PEOPLE in Stockton-on-the-Forest have joined forces with their MP and councillors to fight road closure plans which they say would leave the village cut off.

Under current proposals put forward by the Highways Agency and their contractors A-one+, supported by the City of York Council, Barr Lane is to be put through a trial closure beginning in February.

But the road is used by many of the residents in Stockton on the Forest as the main connection point onto the A64, and residents and their elected representatives are all calling the the Agency to drop the idea.

Concerns have been raised by the Highways Agency and others over the safety of the junction, following accidents and one fatality in recent years. However, local residents and their representatives insist that the alternative route via the Hazelbush crossroads is far more dangerous and has seen many more accidents.

The scheme is due to start on February 23 and will involve the installation of a 500m barrier along the westbound verge of the A64, and across the junction with Barr Lane. Consultation will take place once the trial begins, but residents want earlier discussions to decide whether or not to proceed with the trial in the first place.

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said: “I am extremely disappointed with these proposals from the Highways Agency and their partners, including the City of York Council, which will see the mass of local knowledge from the very people who live in village completely ignored. I have written to the Highways Agency’s Regional Director and the Transport Minister, Robert Goodwill MP, who I know has used the road himself, to urge them to reconsider the proposal.”

Stockton-on-the-Forest parish councillor, Rosey Dunn added: “The parish council were not made aware of the proposal to close the road until recently, but have since seen an unprecedented response from local residents, with nearly 40 in attendance at our most recent meeting.

"The vast majority of residents use Barr Lane over Hazelbush because it is much much safer. The parish council will strongly oppose this trial until a much safer alternative route is put forward.”