A major road near Harrogate is to remain closed over the weekend as engineers investigate the potential cause of a crack in the road.
The A59 at Kex Gill has been closed since Wednesday night, when North Yorkshire County Council reported there had been 'signs of movement'. Following an inspection by engineers the council has said the road will remain closed for safety reasons, with further work set to be carried out over next week.
During the closure the diversion route for traffic going east from Skipton or est from Harrogate follows the A65, A660, A658 and A61 via Ilkley and Otley. The county council has said that the local road network is to be restricted for us by residents, for deliveries, or to access businesses.
Accident and delays
Drivers who came off the A59 at North Moor Road due to the road closure were brought to a standstill this morning, say residents, who pictured a lorry which became stuck and blocked the road at one of its narrowest points.
Amanda Taylor, who lives nearby, flagged concerns with NYCC just hours before the incident. She said that residents on both North Moor Road and Hall Lane believed that it 'was an accident waiting to happen' with traffic coming off the A59.
She said: "It doesn't seem like there is very much organisation, when the road was closed in 2016 there was management of traffic. It is a single track road and we are getting the A59 levels of traffic. I think that the road should be closed, I know a lot of farmers in the area are livid because of this.
"An accident has happened and I am worried that something worse could happen."
North Yorkshire County Council in it's update on the A59 at Kex Gill said it was aware of reports that people had been using roads that were not suitable. Ambassadors will now be in place to direct commercial vehicles and through traffic away from these routes.
A spokespersons said: "The County Council apologises for the inconvenience and will do all it can to complete any required work as quickly as possible. Drivers are urged to use the diversion routes that have been signposted. There have been reports of people using local roads that are simply are not wide enough to accommodate the volume of traffic from the A59."
The A59 has a history of instability and movement of the land above the road to the west of Blubberhouses at Kex Gill. There have been numerous landslips, the most recent in January 2016 leading to closure of the road for eight weeks.
North Yorkshire County Council say realigning the A59 at Kex Gill to the other side of the valley is part of the County Council’s strategic transport plan to improve east to west connections between the east coast and Humber ports and Lancashire.
A public consultation on proposals for this realignment was held last autumn. Feedback from this is to go before the County Council's Executive, and a business plan developed to be put forward for Government funding. It is hoped this could fund work in 2019/2020.