A woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries when a lorry crashed into a parked car and some steps on Castlegate, opposite its junction with Longwestgate, last week. It is thought the woman was crushed against a wall by the parked car.
Telma de Ayckbourn, a resident on Longwestgate, said: “It’s so shocking because when you wake up on this street and you see a lorry you’re always wary, but you can’t keep looking out the window.
“You’re always thinking there will be something else happening, which unfortunately did, and to see this lady injured is shocking.”
Residents say that the number of lorries getting stuck on the narrow roads is increasing and that houses and cars are repeatedly being damaged by large vehicles.
North Yorkshire County Council said they have not previously received any road safety complaints relating to Castlegate, Paradise or Longwestgate, and that they work closely with partner organisations to keep roads safe.
It is believed that the driver was out of his cab when the lorry rolled forward and hit a parked car.
Mrs de Ayckbourn said: “We were all watching as the lorry crashed because the driver knocked on the doors asking people to move their cars. So when the crash happened we heard a massive bang.”
Cllr Janet Jefferson, a county and borough councillor who represents the Castle ward, says North Yorkshire County Council is aware of the situation and “permanent solutions” are being looked at.
She has put forward £3,000 from her locality budget for temporary signs to inform drivers of the narrow roads, which when approved should go up in the next two to three weeks.
Since the crash last Wednesday, Cllr Jefferson says many residents have contacted her with their fears.
“We’ve got to address this properly because we want our town streets to be safe, we want to retain as much of our on-street parking as possible for our residents. We want to make it that firms will use other methods to deliver,” she said.
“Yes, you could remove the parking from Longwestgate and Castlegate, but why? These are family streets with houses and you have to cater for them, it’s about striking that balance.
“This is an issue that has been going on for a number of years, but has been exacerbated by lots of online deliveries.”
Permanent solutions could include road widening, regulatory signs and removing on-street parking, but will require planning and consultation.
Cllr Jefferson said bin lorries that serve the area have had to be reduced in size so they do not get stuck. She suggested a booking system for larger deliveries such as sofa suites so that roads can be closed and cars removed.
Mrs de Ayckbourn says that improved signage and speed limits are needed. “Something as simple as a sign at the beginning of Longwestgate informing lorry drivers that they can’t get through here would have an impact,” she said.
Allan McVeigh, Head of Network Strategy for Highways and Transportation at North Yorkshire County Council, said: "Please be assured that we will always respond in specific circumstances where we consider it necessary to do so. For example, we constantly monitor road collision data and alongside our road safety education activity we have an annual programme of delivering local road safety engineering improvements.
"It is all of our road safety education and engineering activity combined, coupled with partnership working through 95 Alive, which has helped to ensure a continued downward trend in road traffic collisions across the county. The number of people injured in these collisions in 2019 for example, was down 17 per cent on the 2018 figures. Whilst anyone injured on our roads is one person too many, this latest reduction in road casualty numbers is part of an overall long-term trend since 2002 and we will work hard to support its continuation."