Pleased find below North Yorkshire County Council's Response to the Traffic Management Issues -
The County Council are aware of a number of concerns being raised in connection to the Traffic Management Plan (TMP) and the assessment of routes, as well as diversions that have had to be put in place temporarily. The TMP is clear in that all traffic to and from the well site is due to arrive via the A169, Malton to Pickering road. It will then travel along Kirby Misperton Road, through the village of Kirby Misperton along Main Street and then onto Habton Road. Some additional signage has been erected warning the public of construction traffic and a temporary speed limit of 30mph is in place on Habton Road, up to the well site access. Please be assured that the content of any communication received is duly noted and will be followed up with the operator.
The County Council are aware that temporary road closures of sections of Habton Road and Kirby Misperton Road have been put in place by North Yorkshire Police and that these have been deemed necessary for safety reasons when protests have taken place outside the KM8 well site at Kirby Misperton. As a result, traffic has been diverted through other villages in the vicinity of the site.
The County Council sympathise with the communities and understand the very real concerns of residents affected by the diverted traffic. We expect Third Energy and its operations at the KM8 well site to do everything it can to comply with the approved TMP, but we also acknowledge that there may be specific instances where the police need to instigate road closures in the area. In such circumstances, we will look to ensure diversion routes are signed to minimise any disruption which will occur but ultimately the police will need to make operation decisions to keep people safe, requiring diversions for road users.
Please note that although the TMP gave an estimated figure at peak times of four HGV’s per hour there is no requirement in the TMP that they arrive one at a time and at regular intervals. Therefore the TMP does not prohibit the convoying that has been taking place.
The County Council stance remains the same, that there is a single identified route set out in the TMP that Third Energy have to use which has measures in place to mitigate the impact of the traffic. However, when deemed necessary by NY Police (NYP) for safety reasons, traffic has been diverted onto other routes in the vicinity of the site.
The County Council continue to work closely with the Police to ensure the applicant can comply with the approved TMP where ever possible.
On the two specific points you raised:
It is not always practicable to inform local residents of every road closure that is urgently required but please be assured that the roads are re-opened as soon as possible with the diversion lifted. In addition I can advise that both NYP and NYCC endeavour to use social media to inform the public of situations as they arise
- The diversions for closures on Habton Road and Kirby Misperton Road are only put in to effect when the Police deem necessary and this is for short periods of time, in very much the same way as when there has been a collision and the road is blocked or unpassable due to flooding, basically when there is a risk to public safety. When the diversion is in place for the Habton Road closure the main routes in to Pickering from the A169 and the A170 for visitors to the area are not disrupted, it is only local traffic that is affected. If Kirby Misperton Road needs to be closed, the signed diversion is the best route on the network that is available using roads able to accommodate the traffic.
The Environment Agency's Newsletter is attached below -