Repairing potholes “is key for North Yorkshire’s economy”

Potholes are among the main concerns for residents in North Yorkshire
Potholes are among the main concerns for residents in North Yorkshire
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A NEW plan to govern the near 6,000 miles of roads in North Yorkshire over the next 30 years is to be produced - with the public having already highlighted potholes and repairs to pavements as their main concerns.

The plan is being drawn up by North Yorkshire County Council, and aims to support the county’s local economies, while focusing on road safety, access to services, climate change and ensuring transport improves the quality of life for residents.

The first phase of consultation was carried out in May and June, with a high number of respondents saying repairs to road surfaces and pavements are the most important transport service the council provides. This was followed by gritting and snow clearance.

More than 90 percent of respondents regard road maintenance as an important area where expenditure should be retained.

Street lighting and reducing congestion were also high on the agenda, along with the speed with which repairs and road works are carried out.

About half the respondents rated new facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and buses as important.

David Bowe, the council’s director of business and environmental services, says in a report that “the public and our stakeholders attach greater importance to services relating to maintenance than those relating to the provision of new facilities”.

There have been a number of pressing issues with transport in the county in recent years, especially to do with pothole repairs, and there has been a long running bid for major improvements to the A64 linking York with Scarborough.

In a report to next week’s Transport, Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee, Mr Bowe says the plan will cover up to 2046.

“The purpose of the local transport plan will be to set out the county council’s strategy and policies for the whole of the transport network and services.

“The philosophy behind this is that transport is an ‘enabler’ in that it enables people to work, learn, contribute to the economy and generally go about their daily lives.”

The council hopes a draft version of the plan will be brought out for consultation in October, with a second phase of consultation in November.

The final plan will then be finished for approval in December, with it coming into affect in April next year.

It will have themed sections including public transport, road safety, highway maintenance, walking, cycling, and air quality.

With previous local transport plans, the Government guidance was that they should look five years ahead.

But Mr Bowe said there is now no guidance on the form or timeframe of a local transport plan. He said: “Whilst this lack of guidance could be seen as reflecting a lower priority for local transport plans from the Government, it is also reflective of the localism agenda.”