Speed limit could be reduced on section of A61 near Ripon where family of three were killed in crash

Ripon MP Julian Smith and North Yorkshire Council’s transport lead Keane Duncan have met to discuss lowering the speed limit on a section of the A61 where a family of three were killed in September.
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Daria Bartienieva, 35, her son Ihor Bartieniev, aged six, and her stepdaughter Anastasiia Bartienieva, 15, were killed in the crash on the A61 near South Stainley.

The family were from Ukraine and were living in Ripon. A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the family’s surviving daughter has raised almost £50,000.

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The A61, which is the key route between Ripon and Harrogate, has faced incidents involving vehicles for many years and Mr Smith wrote on his website that he recently met around 20 local residents to hear their concerns.

Councillor Keane Duncan, executive member for highways and transport at North Yorkshire CouncilCouncillor Keane Duncan, executive member for highways and transport at North Yorkshire Council
Councillor Keane Duncan, executive member for highways and transport at North Yorkshire Council

Issues raised included inadequate overtaking lanes, excessive speed limits, use of the road as a racetrack by motorcyclists and rat-running through Ripley.

He brought these concerns for a meeting with Coun Duncan, where the possibility of lowering the speed limit from 60mph to 50mph was raised.

Coun Duncan said that the council is currently undertaking speed surveys on the road and a “broader package of improvement measures” could be brought to the public for consultation soon.

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Mr Smith said: “Just over a month ago, a horrific crash took the lives of a fifteen-year-old girl’s mum, brother and sister.

“While I have been humbled by the astonishing generosity of friends, local residents and perfect strangers alike, raising nearly £50,000 for her since, we must also ensure that tragic accidents like this do not happen again.

“I’m grateful to North Yorkshire Council and North Yorkshire Police for their swift response to the recent spate of accidents on the A61, as well as those residents who met with me two weeks ago to share their concerns, as we continue to look for a solution.”

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Coun Duncan said: “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of this tragic accident. The safety of the travelling public is our key priority, and we endeavour to make the county’s roads as safe as possible.

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“We have been working with Julian Smith MP and the police in recent weeks to discuss the potential for lowering the speed limit on a further section of the A61 near Ripon from 60mph to 50mph.

"Speed surveys have been carried out and the results are being analysed and any proposal to reduce the speed limit will be subject to full consultation.

“Work continues on developing a broader package of improvement measures along this route which we aim to complete in the very near future.”

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