Draughton Parish Council plea to residents as Chelker safety probe continues

Chelker Reservoir

Chelker Reservoir

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Concerned villagers are seeking more information from drivers and the police as they continue investigating road safety on the busy A65 at Chelker.

Draughton Parish Council is asking residents to share information about road hazards at the scenic spot, amid calls for safety measures on the 60mph road alongside the Chelker Reservoir.

One of the worst road accidents, in May, left driver Denise Hirst struggling to keep her 88-year-old mother’s head above water, after their Land Rover left the road and plunged into the reservoir’s water.

The council is also asking police for more detailed road accident statistics, after council figures showed six cases of accidents resulting in personal injury between 2007 and last month.

There have been calls from some quarters for a safety barrier along the length of the road next to the reservoir.

Another car is known to have gone into the water after leaving the road, in a separate incident.

And a Toyota ended up on its roof on the A65 near the reservoir in September last year.

Residents and motorists who regularly use the road, one of the main routes between Ilkley and Skipton, are concerned there may have been more accidents, as well as near-misses, which are not being taken into account by council decision-makers.

Draughton Parish Council recently requested accident figures from North Yorkshire County Council highways officers. The parish council is now keen to see fuller statistics from North Yorkshire Police, including accidents which resulted in damage to vehicles but no injuries to drivers or passengers.

The council is inviting comments from villagers to help it build up a better picture of local concerns.

In an appeal to villagers, Draughton Parish Council said: “Following the Hirsts’ car accident at Chelker in May this year, the Parish Council is looking into issues of road safety along this stretch of the A65.

“If you have any comments, or have any experiences to share, please get in touch with us.”

Visit draughton.org to contact the council about road safety.

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