Traffic needs calming in Askrigg, parish council is told

A floral welcome to Askrigg

By Betsy Everett

The approaches to Askrigg are pretty, but cars need to slow down, the parish council has heard.

At the annual parish assembly two older residents said they feared for their lives as they tried to cross Station Road at the bottom of the hill.

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“Can we have a sign to calm the traffic going down the hill?” asked one. “There are so many hazards and for partially-sighted, disabled and elderly people, especially, it’s terrifying. It’s not visitors it’s locals who come speeding through.”

Members agreed the parish clerk would contact the highways department to investigate the possibility of painting ‘SLOW’ signs at the top and bottom of the hill. Kate Empsall said a ‘walking bus’ operated in the village in term time. “If the education department of the county council knew children were going that way regularly they may take it up with the police,” she said.

Meanwhile, Askrigg had been entered for the Best Kept Village competition. Flower tubs would be filled and a letter of thanks would go to Andrew Craske for the excellent planting round all the signs into the village, said Councillor Allen Kirkbride.

Another resident said the main noticeboard in the village was difficult to maintain and place notices on. It was too high, the board was too hard for the pins, the glass door swung dangerously in the slightest wind and other villages’ notices crowded it out. Councillor James Hodgson said he would see what could be done to make it easier to use.

Parish council. – A planning application for bed and breakfast accommodation being provided at Nappa Hall was on its way to the council for consideration.

Ambulance waits. – Councillor Greta Kirkbride said someone in a serious condition had waited an hour for an ambulance to come from Grassington, and someone else the same time for one from Helmsley. “Nobody should have to wait an hour for an ambulance. People’s conditions can change dramatically in an hour.” They then often had to wait to be admitted once they arrived at James Cook hospital, where anyone classed as ‘serious’ was now being taken. “The situation at A&E on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights is hideous,” she said.

Councillor Kirkbride said on the other hand, on one Saturday morning, there had been three incidents in Bainbridge attended by four ambulances and the air ambulance. Kate Empsall said an elderly relative had had a fall and the ambulance was there within 10 minutes. However, when she got to James Cook there were three people on trolleys ahead of her. Members agreed to contact the MP for Richmondshire, whoever that was after the general election, expressing concern.

Speeding. –  A recent police presence in the village had caught two people speeding, but others seemed to have taken little notice. “If they won’t slow down for the police, what will they take notice of?” asked Councillor Martyn Alderson. Council chairman, Bruce Fawcett, said people should remember the adage “Third for 30,” or third gear in a 30 mile an hour area. Another member said he himself had learned that on a speed awareness course and never forgotten it.

Fancy dress parade. – Cllr Hodgson said more helpers were needed to marshal the fancy dress parade in the main street at the village sports on bank holiday Monday, May 29. He asked if any councillors would be prepared to calm the traffic though some were going to be away and others were helping anyway. District councillor Yvonne Peacock and Martin Garside of the village hall committee each said they would be happy to don high viz jackets and do the job.

‘Spy’ cameras. – Angie and Kevin Gillespie of Seata Barn, Main Street, whose cctv cameras attached to one of their buildings had caused alarm to residents, said in a letter that they had been advised by the police that they had committed no criminal or civil offence by installing the cameras. “We were further advised by North Yorkshire police that the camera is a minimal, reasonable and proportionate response to the already experienced actual harm, and to the future level of threat, both to our property and to ourselves personally,” they wrote. Contrary to “false claims,” at no time had access been denied to any public footpath over their land. Cllr Fawcett said that any residents who had a problem relating to Mr and Mrs Gillespie in future should report the matter to the parish council or the police.

Highways. – There were still problems with flooding and drainage at Worton Bridge, despite the drains having been cleaned a month ago, outside Hargill House and at Beck Bits.  There was some disagreement between Yorkshire Water and the highways department over who was responsible, but the problems would be reported to both yet again. Councillor David Madley said the drains at Low Abbotside by the pump station were not working properly and there were potholes especially on Thwaiteholme Lane. District councillor Yvonne Peacock said resurfacing of the road between Woodhall and Carperby was planned to be completed before November.

Grateful thanks. – It was agreed that the spelling of ‘gratefully’ as ‘greatfully’ on donation box signs outside the church and in the car park at Parkins Garth would be corrected.

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