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Road surveys planned to establish new layout for Knaresborough's Bond End

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Road surveys to change the layout of Knaresborough’s busiest junction will take place later this month to establish the design of its new look.

The surveys between High Bond End and Boroughbridge Road will establish a detailed design for the plan to put two mini-roundabouts at the Bond End junction.

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) secured £300,000 in government funding at the end of last year to implement the scheme which has been touted as reducing congestion and subsequently tackling the air pollution problem in the area.

In January the council announced that work would begin in March but NYCC Executive Member for Highways, Councillor Don Mackenzie, said getting things right was more important than meeting a specific deadline.

He said: “There was originally a deadline of the end March 2018 to have made a start on the Bond End traffic management changes.

“This was because the scheme was being funded by the County’s successful bid to the National Productivity Infrastructure Fund (NPIF).

“Subsequently we have been given permission to carry the £300k forward into the current year.

“Getting the scheme right is more important than meeting a specific deadline.

“The surveying work will clarify certain significant considerations arising from the removal of seven sets of lights and re-aligning the junction.

“Safe access to and from residential properties and relocating utility company equipment inside the junction require close study.”

The junction was designated an Air Quality Management Area in 2010 and the two mini-roundabouts scheme was one of three options assessed in 2017 to reduce emissions by improving traffic flow.

But Bond End resident, Ann Hill, who has raised safety concerns about getting out of her property onto two mini-roundabouts, said that conversations around safety should have happened long ago.

She said: “We haven’t had the opportunity to voice our opinions. It seems to be going ahead without any consultation with the people who are going to be directly affected.”

However Coun Mackenzie maintained that safety checks would continue ‘especially’ to address the concerns of residents who live on the junction itself.

Temporary traffic lights may be in use during the road surveys, which will start on May 14 and last for four days, from 9am to 3.30pm.