LETTER: Highways - The local drivers know best!

Traffic congestion in Harrogate. (1510263AM5)
Traffic congestion in Harrogate. (1510263AM5)

To say that the Highways Department has been successful in filling in potholes and the like in our roads is not borne out by my experience. I have been waiting 18 months for work near me.

Then there is also the poor quality of the actual work which can only be regarded as temporary, so what’s the point? It is wasting money not doing the job properly and there appears to be no quality control.

What I also see is excessive costs in those road improvements mentioned which usually result in little or no improvement. Despite all the statements made about lack of funding what we can all see is excessive traffic control measures spending big money whilst normal road surfaces continue to deteriorate.

It would be interesting to know how much money has been spent by the county council for each year since they took over as against what Harrogate Council spent per year.

The Highways Department do not consult the public enough on major projects and therefore frequently get it wrong because ordinary drivers are the best people to consult on traffic flows as they experience the problems everyday. A prime example of this “office planning” only applies to the M&S junction, which is a lesson in how to make simple matters much more complicated than they need to be. It was obvious to any road user that this planned junction alteration just would not work, but did they listen - not at all.

What we don’t seem to have for Harrogate is a real workable plan as the how to improve traffic problems, yet again it is obvious that we are being strangled by grandiose traffic control systems which are on the increase and cost large amounts of money.

To spend money wisely and to really improve matters we need a radical rethink.

1. Stop putting any more traffic lights at junctions

2. Discontinue use of existing traffic lights (by turning them off) at all but major junctions. When lights have faulted at junctions from time to time the result has been improved traffic flow.

3. Discontinue painted lines and boxes on roads - motorists know how to use junctions. All we want is simple lines in the middle of the road. This saves money including the costs of re-painting from time to time.

4. Remove many central reservations which are not required and those costs including numerous repairs can be saved.

I think the Highways Department would do well to grasp this, otherwise the control of such matters and road repairs should be placed back with Harrogate Council who can more properly represent and listen to more to the democratic views of their public.

I would press all motorists to use their local councillors to get the changes we dearly need.

John Holder