Traffic Management in Otley
By Jamie Walker, Prince Henry's Grammar School Sixth Form student
Otley is a narrow, often congested town, with lots of little streets that are frequently the sight of queuing traffic. Otley 2030 is very supportive of Otley Town Council's Street Vision plans that look to discover ways we can reduce traffic congestion in and around Otley.
One major suggestion that has come forth is to create more designated pedestrian-only zones. The purpose of this would be to encourage people to get more active by getting around town on foot and by leaving their cars at home. This would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also decrease the number of cars around Otley's streets, meaning that vehicles that do need access to roads, e.g. buses, will be able to get around more quickly as they are not stuck in traffic jams.
Another idea that has been put forward is to install a pedestrian crossing at the western end of Mill Lane, by the bridge over the Wharfe. This would allow pedestrians to cross a busy three-way junction with ease, and allow Prince Henry's Grammar School students, such as myself, to cross the road easily and get to school on time.
One final thought was to install a cycle hire hub in the Weston estate for residents of Weston to get into town. It is a good 20-minute stroll to the centre of Otley from the estate and quite a long walk for some people, especially when some may have additional needs, i.e. wheelchairs and pushchairs. The cycle hub would store bicycles, (some electric, some manual) and residents could call up and reserve a bike, then collect it from a member of staff, before setting off into town. Again, this initiative would not only cut down carbon emissions with more residents leaving their cars at home, but would also encourage people to get fit and more active.
If some of these ideas were put into effect, we could significantly improve Otley town's carbon footprint and it would be a big step in the right direction to making the town carbon neutral.