A COUNCILLOR is calling for a fresh approach to tackle the number of HGVs passing through Pool-in-Wharfedale.

Leeds City Councillor Matthew Robinson (Con, Harewood) started a petition earlier this year calling for restrictions to be introduced on a section of the A659 that includes Harewood, Arthington and Pool.

The move was the latest in a series of - unsuccessful - attempts that have been made over recent years to introduce ‘lorry bans’ in places like Otley and Pool. Among those backing the call were Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) and the Headteacher of Pool C of E Primary School.

But Cllr Anderson has now been told, in a detailed response from the Highways department, that there is currently ‘no opportunity for Leeds City Council to consider prohibiting HGV traffic through Pool’.

The message says: “The matter of prohibiting HGV traffic through Pool has been explored in the past as, whilst Main Street and Arthington Lane are A-classified routes, we acknowledge that the width of the carriageway and the general highway environment is not necessarily suited to HGV traffic.

“However, any prohibition for HGVs through Pool (and Collingham/Otley, as the two towns at the other end of the A659) would result in the displacement of this traffic onto the strategic network in North Yorkshire.

“North Yorkshire County Council have strongly expressed their concerns regarding the additional HGV traffic that would be displaced and indicated that they would object to any formal prohibition being advertised.

“An objection from another Local Authority to any proposal results in us not being able to proceed with that plan. Furthermore, without an indication of a change in stance from North Yorkshire regarding this matter, there is no merit in officers commencing a scheme.”

Cllr Anderson, however, believes a new approach is needed. He said: “I am disappointed with the response.

“We need to ascertain if there is any flexibility in North Yorkshire’s position. However, if it turns out there isn’t at the end of the day what I and my colleagues are arguing for is safety for residents in our areas.

“In my view the only solution to this problem is for Leeds City Council to develop a comprehensive transport policy for this area including any potential crossings of the River Wharfe, and any additional relief/ring roads that may be necessary.

“It is incumbent upon the highways officers to come up with solutions. If they come at a cost it is then up to politicians both within the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and North Yorkshire County Council to work together in order to try and find the finance necessary. I will continue to work with my colleagues to try to find a solution to this problem.”