Frustration grows over ‘rubble on the road’ saga in Knaresborough
Last updated Nov 22, 2023
The rubble on the road.

Residents and businesses in Knaresborough have expressed exasperation at the length of time it is taking to resolve the collapsed wall on Briggate.

Traffic lights have been in place since a section of the wall came down more than two months ago.

The lights have caused frequent delays on a key route in and out of Knaresborough, with traders claiming it is deterring people from shopping in town.

North Yorkshire Council has said work will finally start on Monday — but lights are likely to remain for several months.

Local people do not understand why a pile of rubble is proving so difficult to deal with, and fear it will hamper Christmas trade.

Bob McRae, who has lived in Knaresborough for 40 years, wrote to the council about the issue.

He praised council leader Carl Les and corporate director for environment Karl Battersby for replying promptly but said he failed to understand why this had become such a big issue. He said:

“People are frustrated. It’s just a bunch of rocks that have been sitting there and it seems nobody can pick them up. There could have been a temporary fix to get the traffic moving.”

Mr McRae also questioned whether council officers in Northallerton understood the impact the situation was having on the town.

The wall collapsed in September.

Hairdresser Kelly Teggin agreed, adding:

“I don’t believe in this day and age nothing can be done to get both lanes back open as soon as possible.

“All other roadworks should have been suspended as soon as the wall fell in September.

“Town and trade is massively affected and it’s not going to change before the end of January, which is disastrous for our town.”

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‘We cannot avoid emergency works’

Mr Battersby said the work was more complicated than initially thought.

He said:

“We have been working hard to prepare plans to rebuild the collapsed wall on Briggate in Knaresborough, which is currently under two-way lights to protect road users and ensure traffic can move safely.

“Due to concerns of the residents with cellars – who were directly impacted by the collapsed wall – the works are now more complex than first anticipated.

“Work will start on Monday, November 27, under the existing two-way lights, and is due to be concluded in late-December. In the new year (date to be confirmed), further maintenance work along the rest of the wall will take place – again, under two-way lights – to ensure its future integrity is maintained.”

The traffic lights on Briggate.

He added:

“We also have an embargo on other road works in the local area during this time. However, it is worth stressing, we cannot avoid emergency works.

“We appreciate Knaresborough Christmas events are due to take place in the coming weeks, and this may cause some delays, but safety must come first. To help prevent any delays, we will be manually controlling the lights during the Knaresborough Christmas Market, to ensure the movement of traffic.”


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