Council refuses to grit 'dangerous' Kirkgate in Knaresborough

NYCC say it has invested in a fleet of new and modern gritters.
NYCC say it has invested in a fleet of new and modern gritters.

A ‘dangerous’ and steep road will again be missed from the County Council’s list of routes to be gritted this winter, despite numerous complaints from the community.

Residents of Kirkgate have been calling on the council to grit the steep hill for years, in fear that cars may lose control and crash in icy winter conditions.

But even after an incident where a car crashed on the road last winter, North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has announced it will not grit Kirkgate this year.

Knaresborough Town Coun, James Monaghan (Lib) said: “Last year we said that the failure to grit Kirkgate was an accident waiting to happen, and it did.

“It is incomprehensible why NYCC won’t grit this road.It is clearly dangerous and I fear we’ll see another accident when the cold weather hits.”

Last year, councillors requested that Kirkgate was included on the winter gritting list amid fears that cars could easily skid into the rail crossing gates, which separate the road and the railway line.

But the request was denied and councillors were told that the priority level of the road meant it did not warrant being included.

This year, Knaresborough Town Council re-submitted the request, but at the council’s winter gritting review meeting, last month, the request was denied again.

NYCC executive member for highways, Coun Don Mackenzie said: “In spite of continued reductions in our budget, we have again managed to maintain our high standards of winter maintenance, and made no cuts to the service.

“Although we are the largest county in the country, with 6000 miles of highways, many of them in remote, bleak locations, NYCC consistently grits more than half of our roads, one of the highest percentages of any highways authority.

“We have invested in brand new gritting vehicles and now have a very modern, reliable fleet.

“As far as Station Road and Kirkgate are concerned, whilst they are on a slope and will be slippery in icy and snowy conditions, they are not part of the strategic highways network.

“They are very difficult for a gritting truck to access. On the other hand, they are well supplied with grit bins to enable residents and drivers to help themselves.

“I believe that our residents will understand that in times of extreme weather we have to concentrate on our key routes, to allow buses and emergency vehicles to make their journeys, to make it possible for people to get to work and pupils to go to school.”

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