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Firm is set to re-think plans to shut ‘lifeline’road
A UTILITY company is revising plans to close a rural road for four weeks following concerns the move would disrupt residents and hit businesses.
Yorkshire Water has submitted a request to North Yorkshire County Council to shut the road at Askrigg, in the Yorkshire Dales, this year.
The company proposes to close the road near the pumping station, close to the Worton turn-off.
A site meeting was held yesterday to discuss the application at which the applicant agreed to put forward options to keep the road open for the majority of the time. Critics say the original proposal would have caused huge inconvenience for local residents and businesses.
Upper Dales county councillor John Blackie, who called the meeting, said: “The road closure proposed at Askrigg will cause huge disruption to the local communities who rely on the road being open – people going about their day to day business, schoolchildren going to and from Askrigg Primary School, businesses trading with passers-by, farmers with land either side of the closure, and so on.”
The proposed diversion will take motorists along Worton Bottoms and on to the A684 to Bainbridge.
“This road is a vital lifeline for our Upper Dales communities and the closure between the village and the Worton turn means a very long diversion,” Coun Blackie said.
North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department has to allow road closures applied for by utility companies, although officials can ask for disruption to be kept to a minimum.
Coun Blackie said: “My feeling is that whilst we may not be able to avoid a short-term total closure completely it must be kept to an absolute minimum.”
Yorkshire Water said reducing the risk of flooding in communities which have previously suffered was a “massive priority” for the company. A spokesman added: “That’s why we’ve submitted a planning proposal to create additional waste water storage at our local pumping station which would significantly help reduce the risk of surface water flooding in the area during times of very heavy rainfall.
“Obviously, we’re engaging with all the relevant authorities around our proposal and it is important to stress that nothing at all has been confirmed at this stage.”