stretched to capacity. “The result will be absolutely catastrophic for future generations.”