Harrogate village's campaign to crackdown on speeding motorists

The parish council has previously attempted to see the speed limit reduced
The parish council has previously attempted to see the speed limit reduced

A new campaign to crack down on speeding motorists in a Harrogate village is set to begin.

Flaxby and Goldsborough Parish Council has received approval from North Yorkshire Police to establish what is believed to be the first speed watch group in Goldsborough, with volunteers expected to begin their training in early 2019.

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Sharing equipment from Flaxby's own speedwatch group the council are aiming to address concerns of motorists speeding across the village, including outside of Goldsborough Church of England Primary School.

Concerns over speeding motorists in Goldsborough has been raised by the parish council previously. This led to an attempt to see the speed limit dropped from 30mph to 20mph on York Road, extending past the school and into the village.

Derrik Summers, clerk to Goldsborough & Flaxby Parish Council said: "Whilst very concerned about vehicle speeds and parking being allowed outside Goldsborough School, where the Parish Council has been unable to persuade NYCC to introduce a 20mph speed limit, the Parish Council is concerned also about speeds in other parts of the village, particularly past the Cricket Club and along Main Street past the War Memorial and then down Church Street towards St.Mary's Church.

"It has been these issues that have influenced the PC to set up a Speed Campaign in the village,similar to what it has done in Flaxby, to raise general awareness, if nothing else."

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'Natural' obstructions such as bends at the Avenue Gate stone piers and the junction with Midgeley Gate were not believed to prevent drivers from driving speeds less 30mph.

The move has been welcomed by Headteacher of the Goldsborough COE School, Matt Shillito, who said that while the majority of motorists observed the speed limit those breaking it were putting lives at risk.

He said: "We fully support the Parish Council’s plans to establish a speed watch group to monitor traffic near to Goldsborough CE School. Children are most at risk of being involved in an accident on or near a road and this risk rises outside schools and close to play areas. Whilst many motorists entering and leaving the village observe the speed limits and are mindful of children crossing and playing nearby, we share the Parish Council’s concern that some motorists put our children and local residents at risk through excessive speed. "

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Observing the speed limit is particularly important in Goldsborough, says Mr Shilito, as the village doesn't have a Lollipop service, or any marked crossing, for families to use to get to and from school each day.

A speed gun which is currently shared by speed watch groups in Flaxby and Arkendale will also be used by the group in Goldsborough. While no offences have been recorded over July and August in Flaxby, the village's own group said they believe the presence of volunteers was encouraging drivers to be more careful of how fast they are driving.

North Yorkshire County Council has said that accident statistics for the village over the last five years shows there have been no incidents that can be 'attributed to vehicle speeds.'

Highways area manager Melisa Burnham said: “The speed checks collated over the summer months by the speed watch groups demonstrate that existing speed limits are adhered to, which further supports the local highway authority’s assessment.

“Any request to reduce speed limits or to introduce traffic calming measures would have to be assessed against the cost and benefit criteria across the whole of North Yorkshire. The absence of any established personal injury accident data means that this location cannot be considered a priority at this time for the limited funds available.”