BAR HOUSE BENDS VEHICLE ACTIVATED SIGN – A660 BAR HOUSE – BETWEEN UPPER AND LOWER OLD POOL BANK

A Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS) has been erected at the Bar House Bends. The information below explains how this has come about.

I have been chasing Highways for an update on what their proposals are for the highway at the above location following the road accident fatality recently. I have now received the following update: 

My apologies regarding the length of time taken to respond to you on this matter. We have been awaiting further detail from the Police and as yet this has not been forthcoming, but we feel the below proposal can be undertaken in the interim and will provide a swift benefit. 

We are wary of installing a Speed Indication Device (SID) in this location. Whilst we feel they have had a generally positive short term impact, there is the counter-argument that they are often utilised by some road users to determine how fast they can go through these units. Whilst we do set the SID to not display above a certain speed, the potential for some road users to have raised their speed to this point, just shy of the bend where this incident has taken place is not desirable. Furthermore, as the SIDs are set in a manner which displays a negative message only above the speed limit, we are then informing drivers that 40mph is an acceptable speed, when the desire may be for them to lower their speeds slightly for the approaching bend. 

As an alternative, we currently have a vehicular activated sign (VAS) based on Gibson Lane, Kippax. This sign flashes at oncoming vehicles with a 30 roundel and a message stating ‘slow down’. The sign requires removing as the road is now part of a 20mph zone and we feel this could be utilised on the A660 just prior to the bend, on lighting column number 100.  

To ensure that this VAS does not appear out of place, we will also remove the 40mph repeater signage from lighting column 99, which is the previous column when approaching the bend. Additionally, on lighting column 98 by the bus stop there is currently a cross roads warning sign. We shall also install a supplementary sign plate here stating ‘Max speed 30’, to link in with the VAS.  

This approach is in line with the guidance set within Setting Local Speed Limits that highway authorities should appropriately warn of the hazard ahead, rather than reducing the speed limit along a longer length of highway that would be generally inappropriate, as we have previously detailed in historical correspondence. 

As a final measure, we will implement a ‘SLOW’ text road marking in line with lighting column 99, where the 40mph repeater sign is to be removed.  

If you are content with this approach, I will issue the necessary works to the contractors. SSEC indicate that the moving of the VAS could be undertaken approximately two weeks upon issue of the instruction and we believe the signage alterations could be accommodated within this timescale as well. The ‘SLOW’ text road markings are also due to be implemented shortly at the Church Hill bends in Bramhope and this could be undertaken within the same visit.”