Road’s pros and cons
WHAT a surprise that Roger King should applaud the ring road (Letter, December 12) as he was involved in the planning, design and construction of the work.
I also have lived in Haxby for 30-plus years and recall very clearly the reservations that were raised at that time, the main one of which was the proposed two-lane highway for the northern section (the A1237).
It quite obviously should have been two lanes in each direction, as is the A64 to the south of York. Comparisons of the traffic flow on each of these sections at peak times highlights the problems we now face on the A1237 too frequently.
Yes, traffic conditions could well be worse now without the current setup. However, how much better could they have been had these planners taken into account factors which were quite obvious to ordinary road users at that time.
L Woodward, Oaken Grove, Haxby, York.
• ROGER KING told us (Letters, December 11) that the 25th anniversary of York’s A1237 should remind us that we’d be in chaos without it.
I have a great respect for Roger’s then professional role as a highway engineer. But while the road initially addressed existing congestion levels, it has since created chaos by stimulating many additional local journeys.
The effects of severance by the road on local communities outside it should also be recalled. Most non-motorised travellers who wished to cross it faced a traffic maelstrom. The only segregated crossings were at Haxby Road and Low Poppleton Lane, where local schools generated high cyclist counts.
Initially it ran through the territory of Ryedale District Council, which promptly encouraged large-scale retail development along the route.
York’s subsequent conversion to a unitary authority plus incorporation of the A1237 into its enlarged boundary, allowed the new City of York Council to introduce planning and land use policies that discouraged car dependency.
With grants, they were able to build more segregated crossings. We now have a cyclist and pedestrian underpass at Rawcliffe, one planned at the A59 intersection, plus centre refuges at Knapton and Foxwood Lanes. But other roundabouts deter cycling for local travel.
Perhaps history will record that the road became a victim of its initial success.
Paul Hepworth, Windmill Rise, Holgate, York.
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