A steep country road at Arthington could be widened to avoid traffic problems being caused by struggling lorries.

Some quarry-bound HGVs continue to try to get into Arthington Quarry – despite clear advice from its owners not to – by heading up Black Hill Road, where they often run into difficulty.

Quarry owners Blackshaw Holdings Ltd has had to tow some vehicles that have failed to negotiate the hill, and are charging £250 a time for the service in an effort to deter drivers from using the route.

The problems have continued, however, and in July a Pool-in-Wharfedale driver had her car damaged by a lorry as it was making its third, unsuccessful attempt to climb up.

She contacted Coun Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale), who is now working with Leeds City Council officers to try to come up with a solution, which could include road improvements.

He said: “I’ve exchanged correspondence about this for at least three or four years, based on complaints from residents, and lately I’ve been getting more and more regular complaints about both the size of the vehicles and the direction they’re using to get into the quarry.

“The road is actually getting narrower and narrower because of the number and size of vehicles using it, as drivers are going into the sides to get past and wearing the road down.

“The quarry is doing its bit and is saying that by charging vehicles to tow them up the hill they’re effectively fining them, but because it’s a public road no one can actually stop the HGVs using it.

“I’m talking to officers and I think the council’s planning department needs to do something. The quarry company maybe needs to be a bit clearer about what it’s doing, and the highways department needs to start looking at getting the road improved.

“And as for the satellite navigation equipment that is being used by some of these vehicles, surely it can’t be too hard to install equipment that warns drivers some routes, like this hill, are an absolute no-no.”

Leeds City Council’s senior minerals planner, Louise White, said: “The hill from Arthington is so steep and, with the HGVs being very heavy, they’re struggling sometimes to get up.

“Coun Anderson has reported some people are concerned about the congestion that causes, and that a lady had been in an accident while one of the vehicles was making its third attempt to get up the hill.

“Myself and a number of other departments have been working together and have spoken to the quarry owner, and the operators up there.

“There’s no planning or highways restriction in place to prevent the use of HGVs coming from either direction. However, to help avoid problems the quarry and its operators do have a gentleman’s agreement with the lorry companies, who they have advised should have heavy vehicles approaching from the Bramhope direction, so they’re coming downhill.

“But problems can arise when a new, third party company gets involved and the driver is perhaps advised by his sat-nav to come up Black Hill Road.

“Where that’s happened and the quarry operator’s had to tow them up, they’ve fined them £250 a time so they are trying as far as possible to deter drivers coming from that direction.

“There’s little I can do in planning legislation to stop them using the uphill route but other things are being looked at by our highways team, including widening the road in certain places and possibly adding passing places.”

Blackshaw Holdings Ltd did not want to comment.

Although owned by Blackshaw Holdings Ltd, the quarry is used by several operators, principally organic waste recycling company Nutramulch.