A TEMPORARY change to the layout of a dangerous Skipton road junction to address safety concerns is due to start on Wednesday (April 8).

North Yorkshire County Council’s highways team is to remove the right turn from the A65 Skipton bypass at the Embsay and Eastby turn-off in an effort to improve safety at the junction which has seen two fatal crashes in two years.

County councillor, Don Mackenzie, Executive member for access, said essential road works and repairs were continuing despite the coronavirus outbreak.

“We appreciate that the current road usage is far from normal, however we feel that it is important that we continue to deliver our essential highway service and that includes important safety improvements like this,” he said.

Only vehicles leaving the Harrogate Road/The Bailey junction will be able to wait in the central reservation, removing the potential for confusion with other vehicles waiting to make a turn, says the council.

Drivers wanting to turn right off the bypass will have to continue for 1km to the A59/A65 Skibeden roundabout and then double back on themselves, along the A65 to make a left turn into Embsay turn off.

Barriers will be installed to make the change to the junction during the trial period.

Cllr Mackenzie added: “We have listened to residents who aired concerns about safety at the junction. This proposal aims to eliminate the main factors that contribute to collisions and confusion.

“We know residents will be happy to see the order in place, and when the roads are back in normal use the public will be consulted for their comments and suggestions on the improvements.”

Skipton county, district and town councillor, Andy Solloway, said: “This, in one way is a good example of us not completely forgetting other safety issues during this extraordinary crisis of the coronavirus.

“Key workers still using the highway network, especially those who maybe unfamiliar with the locality, still need our roads to be as safe as possible.

“My concern is that the less traffic out may give a different perspective on whether this is a real improvement or not. I still think a roundabout is the best solution to a dangerous junction here as a priority when we come out of this.”

Cllr Solloway added that people should follow Government advice and stay at home unless they absolutely needed to.

Asad Siddiq, 24, from Barnoldswick, was killed in an accident near the turn off in December, last year, and just over two years ago motorcyclist Edward Brier, 20 was killed and his girlfriend injured at the same junction.