Letter: Station Parade - Get rid of this crossing!

Cheltenham Parade/Station Parade junction
Cheltenham Parade/Station Parade junction

I’m sure Mr White (Letters, December 3) didn’t intend to be obtuse or patronising in his defence of the absurd new traffic signals at the Cheltenham Parade/Station Parade junction (and indeed various other locations throughout the district). However, I feel honour bound to comment.

Pedestrians should not have to “work out the sequence” of traffic lights in order to be safe – the operation must be so blindingly obvious and unequivocal that anyone, including children, can use them with confidence and in complete safety.

The new layout represents just the latest of NYCC’s attempts to create gridlock in Harrogate, causing not only frustration and annoyance to drivers, but also putting pedestrians into very real danger.

Traffic flows in Harrogate are now a joke; the new pedestrian crossings are simply unfit for purpose and a clear and present safety hazard; traffic jams occur throughout the day with tail backs increasing in all directions; use of rat runs increases apace as drivers strive to find ways to avoid the queues.

As a driver I use the pedestrian traffic signals infrequently and readily admit that I find them extremely confusing; the new ones at the Station Parade/Commercial Street junction are the worst “by a country mile”.

Why have the pedestrian signals been changed when the previous incarnation was so efficient?

The green man symbol on the opposite side of the road was simple, clear and unambiguous. Several times since the change I have resorted to checking the vehicle control signals to see if it was actually safe to cross the road – and then hoping for the best.

Another pedestrian told me they were simply bewildered by the new lights.

The new design of pedestrian signal does not comply with Rules 21 and 22 of the Highway Code (updated October 2015). The writers of the Highway Code are obviously as old fashioned as I am.

No doubt Mr White will tell us that there are “green men” on the light stanchions, and, of course he is correct. However, if one person is standing by the stanchion the symbol is completely obscured and may as well not be there.

Of course the answer is that the traffic planners appear to feel the need to change things for the sake of it – irrespective of whether they are broken or not. I spoke to a lady a few weeks ago who commented “it’s because the planners don’t have windows in their office” and looking at their record over the years it is hard to disagree.

Look at the junctions at the top of Station Parade (this had to be adjusted three times before it worked), Wetherby Road/Hookstone Drive (adjusted several times but still not working properly; just look at the queues – and where has the yellow box gone?) and of course, there is the ongoing Leeds Road fiasco.

Get rid of these new signals and give us back our green men.

John Halstead

St Leonards Road, Harrogate