MAJOR changes to a busy road junction have put people’s lives at risk, motorists claim.

Many fear it is only a matter of time before someone is killed because of the new layout in Catterick, after lengthy improvement work on the A1.

Fort Bridge was knocked down to make way for the motorway upgrade, and its replacement was re-opened earlier this month.

The bridge connects Catterick Garrison with Brompton-on-Swale and Catterick Village - and priorities at the road junction at the Bridge Hotel, by Catterick Racecourse, were changed as a result.

“The visibility to the right at the new ‘Give Way’ sign is practically non-existent,” wrote one worried user in a letter to the D&S Times. “I can only assume that the designer of the new layout is not a motorist.”

The work was part of the £380m scheme to upgrade the dual carriageway to a three-lane motorway between Leeming and Barton.

Traffic from Catterick must now cross the road from Brompton-on-Swale to Catterick Garrison, but the bridge obscures traffic from the north.

Another concerned resident said: “Since the priorities were changed at this junction it has become very dangerous and many people are reporting that they have come very close to being hit by traffic coming over the bridge.Whoever decided that it was a good idea to change it back either had not seen the junction or had no idea what they were doing.”

However, a North Yorkshire County Council spokesman said a 30mph speed limit through the junction and extra warning signs have been installed to improve its safety. He said: “The junction priorities have been amended to better reflect traffic flows as a result of the changes associated with the A1 upgrade scheme and to provide longer term traffic capacity.

“The levels of visibility were a key consideration during the design of the scheme and specific measures have been incorporated, including improved signing such as additional ‘Give Way’ and directional signs.”

Councillor Don Mackenzie, NYCC executive member for highways and road safety champion, added: “I take these concerns very seriously. I will discuss the matter with officers and we will act urgently and appropriately if we decide changes need to be made.”