Weight restrictions spark traffic jams rise

There has been an increase in traffic jams since the weight restrictions.
There has been an increase in traffic jams since the weight restrictions.

An increase in traffic jams, risk to pedestrians, road safety and air pollution has resulted from the experimental weight restriction imposed on HGVs at Norton’s rail level crossing and the County Bridge, according to a survey.

The news was given at yesterday’s meeting of the County Council’s Thirsk and Malton Constituency Committee at Malton Rugby Club.

Members were told the 7.5 tonne restriction at the bottleneck crossing and County Bridge which links Malton and Norton, was brought in to help ease traffic congestion in the two towns and improve air quality.

But the committee heard that the trial has seen a detrimental impact on two primary schools through pollution, noise, road safety and intimidation because the heavy traffic had instead been using Highfield Road and Pasture Lane because of the ban.

In addition, reported Area Highways Manager Richard Marr, opponents had complained that traffic jams had been caused because HGVs were having difficulty manoeuvring round parked cars, while others had aid the narrowness of the road Old Malton had caused blockages and “undesirable” reversing movements in Old Malton Road.

The speed of the HGVs and increased number of vehicles had made it difficult for people crossing the roads.

He said that of 19 responses to the consultation, 18 had objected to the weight restriction.

Other objectors said the experiment had also affected the communities at Howsham, Harton, Brasenthwaite, Burythorpe, Westow, Settrington and Scagglethorpe because of HGV’s making de-tours.

Now, said Mr Marr, a review is to be carried out and a wide public survey carried out on Friday, May 3 for a period of three weeks.

He said: “A decision will then be taken as to whether or not to recommend that the weight restrictions is made permanent or removed.”

A final decision will be made in July by the county authority.