Road gets the cold shoulder

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TWO years ago I attended a job interview and a work trial at a place only accessible via the A1. My plan was to cycle in and out on the hard shoulder, only to discover, to my horror, that in places this part of the A1 has virtually no hard shoulder.

When built in the 1960s it was a thoroughly modern road. When road vehicles’ maximum widths were increased all that was done was to blank out the lane edge markings and grub-out the ‘cats-eyes’, the patches are still there.

This narrowed the former ‘hard shoulder’ somewhat, so much so that in places it doesn’t exist.

Luckily for me, I failed the audition as I couldn’t make the touchscreens work. More to the point, the A1 from Red House junction to Darrington is basically unfit for purpose. On all too long stretches a multiple, damage-only, ‘shunt’ is virtually inaccessible as the emergency services cannot move in along the narrowed hard shoulder as they do on modern roads.

At least the old parts of the A64 have a virtually unused ‘cycle-track’ (no cyclist with a brain uses that when there are safer and quieter parallel minor roads).

There’s no place to remove crashed vehicles to so the road can be cleared for use.

Now whenever a crash happens motorists select ‘shortest route’ around the crash on their sat-navs and sail blithely into the organised chaos of Pontefract and Castleford. Until the Department for Transport sorts out that stretch of road I cannot see anything being done about the crash overspill affecting us. You’ll note that there are no lorries in the overspill, they seem to have learned about Castleford’s weak bridge.

BILL HOULDER

Queens Avenue

Pontefract