Safety fears for flower stand beside busy road

Andrew Robinson

A MAN who sells flowers on two roadside plots has been told that his business is risking the lives of his customers and other passing motorists.

The florist has asked Kirklees Council for a street trading licence for land next to Lindley Moor Road, Huddersfield, but objectors say it is not a suitable spot to set up a business.

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Enforcement officers from the council visited the site earlier this month because it was believed that florist Mr AE Underwood was already trading on the site.

Councillors, police and highways officers have raised concerns, saying the site is not a suitable place.

A report to the council, to be discussed by a committee on Monday says that the verge is not a lay-by and there is not enough room for customers to stop safely.

“It is adequate for drivers to pull over to take a phone call, for example, but it’s not suitable for the sort of business purposes that Mr Underwood proposes,” said one highways officer.

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“There have been several applications for this site previously, which have been refused by councillors on the grounds of road safety, and I believe that licensing enforcement officers have previously moved on traders who were operating here without a licence.”

West Yorkshire Police said people pulling up at the location would not have enough room to get out of their car safety.

“This is a very busy main road between two motorway junctions serving Huddersfield. Due to the above observation the police cannot support this application,” police said.

Mr Underwood is also seeking council permission to extend a trading area where he sells flowers on Manchester Road at Marsden, near Huddersfield.

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He and the council are in dispute over the amount of space he takes up in the lay-by. Police say that plant pots are creating a road safety hazard.

Mr Underwood has argued that if he stays at the rear of the lay-by, as his licence states, he becomes hidden to passing drivers if a HGV parks next to him.