Fishburn residents are up in arms about the proposed plans for the Mayfield Road junction and made their anger felt at Whitby Town Council’s monthly meeting on Tuesday.
A crowd of around 30 concerned residents joined the council in condemning North Yorkshire County Council’s plans, which many believe will isolate the Fishburn park area and transform it into a ‘ghetto’.
Meadowfield resident Mr Dixon Snr said: “The council should put this on the fire. The man was an idiot to draw it, Where’s he living? In the real world? It isnt even worth considering.”
Coun Ian Havelock added: “I’m most afraid of this new option. There are numerous examples of very poor planning in our town and this obsession with traffic planning is useless. We could save a lot of money by simply tweaking the traffic lights.”
The junction is currently 23rd on the list of accident black spots in North Yorkshire, according to Coun Niall Carson, and resident Helen Minter said that the plans are only set to make things worse.
“It’s going to be absolute bedlam,” she said. “Have one accident and it’s going to be just plain dangerous.”
Many residents have complained that the consultation has been extremely limited, even “sneaky”, as only a few members of the public have actually received notifications about the plans.
Michael Smith lives on Waterstead Crescent and he said: “It was a week after the petition was put out we got to know about it. We got second hand information but we’re the ones it could affect the most.”
Similarly, Jill Hunter added: “I’ve had the new proposal and it says ‘please fill in the new questionnaire’ and yet there’s no questionnaire included. How strange? I think there’s some decidedly sneaky things going on in that noone in our area was told about it and we found out through the ‘underground’.”
Nick Parker, owner of Railway Chippy, ensured that residents got their say by personally photocopying copies and handing them out. “The first proposal is crackers,” he said. “It will destroy all of the small businesses in the area.”
Following the public outcry when initial plans were published, an alternative suggestion has now been proposed, but this has met with equally fierce resistance.
Coun Simon Parkes lives on Prospect Hill, near the junction, and said that he has often called the emergency services after spotting an accident at the junction.
“We have got to unite and defeat this,” he said. “Nobody is for it as they can see the distress it will cause.”
Part of the proposal is for all traffic heading out of Waterstead Lane to be forced to turn left, across the New Bridge.
With residents struggling to find a logical reason why this would be the case, some residents even suggested that there may be a “conspiracy theory” where Sainsbury’s and Homebase, who are partially funding the project, are attempting to draw people towards their store.
The stores’ involvement has arisen as part of a section 106 agreement whereby a proportion of money is offered by the proposer of a large development to assist with a separate town improvement project.
They have chosen to contribute towards the Mayfield junction redevelopment as a means of alleviating the extra traffic the new store will bring through the town.
Coun Joyce Stangoe added: “I am concerned our councils are being driven by major retailers.”
A public meeting is currently being organised in the near future, where members of NYCC’s highways department will meet with the council to face their concerns.
However resident Ian Dixon was sceptical that responses from the consultation would be taken seriously, adding: “I get the feeling whatever you say, things happen anyway. Look at park and ride - those people just do not listen.”