FRESH calls are being made for HGV travel to be curtailed in parts of Wharfedale.

There have been a number of attempts to introduce a 'lorry ban' in places like Otley and Pool-in-Wharfedale in recent years - though none have progressed.

The latest comes from Leeds City Councillor Matthew Robinson (Con, Harewood) and is focused on putting HGV restrictions on a section of the A659 that includes Harewood, Arthington and Pool.

Cllr Robinson has started a petition on which has attracted more than 500 signatures in a week.

It says: "Leeds City Council should bring forward plans to restrict HGVs using the A659 between Collingham, Harewood, Arthington and Pool-in-Wharfedale.

"Residents are growing increasingly concerned that HGVs are using this route as a 'rat run' or short cut rather than using the upgraded A1, as was intended.

"The A659 is a narrow road with many difficult bends and junctions that were never intended to cater for HGV traffic, making the route difficult for motorists and cyclists.

"The current situation sits contrary to the council's declared Climate Emergency resolution from March, 2019 and isn't in line with the ambitions of Leeds City Council to improve air quality."

Among those supporting the move is the Headteacher of Pool C of E Primary School, Sally Fox, who on the petition site says that she has 'daily concerns for the safety of our school community who walk to school due to the heavy traffic and HGVs driving right by our school gates'.

Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) has also signed the petition. He said: "Road safety, air quality and climate impacts are serious concerns for local residents and we must continue to press the case.

"With my Harewood colleagues, Caroline - fellow ward Councillor Caroline Anderson - and I are hoping to get both Leeds City Council and North Yorkshire County Council to listen and act.

"The cooperation that would be necessary between both local authorities would be deciding on the best route for these vehicles to take. The problem is going to be that some part of the locality would need to take an increased amount of traffic if Harewood and Pool are to see a reduction."

A Leeds City Council spokesman said: "The A659 is recognised by the Department for Transport as an important route in our road network. Any restrictions may require lengthy diversions, which may lead to some vehicles using more minor roads, causing road safety issues and worsening air quality on those roads.

"We also recognise that many of these vehicles are providing goods and services that are essential to our residents, communities and economy. Previous surveys have indicated that the level of HGVs as a percentage of total traffic flow has been very low, indicating that many are accessing the area for local access reasons.

“Imposing such a restriction has therefore not been something that we have decided to proceed with, but when we see the petition we can consider any further action.”