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Road safety campaigner claims £42m bypass will not solve traffic problems
A CAMPAIGNER has called for a £42 million bypass around a market town to be scrapped because it will not tackle road safety issues.
Work on the Bedale bypass is due to start next year taking through traffic away from the A684 and communities in Aiskew, Leeming Bar and Bedale.
Bedale county councillor and North Yorkshire County Council leader John Weighell said the bypass was crucial to the future of the area.
But local resident Brian Hall claims it will not help the main accident blackspot at Firby Road and Sussex street, known as Five Lane Ends and should be abandoned, with money instead being ploughed into improving that junction.
He has carried out vehicle movement counts and found more traffic uses that road than the main road going out of the town to Leyburn.
He said: “I did the count between 8am and 9am on Monday during school term time, and on Firby Road there were 785 vehicles, including 25 HGVs and 14 buses.
"On Leyburn Road, near the golf club there were 729 vehicles, including 22 HGVs and ten buses.
“So what is the point of spending £43 million on a bypass which isn’t going to solve the main problem in the town?
"It isn’t going to make the most dangerous place safe, they need to abandon it.
“The most vulnerable people in the town use Five Lane Ends - schoolchildren, elderly people, mothers with pushchairs - they have to put traffic lights in there to make it safe.
"That is where we have had the accidents, that is where we have had the death, how many more deaths and injuries are we going to have?”
Coun Weighell said he would need to see the breakdown of Mr Hall's figures, but the overall amount of vehicles through the day was the figure the council would consider.
He said: “The bypass will not take traffic from Firby Road and Masham Road , but it will relieve the communities of Leeming Bar, Aiskew and Bedale Market Place.
"I totally support the bypass. At Five Lane Ends there is traffic coming from five different directions, at Leyburn road there is only two directions.
“The council is closely examining Firby Road and Masham Road, and the highways department is doing an in-depth investigation into that area at the moment.”
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