Fears raised over extra lorry traffic in Dales quarry plan

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A BID to process more stone at a quarry in the Yorkshire Dales National Park will lead to a huge rise in the number of lorry movements, a report has revealed.

Lafarge Tarmac wants to use the processing plant at Dry Rigg Quarry, Austwick Road, Helwith Bridge, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, for processing stone extracted from both that site and the Arcow facility.

But a planning report reveals that if all stone is to be taken to Dry Rigg for processing, the number of loads along Austwick Road between the entrances for the two quarries and past a row of houses in Helwith Bridge would “increase from 21 loads (42 movements) at present to 109 loads (218 movements) per day”.

Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee will be advised to grant permission, subject to a series of conditions, when they meet tomorrow.

The national park authority has received four letters objecting to the proposals. Concerns have been raised by critics about the increased level of lorry movements through Helwith Bridge.

A spokesman for Lafarge Tarmac, which operates both quarries, claimed the firm had been working closely with North Yorkshire County Council and has agreed a package of measures including improvements to the junction between the Arcow access road and Austwick Road as well as a traffic management plan to try to minimise disruption.

The company spokesman said: “The proposed increase in vehicle movements on the Austwick Road between the two quarry entrances would only be short term, until the end of June 2015.

“The proposals would help us to safeguard nearly 30 jobs in the national park.

“It would also enable us to remove the Arcow processing plant earlier than originally planned and use just the Dry Rigg plant, which operates to higher environmental standards and is out of sight in the bottom of the old quarry.”