MOTORISTS frustrated at frequent and lengthy congestion caused by a railway crossing can now sign a petition urging the Government to act.

Colin Telfer from Darlington has launched the petition after years of commuting to Northallerton and being forced to wait in traffic for up to 20 minutes at peak times when the barriers come down.

He said the impact of the build up of traffic from the Low Gates level crossing, to the north of the town, is detrimental to the local economy, environment and amenities and should be looked at as a matter of urgency.

“I have launched the petition to make people aware of the problem – although it already affects lots of people who live and work in Northallerton," he added.

“The traffic from Low Gates can sometimes queue all the way to the bottom of Northallerton High Street, and it seems that the gates go down about four minutes before any trains come along so the traffic just builds and builds.”

Mr Telfer, who has been driving to Northallerton since 2008, called for a study examining how the problem could be managed – and said a number of options should be considered, including lowering the track or building a bridge for cars.

Hambleton District Council and North Yorkshire County Council have confirmed they have been working with the Local Enterprise Partnership and developers to create a new road link for the town.

Mr Telfer said he hoped a solution would be made a priority – despite the obvious costs involved.

He added: “It needs to be done – the traffic queues are just getting worse.”

A spokesman for Hambleton District Council said: “The council is in discussion with developers to bring forward the North Northallerton scheme which includes a new link road and bridge over the railway line - and will provide an alternative route to the level crossing.

“It is anticipated that the planning application will be submitted before the end of May and before this there will be public consultation undertaken in the town.

“If the developers stick to their programme we expect the link road and bridge to be opened by spring 2017.”

A spokesman for the county council said the authority recognises that the level crossings in Northallerton cause congestion.

He added: “The county council is assisting Hambleton District Council in providing an alternative route to avoid the crossing at the north end of town at Low Gates.”

Department for Transport was not able to comment.

To sign Mr Telfer’s petition visit