Urgent pleas for safety at danger junction

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Pleas for urgent safety improvements to a busy crossroads near Tockwith have been renewed following a recent crash at the site.

Residents are complaining that roadside verges are being left too long before being cut at the junction with Roman Road, the B1224 York Road and Rudgate, following a smash where a car ended up on its side in the road.

Denise Podlewska of Bilton in Ainsty with Bickerton Parish Council said: “Bilton in Ainsty with Bickerton Parish Council get many complaints about this crossroads.

“The main problem with the latest accident was the lack of vision due to uncut verges.

“It is paramount to get these verges cut very, very regularly during the growing season. They were cut shortly after the accident and I do know that North Yorkshire County Council is looking at the crossroads and intends to do something about it during the 2018-2019 financial year, but a fatality could easily occur before action is taken.”

Coun Podlewska added: “There are many accidents at this junction, with most being car insurance claims, which are not reported to the police so North Yorkshire County Council does not include them when looking at the number of incidents.

“The verges need to be cut once a fortnight at the moment and also strimmed towards the food van where the grass is still very long by the fence where the mower cannot reach and this restricts vision for cars coming up out of Rudgate.

“The Parish Council has been in touch with North Yorkshire Council regarding this matter.

“Verge trimming has been cut back throughout Harrogate area to save money, but where safety is so important, this should not be considered at all as a cost cutting measure where lives are at risk.”

Safety at the crossroads was featured on BBC’s One Show after numerous complaints from local residents.

The issues they raised followed a three-car crash and included the 60mph speed limit on the B1224 York Road, the intersection being staggered which led to right of way confusion.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council, which is responsible for the stretch of road, said: “Our rural grass cutting is under way and takes place on roads with a speed limit of 50mph or above.

“Some of our grass cutting is done early in the year, and some in July, August or September, to allow flowers to set seed while also maintaining safety.

“The grass at this location has already been cut and will be cut a number of times during this growing season.

“In addition, at Rudgate crossroads we are negotiating to purchase land in order to improve visibility and safety there for road users.’’

North Yorkshire Police said they could not comment on the investigation into the latest incident but have been seen conducting speed checks in the area.