THESE traffic lights have stood hooded and switched off for more than three years after being installed at a junction on a busy York road.

Motorists have to emerge into Heworth Green from Eboracum Way without assistance from the lights, and pedestrians have to cross roads without help from the pelican crossing “green man.”

Some residents in Eboracum Way say it would be helpful for the lights to be turned on now, to assist them in making right turns to enter and leave Heworth Green.

Resident Stuart Moody said it was particularly difficult during the morning and evening rush hours, while Martin Watson said: “It can be a nightmare.”

Highways chiefs say the volume of traffic emerging into the main road from Eboracum Way is too low to justify switching them on.

They say they will only be justified when traffic along Eboracum Way increases with the opening of the second phase of the James Street link road, which will link Lawrence Street with Heworth Green and relieve pressure on the inner ring road.

Dave Carter, head of network management at City of York Council, said the lights were installed by housebuilders Persimmon as a condition of planning consent on the site.

“Currently, the volume of traffic in Eboracum Way is too low to justify the lights being switched on, which was proved the case when we carried out a trial three years ago.

"The traffic demand at this junction will significantly increase once the link to James Street is completed and discussions with developers have been ongoing to achieve this.

“In the interim, the council is not opposed to trialling the traffic lights again if the demand is there. The main purpose of the lights has always been to cope with the traffic demands once the development is complete and the link road opens.”

Simon Usher, director in charge at Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said the lights were funded by Persimmon Homes and installed by the council.

“All work on our development was completed December 2009 and the traffic light junction has been formally handed over and adopted by City of York Council.

“Persimmon Homes has no further land holding in the vicinity or involvement in the delivery of the remaining development and link road.”