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Letter: Roadworks

Roadworks on Otley Road.
Roadworks on Otley Road.

I note that the planners have allowed ‘supposedly’ essential gas works to take place on Skipton Road, in parallel with the equally ‘essential’ water works on Otley Road - thus obstructing both roads into the town from the west and north west simultaneously. Firstly, what fool thought that was a good idea, rather than staggering the works so that diverted traffic actually had somewhere to divert to? Secondly, these works are only deemed to be ‘essential’ because of the huge new housing developments which they are being put in to serve; if the developers were told that they could not lay a brick until the necessary and essential infrastructure had been installed, these developments would be staggered instead of being released simultaneously across the town in several places together (which will, of course, create a temporary glut of new housing which the developers will struggle to sell unless they create ‘small affordable boxes’ that no one really wants to live in, as they’d all rather live in proper houses with some room in them and a decent sized garden, But thirdly we come to the matter of ‘by what God given right’ do these service providers feel that they can dictate to society when and for how long their works are going to take place? In the case of Yorkshire Water, we have seen and experienced the delays of them, digging up Otley Road over the course of months, their works ‘starting at one end and progressing by degrees to the other’ meanwhile holding up the traffic - for months, why is it not demanded of them that ‘they open the road from one end to the other as fast as possible - putting several gangs on the job and having ‘starts’ at several places along the length - and ditto have several gangs laying the pipes and installing the valves and junctions simultaneously? We do not build motorways, railways, pipelines, nor even ‘tunnels’ by starting at one end - all these projects have several ‘simultaneous starting points’ along the length of the job and they are got over with as quickly as possible. Just why do the general public have to put up with the inconvenience and cost of Yorkshire Water taking months to do a job which could be done in a fraction of the time if they put enough plant and men onto it? These ‘service providers’ should be charged millions per day for every hour of traffic disruption (as they are on motorway build - then they’d get the job over with in a timely fashion instead of being nothing but a damned nuisance! Are there any competent people left running our public services?

John Upex

Harrogate