Back to drawing board on Newall Carr Road ban

First published in Our view by

What is the point of having any kind of ‘localism bill’ if a bigger authority is able to overturn the wishes of locally elected members.

It is right to ask this question again in the wake of the incident when a cement mixer lorry overturned and smashed through a safety barrier as it was heading down Newall Carr Road.

Like all involved our thoughts are with the lorry driver who is in a serious condition in a Leeds hospital.

Perhaps a cement mixer might not be the best example as it may have been making a local delivery.

But as has been pointed out before, Newall Carr Road is not suitable for HGVs.

It has a large school on one side and a hospital on the other and after a campaign some while ago the crash barrier was installed.

Now residents and other campaigners are renewing the call for a ban — more than sensibly based on road weight restrictions — on north-south movements of HGVs through the town.

Otley Town Council voted unanimously in favour of the move in 2008 but North Yorkshire County Council has consistently opposed the move.

Leeds City Council could introduce a ban but as a neighbouring authority it could lodge a statutory objection.

The county council must now go back to the drawing board on this issue.

Even more important is that they listen, and act on local people’s wishes — even if it goes against their own views.

Once the circumstances surrounding this incident have become more clear constructive talks need to be held.

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