16 May 2020

The Parish Council has been concerned about traffic safety issues for some considerable time, and as is apparent from the recent discussion on Facebook, that concern is shared by residents.

As you will see from the TRAFFIC SAFETY 2019 page on this website, following the public consultation last year we raised various issues NYCC Highways and consequently formed a list of aims which we continue to pursue.

1. Introduction of 30 mph zone in Laverton village. With the help of a grant from the budget of County Cllr Margaret Atkinson we have been assured that this will be introduced this summer.

2. Extend the 20mph zone in Kirkby Malzeard to include the Market Cross area and part of Main Street beyond the Mowbray Court school entrance.

3. Create 40mph zone between Kirkby Malzeard and Laverton.

4. Create 40mph zone between Kirkby Malzeard and Grewelthorpe. Extend 30mph zone to include all of Church Bank and Long Swales Lane.

5. Create 40 mph zone on Ripon Road to the east of Kirkby Malzeard.

6. Introduce footpatrh on Galphay Road between Kirkby Malzeard village and the cemetery. 

Maps showing the location of the proposals available here: KMLDPC TRAFFIC SAFETY APPENDIX 2  

The next step, which relates to item 2, is to obtain evidence to convince NYCC Highways that a speeding problem exists and to that end we have arranged for data loggers (cables across the road which record the speed of vehicles) to be placed in two locations on Main Street. This would under normal circumstances have been carried out by now, but because of the lock down and, to a lesser extent the closure of Church Bank, both of which affect traffic flow, we have had to put this on hold as otherwise false readings would be obtained. This will cost the Council £220. Once the school is open again and other things are a little more normal we will go ahead with this.

A copy of the letter the Council sent to all the farmers in the Parish in August last year asking that they take care, is available to view under 'Traffic Safety 2019', and we are informally monitoring this issue during the peak times of vehicle movements - muck spreading, silaging, harvest etc to see whether the situation has improved. The creation of a Community Speedwatch team is an option if this continues to be a concern.

Sadly money is the critical problem here and over the last 10 years the Government has substantially reduced funding to the Highways Department with the result that they have to prioritise the funds they have available for traffic calming schemes such as those we are seeking.
This quote from the response we received within correspondence last year summarises how they base their prioritisation:

Funding for traffic calming measures and highway improvement schemes is extremely limited following the reduced budgets North Yorkshire County Council now have to operate with. Any improvement scheme proposed would have to achieve a very high priority on the county-wide Integrated Transport (IT) budget to attract any funding. As the IT budget has been severely reduced across the board, it is likely that the only schemes being funded for the foreseeable future are those that are likely to achieve significant casualty-reduction results. Therefore, the absence of any applicable personal injury data, the roads detailed would not be considered a priority for the limited funds available - the worst situations must be dealt with first. 

In other words until there is a serious accident they are unlikely to give our proposals any priority. Of course in a logical world, where ample money was available, schemes would be carried out before there is an accident not afterwards.

The Parish Council will discuss the general issue at its remote meeting on Monday under 'Any Other Business' to see for example if we feel that finding out about the practicalities of a Community Speedwatch team make it something worth considering. The comments on Facebook have been noted but if you have further issues to raise please continue to post on the village hub, the Parish Council facebook page or contact any of the Councillors on the email addresses on this website.

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