There is also a serious effect on the No 36 and other bus services that use the Leeds Road such as the very important 737 Airport Bus. Taxi drivers and commercial delivery vehicles are also being severely delayed.
At peak times, stationary traffic north-bound stretches back to Pannal which makes it very difficult for emergency vehicles. I have personally witnessed four emergency ambulances going north towards the hospital having to use the south-bound lane in the face of oncoming traffic because the nearside north-bound lane is full of stationary vehicles.
The current M&S road works reduction of the road width has been exacerbated by the traffic signal sequence being changed recently to allow only one arm of the four arms of the junction at a time to move, which reduces the junction to less than 50% of normal capacity. Traffic should be allowed to travel north and south at the same time – and likewise east and west at the same time, with temporary signs asking all drivers to take extra care and allow right-turning traffic to proceed and not block vehicles behind them.
In principle we welcome the new M&S Store and realise that complex road works need to be done to relocate vital utility services underground. However this work seems to be undertaken very slowly whilst the main construction on site appears to be very fast. Why should the footpaths on both sides of the Leeds Road be closed at the same time and with a section of the carriageway cordoned off for pedestrians? Why could they not provide a footpath with the M&S Site boundary and leave the main road south-bound free for traffic?
I have previously had meetings with the County Council Councillors and the Highways Team when I stressed the vital importance of maintaining maximum traffic flow on the town’s major radial roads like the A61 Leeds Road. Whilst the ultimate plans should achieve this objective for this junction, the current damage to local businesses is too great to tolerate and we demand action to alleviate some of the problems.