For many years the people living or working in Harrogate have used Kirk Deighton as a quick way to gain access to the A1.
The access is along a small back road, Mark Lane with a junction to turn left and a flyover to loop around and turn right.
This used to be junction with the A1, but has now become a junction with the A168 and a route to the A1(M), near to Wetherby Services. There are a significant volume of cars using this route and at peak hours there can be queueing of 10 or more cars.
There are of course alternate routes to join the A1(M), access nearer to Knaresborough and one South of Wetherby.
Wetherby has two access junctions, the one accessed via Kirk Deighton (or through Wetherby) and a junction that was originally near to the town centre and was moved 0.75mile south.
The village is located just North of Wetherby and has a population of less than 500.
Kirk Deighton residents have for many years had concern around the junction. They believe that using Mark Lane as an access route to the A1(M) is fundamentally wrong as the road is not built for the traffic it now receives. They have also monitored the junction and very few cars use the flyover – most turn right on a no-left-turn junction.
On approaching the junction to the A168 from Kirk Deighton, along Mark Lane, the junction is clearly signposted as a no right turn, both by a painted warning on the road and signs.
The Kirk Deighton Parish Council is very unhappy about the junction and has campaigned for many years to have the junction changed.
David Scorah, Chairman of the Kirk Deighton Parish Council said:
When the A1 moved to the A1(M) the Highways Authority believed that the majority of traffic would naturally take alternative routes, that simply hasn’t happened.
The junction needs greater enforcement of the no-right-turn and it needs a review of what is going on with the junction. It is used as a main route between Harrogate and the A1(M) and Mark Lane is such a small road it isn’t even classified as a B-road.
There are alternate routes that give equally as easy access to the A1(M), such as not turning onto Mark Lane, but heading through the village and heading towards Wetherby before turning left onto Deighton road. This is a route much more suitable for the volume for traffic.
For now we are asking for people to not turn right at the junction, when they know that they shouldn’t – please use the flyover!
Also, we are asking lorry drivers to respect that it is not a route for vehicles above 7.5tonnes.
Longer term, the junction needs a review. Traffic has increased in all areas of the country, but the volume of vehicles is crippling village. We think that this doesn’t need to happen give the number of other routes.