NORTH Yorkshire Council has been urged to get on and complete a 'road to nowhere' aimed at removing heavy traffic from the centre of Skipton.

A new road linking Ings Lane and Engine Shed Lane to the A629 Skipton bypass has been in the pipeline since 2017 as part of the former Craven District Council's £4.68 million Skipton Employment and Housing Growth scheme.

Funded by the government’s Growth Deal scheme via the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, it was to include the creation of a new pedestrian footpath to Sandylands Sports Centre along Engine Shed Lane, and also improvements to pedestrian routes to the town centre, including the canal towpath.

The project also originally included improvements to the area around the railway station.

While Engine Shed Lane has been resurfaced, and speed bumps and double yellow lines installed, there is still no pedestrian walkway, and crucially, no link road to the bypass. The council's redeveloped waste management depot is in Engine Shed Lane, along with several other businesses, including the Turntable Cafe.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Engine She Lane, looking towards Ing Lane Engine She Lane, looking towards Ing Lane (Image: Lesley Tate)

North Yorkshire Council, which replaced Craven Council in April this year, told the Craven Herald that there remained funding to build the link road, and that following the completion of a flood modelling assessment, it would be looking to move it forward.

But, while welcoming the news, Craven councillors have urged North Yorkshire Council to get on with it as a matter of urgency.

Cllr Peter Madeley, deputy mayor of Skipton Town Council said it was a question of when.

"The whole purpose of the road was to help to stop wagons coming into town and using Carleton New Road because it is such a dangerous road. It is good news that it is going ahead, but the question is when, they need to get on with it, because at the moment, we have a road to nowhere."

Councillor Andy Solloway (Skipton West and West Craven, North Yorkshire Ind) said there were also issues with the double yellow lines, which he claimed were 'largely unenforceable'.

He said: "I have been hassling for this link road to be finished on Engine Shed Lane plus lobbying for a footway to be put in.

"This link road will change the way heavy traffic comes into and out of Skipton and will mean that we can make other junctions safer for pedestrians and drivers (including the junction opposite the railway station). It’s time they got on with it.

"The irony about the double yellow lines is that they put them in where the road goes round a corner to the left, to try and stop cars parking there, yet all the truckers say that because of how narrow the road is, they would have to drive on the other side of the road to get round the corner anyway, regardless of whether there was a car parked there or not."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Engine Shed Lane, looking towards the bypassEngine Shed Lane, looking towards the bypass (Image: Lesley Tate)

Cllr Andy Brown (Aire Valley, Green) said: "I am regularly told by residents of Cononley that yet another heavy vehicles has tried to get through narrow village streets to gain access to Engine Shed Lane without going under a low bridge.

"People in Skipton are similarly fed up with unnecessary heavy traffic constantly going through their streets. So it is an utter scandal that the much better route from that industrial estate to the new bypass has yet to be connected. All that is required is a few yards of tarmac and this connection was firmly planned by the former Craven District Council. The new North Yorkshire Council is letting us all down by failing to complete the works."

North Yorkshire Council’s corporate director of environment, Karl Battersby, said:“The funding approved by the former Craven District Council to support the costs of constructing the road is in the capital programme and remains available to the project.

“A new flood modelling assessment is currently under way and when it is completed, we will be looking to move the project forward.”