'Irresponsible drivers' going through red lights at busy Knaresborough junction

'Irresponsible drivers' who are ignoring red lights on a 'daily' basis at a busy Knaresborough junction, have been slammed by a Town Councillor.

Friday, 6th October 2017, 5:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:25 pm
James Monaghan has called for action on the York Place/Gracious Street junction as he highlights a significant number of drivers are passing through while the pedestrian 'green man' is still showing. Picture: James Monaghan

Knaresborough Town Councillor James Monaghan (Lib) has called for a change at the four way junction where York Place, High Street, Gracious Street and Park Row meet in the town.

Coun Monaghan, who crosses the junction daily, has highlighted a number of problems with the junction since it had its signalling changed last year.

He said: "This junction had its signalling changed last year and is probably the most well used pedestrian crossing in Knaresborough and is extremely busy with school children on their way to and from King James school.

James Monaghan has called for action on the York Place/Gracious Street junction as he highlights a significant number of drivers are passing through while the pedestrian 'green man' is still showing. Picture: James Monaghan

"There are already problems here because Connexions buses pick up passengers outside the bus stop, which causes traffic to queue behind the buses and across the junction.

"However, I think as a result of lasts years signalling changes, increased traffic volume and irresponsible driving there is now a serious and regular problem of drivers ignoring red lights.

"In fact it is worse than that, it is drivers driving through the junction while the green man is flashing.

"I cross this junction several times daily on my walk to and from work and I have started walking my 4 year old daughter to St John's Primary School across this junction earlier in a morning too.

James Monaghan has called for action on the York Place/Gracious Street junction as he highlights a significant number of drivers are passing through while the pedestrian 'green man' is still showing. Picture: James Monaghan

"Every single time I have crossed the road with my daughter since she started school someone has driven through the traffic light while the green man was on.

"Just yesterday I saw a man swearing at a driver as it drove through the green man while he was trying to cross the road. Last week it was two women who had to run out of the way of a car while they were crossing the road on a green man.

"A couple of weeks ago I saw a boy run out when the green man came on and his father had to grab him back as a car came through. It is a miracle no one has been run over so far."

Coun Monaghan said the problem was at its worse during peak traffic times and that it was a case of 'when' not 'if' a serious accident might happen.

Voicing his concern in an email to councillors from Knaresborough Town, Harrogate Borough and North Yorkshire County Councils, Coun Monaghan said: "If the police were present they would be able to issue no end of fines.

"Or perhaps the road needs a lollipop person to stop traffic when the green man is flashing during school hours, but most of all something needs to change with the junction to give pedestrians more priority and keep them safe.

"A quick win and good start would be to stop the Connexions buses stopping in an obstructive location."

As a result, North Yorkshire County Council engineers are now investigating the busy junction and monitoring the effectiveness of the traffic lights.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire County Council said: "Since receiving this enquiry, County Council traffic signals engineers have been investigating the operation of this junction. We take these concerns very seriously as the safety of the junction is our highest priority.

"During improvements to the traffic signals at this junction last year, technology was added to give more time for vehicles to clear the junction before pedestrians start to cross. We will continue to monitor the technology to ensure it is working effectively and will implement any changes as and when required.

"The observations about the Connexions buses will be passed to our passenger transport team for investigation and we will forward the concerns about drivers not complying with the signals to North Yorkshire Police.

"We currently do not have a school crossing patrol site at this location, but an assessment of the location’s suitability for a patrol has been requested and will be undertaken."