Action call at notorious South Craven accident blackspot

Julia Mulligan

Julia Mulligan

First published in News

A flashing road sign and a speed limit could be introduced at a notorious South Craven accident blackspot.

Highways officers are to look into the possible safety improvements at the Cononley Lane Ends junction on the A629 following a packed public meeting last week.

It could see a lowering of the speed limit on the approach to the junction from the current 60mph, and the introduction of a flashing sign warning drivers of the dangerous junction.

There is also a chance the road sign, which could cost about £5,000, could be funded by Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, out of her community fund.

North Yorkshire county councillor and executive board member, Gareth Dadd, who was at the meeting in Cononley Village Hall, warned any improvements would be subject to further investigations and a very limited budget.

Despite the junction being classed as the worst in Craven, it is ranked seventh in North Yorkshire and the council’s annual budget for road safety is just £400,000.

“We heard some good suggestions from the public and we shall see if any of them are possible,” Coun Dadd said.

Engineers would have to work with the area’s road safety partnership 95 Alive to establish whether suggested improvements would be beneficial.

“We recognise the community is concerned, but there are about six other sites across the county that have a greater priority. We also have to bear in mind the reduction in accidents since improvements were carried out there in 2011,” Coun Dadd added.

Cononley Parish Council chairman, Coun Lois Brown, said she had been encouraged by the meeting and pleased so many people had attended to voice their concerns.

“It was the opportunity for people to talk about the junction and raise their ideas and opinions,” she added.

Coun Brown welcomed further consideration of a speed limit and flashing sign, and hoped other suggestions could be re-visited if and when the council had more funds.

Airedale county councillor, Patrick Mulligan, said the issue of pedestrian safety had been raised at the meeting and the difficulty people had at crossing the road to the bus stop. There was also fears the traffic on the A629 will increase with housing developments being built.

Police and Crime Commissioner Mrs Mulligan said she would support a request for funding for a flashing sign, if the criteria satisfied 95 Alive. But she said she had concerns about the transparency of the road safety partnership, and feels it could do with reforming.

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