Work will start on Monday (21 July 2014) to change the Woodlands traffic lights in Harrogate.
This will involve developing two lanes in and two lanes out of the junction for the main route in and out of town. There will also be a right-turn box for that route and enlarged islands for pedestrians.
The Highways Section of North Yorkshire County Council have said that changes are needed to increase capacity of the junction, improve air quality and to make the junction safer for pedestrians.
The changes have not been universally welcomed with criticism being made on the limited public engagement.
Highways have provided a further level of information on the background to the changes.
Junction capacity analysis has been modelled using LinSig with the results being expressed in terms of Practical Reserve Capacity (PRC).
LinSig is a software tool for modelling traffic signals and their effect on traffic capacities/ queuing. It is also used to optimise signal timings to reduce delay or increase capacity at a junction or group of interlinked junctions.
The PRC is related to the degree of saturation of a traffic signal junction.
A positive PRC indicates that a junction has spare capacity.
A negative PRC indicates that a junction is over capacity and suffering from congestion.
The analysis of the current arrangement at Woodlands is a PRC of -4.9%.
Analysis of the proposed changes results in a PRC of 16.2%.
The inclusion of MOVA (Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation) traffic control could reduce delay by a further 13%. MOVA is a traffic signal control system that uses detectors and signal controllers.
From a survey undertaken last year the concentration at one location (the Wetherby Road side of the Woodlands public house) has increased to 42.35µg/m3 – this is Particulate Matter (PM 10) (gravimetric)
Under Air Quality Objectives included in Regulations LAQM (Local Air Quality Management – Defra) this should be:-
- Particulate matter – 50μg/m3, not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year – 24 hour mean
- Particulate matter – less than 40μg/m3 – annual mean
The engagement with the general public involved letter dropping 100 residents/businesses around the junction. The letter drop took place on the afternoon of the 7 July 2014.
A letter drop on that date gave little opportunity for public comment to be incorporated in the design as it would have been highly likely that contracts for the work were already in place. Also there was no wider communication of the work through such routes as media releases. Communication of work such as this gives the opportunity for the public to avoid the area.
People can email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation letter/drawing or to provide comment.