Dear Reader: Fears over Bond End + a truly rubbish dispute

Gridlocked traffic caused partly by problems at Bond End in Knaresborough.
Gridlocked traffic caused partly by problems at Bond End in Knaresborough.

A personal column by the Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers

From the days you could buy a car in a long-gone garage situated at one corner of Bond End to the present where cars now cause a serious problem with air pollution in the same spot, this crucial intersection in Knaresborough has long played a significant role in the life of residents and passersby.

The latest issue is the temporary traffic lights causing log jams as work is carried out to create two new roundabouts on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council.

The reason for the work is, ironically, to reduce congestion, thereby bringing air pollution levels down to something less than shocking.

As someone who drives through Bond End on a regular basis to get onto Ripley Road or Boroughbridge Road or the High Street, I would welcome anything that speeds it up, as would hundreds of other drivers.

I’ve always been a big fan of roundabouts over lights. The former suggests the chance of traffic flow continuing, as opposed to the latter’s rigid halting of traffic.

Still, I’m worried about Bond End.

My fears haven’t been lessened by spotting that the two lanes on the Ripley Road side of the first new roundabout at Bond End have been merged into one.

Nor is it reassuring to discover that two of the entrances to the same roundabout now feature pedestrian crossings in close proximity.

As both a driver and a pedestrian I can see the dilemma the county council’s highways planners faced in trying to achieve multiple objectives in a small space at the same time.

But I question whether the finished version of the new-style Bond End junction will actually produce the desired effect on traffic flow or air pollution.
I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

There they stand like tall square-topped pepper pots in a long row along my street, stubborn and forlorn.
Four days after they should have been dealt with by the refuse collectors, there they are still stuffed with rubbish.

No one in my street in Harrogate had a meeting about it. No joint decision was made after careful consideration.
After the usual weekly collection failed to take place last Friday, most of my neighbours simply left their bins outside in the hope someone might come or something might happen.

I wasn't so patient and whisked mine away back around the back.

Not that I was happy.
The week before my recycling box had been ignored by the dustbin men after I included the wrong type of plastic or something along those lines.

I was tempted after this second small failure of modern civilisation to tip out the entire contents of my particular pepper pot on the front lawn in disgust.

And before anyone suggests my musings on refuse are scarcely the stuff of legend, I would point out Margaret Thatcher won the 1979 General Election and went onto dominate the political history of 1980s Britain partly because of a single image from the fabled ‘Winter of Discontent’ – piles of rubbish on the street.

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