OTLEY is to get a new roundabout to improve safety at a busy junction.

Residents have been raising concerns about the spot where Bradford Road meets West Chevin Road - and especially the dangers faced by pedestrians trying to cross there - for years.

Town Councillor Linda Hoare (Lib Dem, West Chevin), the crossing patrol officer for nearby Westgate Primary School, has also complained about the irresponsible behaviour of drivers at the junction which she has witnessed at first hand.

Incidents have included impatient motorists driving straight across the pedestrian crossing, ignoring those who were trying to use it.

Ward councillors have been talking to Leeds City Council about the issue but identifying the necessary funding for a solution had proved to be a sticking point.

Now money has been found to enable the creation of a new roundabout which, it is hoped, will boost safety.

The scheme is set to get underway in the next few weeks and Cllr Hoare has welcomed the news.

She said: “In my role as crossing patrol attendant I witness at first hand the dangerous manoeuvres which some inconsiderate motorists make at this junction.

“They are putting at risk both pedestrians and other road users.

“Hopefully the roundabout will make things better and I am particularly pleased that it will include works to make crossing West Chevin Road easier.”

Councillor Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) also believes the new layout should make a difference.

He said: “Local residents have raised concerns for a number of years about this junction.

“Cars wishing to turn are causing delays to other motorists who then try to force a way past.

“The roundabout should create a more free flowing junction.”

A letter from ward councillors has been sent to residents to inform them of the scheme, work on which is expected to start in early December.

It also warns that traffic management systems, including multi-way traffic signals at the junction, will need to be introduced during the working hours of 9.30am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Several road closures will also be required. There will be two on West Chevin Road, to allow the construction of a traffic island, and one on Bradford Road to allow the new road markings to be added.

Further details about the work, including diversion plans, are to be confirmed soon. Anyone with questions about the scheme is advised to e-mail Andrew Richardson at andrew.richardson@leeds.gov.uk.