31 July 2020
Pier Road in Whitby has been closed to through traffic during the busiest part of the day and the Swing Bridge is also closed to traffic on occasions, following pressure from Whitby Greens.
At the end of April it became clear that the volume of traffic particularly on the Pier Road (St Annes Staith) and the swing bridge was making it impossible for the increasing visitor numbers to Whitby to socially distance safely. Harriet and Howard Greenwood (Whitby Greens) contacted NYCC about this with various suggestions to make Whitby safer and their response was encouraging.
Howard Greenwood commented,
"We're delighted that measures have now been put in place including the closure of Pier Road to most traffic during the busiest part of the day. Dr Margaret Jackson has pointed out the health benefits of reduced traffic and we're hoping some of these changes can be made permanent."
Dr Jackson added,
"As a local GP I am very aware of the 'double trouble' caused by carbon producing transport -its contribution to carbon emissions and to more immediate health problems caused by air pollution and the health impacts of obesity (heart disease, diabetes etc.). Active travel (walking and cycling) offer the self-evident co-benefits of combating both problems. As a keen cyclist I have really appreciated the reduced motorised traffic on the roads in recent weeks. This must be an opportunity to think creatively and positively about the future use and design of our transport infrastructure."
Other ideas put forward to the County Council by the Greens include:
- using footway markings, cones or barriers to widen pavements for easier access to shops and services
- filtering residential streets to remove vehicular through traffic
- maintaining safe access to green spaces and nature
- temporary traffic calming
- lowering 30 mph speed limits to 20mph
- pop-up cycle lanes
Pier Road is closed on weekdays from 10:30am to 6:00pm and at weekends from 10.30am until safe to reopen to allow for pedestrians queuing.
New Quay Road, Whitby Swing Bridge and Lower Church Street (from the junction with Green Lane) are closed at weekends and Bank Holidays (except for essential access).