A HEARTFELT plea has been made for an 'unsafe' crossing point in Skipton not to be reinstalled following next month's Tour de France.

The pinch point crossing on Otley Road, close to Consort Street, is on the route of the Tour and will be temporarily removed as a safety measure.

But Skipton ward councillor, EricJaquin is calling for it to be removed permanently, and replaced with a zebra crossing.

Coun Jaquin said the crossing was well used by parents and their children going to the Children's Centre, the community nursery and Parish Church Primary School.

"All pedestrians using this crossing welcome a safe crossing point, but many people from the Regent estate fear it is an accident waiting to happen as many drivers coming towards the town centre actually speed up on the approach to beat the Give Way markings," he told the Craven Area Committee of North Yorkshire County Council.

He added: "Highways staff say that to qualify for a zebra crossing, the site would have to have a very good score, which I assume to mean an incidence of injury accidents.

"There is said to be very little money to spend on highways improvements, with the vast majority of available funding being used for maintenance work - such as filling potholes."

He understood that controlled crossings were described as 'very expensive' with the required surfacing on the approach to crossings as 'expensive'.

"On behalf of the schools, parents and their children, and the residents of the Regent estate to the North of Otley Road, I implore the council not to reinstate an unsafe crossing point, but to install a zebra crossing instead."

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: "We consulted on permanent removal of the “pinch point” and we took speed readings.

"The conclusion – in discussion with our local county councillor – was that the pinch point should be re-instated after the Tour de France.

"Based on the data, it was decided that the additional cost and maintenance required for a zebra crossing could not be justified at this location."