Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Combined drive to tackle village traffic misery
4:34pm Tuesday 12th March 2013 in News
HIGHWAYS chiefs and police have pledged to tackle dangerous driving and traffic volumes in a village where some residents live in constant fear of accidents.
North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire County Council said they would work together to resolve the situation in Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe, near Thirsk, after hearing villagers were afraid of walking on the narrow pavements outside their homes.
Residents said the 30mph speed limit village has become a racetrack for motorists who are preparing to overtake slow-moving lorries and farm vehicles near Sutton Bank and motorcyclists heading to the North York Moors.
After a decade of calls for action, Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe Parish Council called a meeting on Monday to discuss how to manage traffic passing through the village on one of the narrowest sections of the A170 Thirsk to Scarborough road and on Sutton Bank.
Residents also told North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, three senior police officers, county council highways boss Councillor Gareth Dadd and area highways manager Nigel Smith how increasingly large lorries were regularly shaking their homes and knocked down road signs.
Mr Smith said while there had been only four slight injury road accidents in the village in the past decade, he would launch a study of the road between Helmsley and Thirsk to examine the nature, type and purpose of vehicles using the route before proposing any solutions later this year.
He said while it had already been established that nearly 18,000 vehicles a week exceeded the speed limit in the village, information from vehicle activated signs to be placed in the village next month would help target where action was needed.
Mr Smith said suggestions of double white lines through the village and priority chicanes could aggravate problems, but said extending the 30mph zone could provide some relief for residents and that he would hold discussions with hauliers who use the road to discuss its suitability.
Inspector Mick Barron told the meeting the force would have a greater capability to target speeding drivers from April with an extra speed camera van and that the village would be prioritised.
He said he would ask officers to consider whether lorries which reversed down Sutton Bank after being unable to reach the top of the 1:4 gradient hill constituted a driving offence.
Insp Barron said: “You are a very unique village and the problems you have are quite unique.”