HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition to sort out speeding and congestion in Kirkbymoorside.

A key focus of the campaign is West End, near the centre of town, and West Fields, where the primary school is situated.

Petition organiser and local resident Becky Sealy said that the campaigners have two key aims - to slow down traffic at the school end of the road, and implement a one-way system in town to stop cars continually mounting the pavement on the narrow West End, which is effectively single lane due to permanent parking on one side.

She said that it's got so bad that when she goes to push her pram out of her front door onto the pavement, she has to reverse out, for fear of it being hit by an unseen car coming along the path.

"I've spoken to residents and they've been taking photos and videos of people driving on the paths," she said. "We couldn't sit back and wait until a child gets knocked over."

Motorists cannot legally drive on the pavement in the UK.

The volume of traffic is creating other issues. Vic Hoyland, who lives on the street in a 1740s listed home, said that the heavy traffic is a threat to the conservation area.
"All the stone-built conservation homes suffer from a variety of large vehicles mounting the pavement," he said.
"Wintertime splash of rain and snow is detrimental and costly to repair.

"Far too much heavy traffic enters at the bottom of West End - possibly believing this is the main route into town. It should be encouraged to stay on the A170.

"A one-way system needs to be revisited as a viable solution."

The petition, aimed at the county council which has responsibility for these roads, was placed in local businesses and attracted more than 200 signatures.

The county council has said it is consulting on the one-way system idea. "The county council is seeking views on a potential one-way system from the local bus companies, the town council and emergency services," a spokesman said.

In terms of limiting speed, Ms Sealy said that Kirkbymoorside Primary School, though it's set back slightly from the road, is the only one she's encountered in the county which doesn't have a 20mph zone. She added that local police have been "great" and have been doing road awareness sessions with the school council.

But the county council said that it can't prioritise funding for locations where there is not a history of accidents.

A spokesman said: “The local highway authority implements a rolling programme of local safety schemes designed to reduce the number of casualties on the county’s roads, often through the introduction of measures designed to reduce vehicle speeds.

"Collision cluster sites and routes of concern are highlighted for investigation and where necessary engineering remedial measures are implemented to address the collision pattern.

"Sites with a higher number of collisions are prioritised, but if the appropriate solution at a problematic site is beyond the budget available the scheme will be added to the county council’s reserve list for potential funding in the future.

"Sites such as West End, which do not have a personal injury collision history, are not a high priority and therefore it is often difficult to justify funding improvements."

The county council also drew attention to two countywide initiatives: the ‘95 Alive’ Partnership where concerns about speeding in the local area can be raised and investigated, and North Yorkshire Police’s 'Operation Spartan', a project which has been set-up to protect ‘vulnerable’ road users.