EXCLUSIVE: Danger junction petition launch

Wilberfoss parish councillors Lesley Hoyer, James Cann and David Smith and at one of the main Wilberfoss junctions on the A1079.
Wilberfoss parish councillors Lesley Hoyer, James Cann and David Smith and at one of the main Wilberfoss junctions on the A1079.

Hundreds of concerned residents have signed a petition calling for a new roundabout to be installed at one of two “dangerous” junctions on the A1079 near Wilberfoss.

The parish council has launched the petition for a roundabout to be built at either of the two main Wilberfoss junctions, where there have been numerous crashes in recent years. More than 780 people have signed the petition so far.

The council says the junctions are “no longer fit-for-purpose” and are “unsafe”.

Parish clerk Sarah Wills said: “It has long been felt that the junctions are dangerous and the number of 
accidents, and sadly fatalities, has proved this.

“With the need for increased housing in both Wilberfoss and the surrounding area, accessing the A1079 will become harder and 
more dangerous.”

Parish councillor Chris Clegg added: “We are seeking a new roundabout to manage the traffic flow safely and for the benefit of all, not simply to allow commuters on the A1079 an unrestricted journey eastbound or westbound at the expense of Wilberfoss residents’ safe access.

“We are told that a roundabout is not needed. Yet we see the waiting time to get onto the road grow and grow and accidents continue to happen.

“We want action now!”

Pocklington Provincial Ward councillor Andy Strangeway attended a meeting with East Riding Council officials on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

But following the meeting he told the Post: “It is highly unlikely [that a new roundabout will be built at either junction] unless there is an increase in demand in terms of traffic turning out of Wilberfoss or an increase in accidents.”

However, the council is planning to add hatched road markings, or diagonal road markings, on the slip road at the junction nearest Pocklington to try and improve visibility for drivers pulling out of the junction.

Action Access A1079 (AAA1079), a pressure group set up to improve the safety of the A1079, says the petition for the roundabout should be seen as the start of a long-running campaign.

Chairman of the action group, Grahame Hicks, said: “At the last meeting of AAA1079, Wilberfoss Parish Council sought support for their petition for a roundabout and the group agreed to support it. It is vitally important that local communities campaign for the improvements that they want because the process can be very long and drawn out. It may be necessary to repeat the petition annually, for example. Letters need to be written to MPs. Perpetual pressure needs to be maintained on ward councillors. If possible, some local business funding input will help. But still the key factor is the accident rate and only the local community can be relied upon to collate this.

“It should be borne in mind that it took 20 years from planning the (Pocklington) Hodsow Lane roundabout to getting it built and the Holme Road roundabout was called for when the Market Weighton by-pass was built and has only just been done. So Wilberfoss’s petition should be seen as the launch of a serious campaign that will have to be maintained over a long period of time.”

To view and sign the petition, visit www.change.org and search for Wilberfoss roundabout.