Work has started on the £56m Doncaster relief road which has angered some environmental campaigners but which is expected to bring thousands of jobs to a deprived part of our region.
The road will link the M18 motorway to Robin Hood Airport at Doncaster - the first phase of one of Yorkshire's most ambitious regeneration projects.
But councillors have been forced to defend their decision to allow the road to be built through green belt land. David Hirst reports.
Roads in Yorkshire are among the worst in the country when it comes to potholes. According to data the B6273 South Moor Road in Barnsley and King Lane in Leeds have been identified as the worst in the country.
The number of people putting in claims for compensation for pothole related damage has risen by 79 per cent in the last year.
The number of deaths on South Yorkshire's roads has remained at its lowest level since 2003, according to the local Safer Roads Partnership. 29 people were killed last year from collisions, a reduction from its peak in 2006 when 71 people died.
The number of people classed as seriously injured also remained relatively low compared with the previous decade. 450 were "seriously injured" last year, compared with 684 in 2003.
It is pleasing to see that we have had no child fatalities on South Yorkshire roads in 2012, and that the total number of child casualties has also fallen. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. Every injury collision causes pain, grief and suffering for the families and communities involved. We shall continue to develop and deliver initiatives that have an impact in reducing risk and casualties.
The results in South Yorkshire match those around the country, where total road deaths since 2002 have fallen by almost 50%. This equates to almost 1,700 lives saved every year. The volume of traffic over the same period increased slightly, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Road safety charity Brake says cutting road police officer numbers will cost more in the future. it comes as figures reveal the average number of police officers cut in Yorkshire is 24 per cent.
“It is desperately worrying such large cuts continue to be made to traffic policing, just as progress is being made to improve the law on deadly drug driving. Roads police officers do a vital job enforcing important safety laws and protecting the public – their work is proven to save lives and prevent injuries and suffering. Cutting traffic police is a false economy, because the crashes and casualties they help to prevent inflict such devastation and are a huge drain on public services.
"These cuts also undermine important progress being made by government to tackle drug driving – because as much as we need a new drug driving law and screening devices, we also need the officers out there to enforce it. We urge the government to make roads policing a national policing priority, to make sure we have a strong deterrent against the risk-taking on roads that can easily cost lives.”
Road Safety charity brake says the reduction in road police officers will cause more accidents - and even deaths.
List of reductions in road police officers by area
- North Yorkshire - 26.68 per cent reduction
- South Yorkshire - 29.78 reduction
- West Yorkshire - 16.8 per cent reduction
- Lincolnshire - 5.07 per cent reduction
- Derbyshire - 25.95 per cent reduction
A charity says traffic police cuts in the region could mean drink and drug drivers get away with it.
Traffic police numbers in Yorkshire have dropped on average by twenty four per cent between two thousand and eight and two thousand and twelve. Charity Brake says lives could be lost.
Overall, between 2008 and 2012 traffic police officers across Great Britain decreased by 12 per cent.
The president of the Automobile Association, Edmund King, said "about a third" of AA members had made insurance claims in the past two years as a result of cars being damaged by potholes.
A programme of road improvements to repair the damage caused by last year’s severe flooding has been announced today by North Yorkshire County Council.
The Council is to spend an additional £857,000 tackling highways drainage issues – on top of a £723,000 programme already agreed. In addition, the council had already allocated £2 million to pay for road repairs.
Two roads in West Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have made it onto a list of busy higher-risk roads despite the fact that speed cameras and traffic management schemes have drastically cut serious accidents on 10 previously dangerous stretches of road.
Fatal and serious crashes on the 10 most improved routes have dipped from 541 in the period 2001-2005 to 209 in 2006-2010, according to figures from the Road Safety Foundation
Over the two survey periods, fatal and serious crashes fell from 34 to just nine. Speed enforcement with fixed and mobile cameras is in use on all but two of the 10 most improved roads.
Changes to the layout and traffic management at junctions are common features. Other measures include new traffic signals to control traffic flow; restricting turning movements on to roads with high traffic levels or poor visibility; widening entry and exit lanes and advanced warning signs.
The A642 from Wakefield to Huddersfield and a section of the A1101 from Outwell in Norfolk to Long Sutton in Lincolnshire have been named as high risk roads. It is because they have higher-than-average traffic flows, a high crash density and an above-average risk rating.
Britain's persistently highest-risk road is a stretch of the A537 from Macclesfield in Cheshire to Buxton in Derbyshire.
North Yorkshire County Council has announced it will provide a free shuttle bus following the closure of Tadcaster bridge due to flooding.
The free service will run between 8am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday until further notice.
The shuttles will be two 25 seater buses operated by Harrogate and District's Coastliner service. The route the buses will take will be:
- Tadcaster East (Bus Station > Commercial Street > York Road > A64) to
- Tadcaster West (Leeds Road > Garnet Lane > Woodland Avenue > Stutton Road > Leeds Road > High Street > St Mary's Church)
The buses will then run in the opposite direction.