Air pollution - Harrogate residents' new hope of progress

Harrogate residents campaigning against the risk of air pollution at one of the town’s busiest roads have welcomed positive signs from local authorities.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 4:48 pm
Heavy traffic, static queues and exhaust fumes - The busy railway crossing at Starbeck High Street in Harrogate.

With traffic gridlocked three to four times per hour at Starbeck level crossing during most of the time, worries have been growing over the possible effects on air quality at this part of Knaresborough Road.

Starbeck Residents Association has been calling for more signs to put pressure on drivers to switch of their engines while waiting for trains to pass.

The group’s chair, Geoff Foxall, said: “At the momennt Starbeck High Street has no sign to remind motorists to turn off their engines and this is the area most densely packed with residents. “We believe it’s vital that vehicle users be reminded to switch off their engines while the barriers are closed at the crossing.”

Harrogate Borough Council, which has an air quality action plan and says the nitrogen dioxide levels are within safety limits, replied that such signs did not fall within its responsibility.But North Yorkshire County Council has now said it is looking into the matter.

The residents association had requested the new signs include the words “air pollution kills” but the council can only use signs on the highway which are compliant with the traffic signs manual.

A family fun Clean Air Day is to be held at Starbeck junction on Thursday, June 20 by local pressure group Zero Carbon Harrogate as part of its own ‘anti-idling’ campaign.