I was recently asked by a resident if anything could be done about the number of HGVs going through the village and the knock on effect if any restriction was ever to be put on in Otley to the village as a result of concerns raised about Road Safety due to the recent spate of accidents in Otley. Set out below is the response from Highways:

“As you are aware, the matter of prohibiting HGV traffic through Pool has been explored in the past, as whilst Main Street and Arthington Lane are A-classified routes, we acknowledge that the width of the carriageway and the general highway environment (particularly on Main Street) is not necessarily suited to HGV traffic. However, any prohibition for HGVs through Pool (and Otley) would result in the displacement of this traffic onto the strategic network in North Yorkshire. North Yorkshire County Council have strongly expressed their concerns regarding the additional HGV traffic that would be displaced and indicated that they would object to any formal prohibition being advertised. An objection from another Local Authority to any proposal results in us not being able to proceed with that plan. Furthermore, without an indication of a change in stance from North Yorkshire regarding this matter, there is no merit in officers commencing a scheme, incurring costs to the Council, with no possible end product.

We have requested an up to date HGV count for Main Street to determine the current HGV usage through Pool, as the last survey we had conducted was in 2010. A 2014 survey exists for Pool Bank New Road. On the 2010 survey, there were a recorded 559 HGVs using Main Street. This in isolation seems a high number, however considering the then recorded total vehicle flow of 17340 vehicles, this amounts to only 3.2% of the total daily traffic and is generally in line with typical usage elsewhere. The 2014 survey shows the number of HGVs using Pool Bank New Road at 376 per day, against a total flow of 17121, amounting to 2.2% of daily traffic. Generally, the Council would only seek to ban HGVs on a road for environmental purposes such as this (rather than weight issues over a weak structure) where HGV usage is at 10% or more. Furthermore, there have been zero injury accidents in Pool in the last five years that are directly or indirectly related to HGVs. Considering the data noted here, we currently have no outstanding concerns that could be used as leverage against objections received to any proposed HGV prohibition in Pool.

With regards HGV usage generally, as noted we have no recent classification data for Pool, however for Otley I can give the following breakdown:

  • The fatal road traffic collision (RTC) on Otley Bridge on 10/09/2018 was the first RTC involving an HGV in Otley to be recorded since 2012.
  • For comparison, there were 5 such RTCs from 2006-2012.
  • Automatic Traffic Count (ATC) data from Newall Carr and Farnley Lane between January and May 2018 shows less HGV traffic per month than the average from January 2013 to December 2017.
  • ATC data from these two sites in June and July 2018 shows a spike in HGV traffic, the highest for any two month period since June and July 2007.
  • The ATC data for August 2018 shows slightly lower volumes than the preceding two months, although the total HGV count at the two sites in this month was still 20% higher than the average for the period from January 2015 to May 2018.
  • Manual Classified Count (MCC) data from Otley Bridge shows numbers of HGVs crossing Otley Bridge during 2018 which are consistent with figures from 2015 onwards
  • MCC data from Otley Bridge shows that the number of quarry HGVs recorded during 2018 has been much lower than the average from March 2012 to December 2017.

At the current time therefore, there is still no opportunity for Leeds City Council to consider prohibiting HGV traffic through Pool-in-Wharfedale. Once the survey data has been returned to us we can duly analyse those results and determine from there whether any consideration could be given to works accordingly.

As a final point, it is worth noting that a HGV prohibition would not prevent HGVs that require access to properties/ construction sites etc… Therefore there would still be HGVs using the roads through both Otley and Pool at times and we cannot permanently prohibit such vehicles from these roads.”