Estimated Â£200,000 to solve air pollution at Knaresborough's Bond End
Around Â£200,000 is currently in the funding pot to improve the air quality at Bond End in Knaresborough, as the county council consults with the public on what should be done.
Residents and road-users have been asked to share their views on several ways that traffic flow and air pollution could be improved at the controversial junction in Knaresborough.
Bond End was declared an Air Quality Management Area in 2013 as traffic congestion in the area has created unhealthy levels of nitrogen oxide.
North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Councillor Don Mackenzie, said: “Obviously the best way to solve the problem is to reduce traffic but that is easier said than done.
“We have to try to improve the traffic management to such an extent that we don’t have queues of standing traffic.
“At this stage my personal preference would be for option three because we would remove a set of lights and install a mini roundabout, they are much more dynamic. But we will have to wait to hear the views of the public from the consultation.
“We have a budget, something in the region of £200,000.”
The consultation has presented the public with seven different options to change the traffic measures and layout of the Bond End junction, in a bid to allow traffic to flow.
However only two of the options presented are to be developed further by the county council.
The first option to be developed (option three) will introduce a mini roundabout to replace the traffic light system where Bond End meets Boroughbridge Road and High Street.
Two new controlled pedestrian crossings will be installed where Bond End meets High Bond End and footpaths on the corners of the junctions will be widened in several places.
The second option which is due to be developed further would see three new controlled pedestrian crossings across Bond End, High Bond End and High Street.
A new footpath island would be created on High Bond End to split cars turning left and right onto Bond End.
One of the most radical options in the consultation is to create a shared surface where pedestrians and vehicles would all have access to the same area.
The junctions that currently exist would be governed by six zebra crossings and the speed limit envisaged would be 15-20mph.
Coun Mackenzie said: “The reason why our highways officers and consultants are not supporting some of the options is because their opinion is that they do not lead to the improvements we want to bring about.
“For example I think it is option six, the shared space, they feel is inappropriate for such a busy junction and also we have a limited budget.”
At the moment any improvements to the Bond End junction will be funded by the NYCC budget but the authority will also be looking for developer contributions.
Now Coun Mackenzie has urged people to have their say about what should be done before the consultation closes in February.
He said: “The whole point of a consultation is that we would like the views of the public and certainly people who have lived in Knaresborough for many years and use that area are likely to be as knowledgeable about the situation as anybody else so we place a great deal of importance on what local people think.
Go to www.northyorks.gov.uk to view the consultation documents and have your say by [email protected]