Traffic Management Group
The TMG is a committee of the Sutton under Whitestonecliffe Parish Council.
It was formed in early 2013, following previous Councils' attempts for decades, to tackle problems on the A170 including our village and Sutton Bank, caused by weight of traffic and repeated problems of HGVs stuck on the gradient and hairpin on Sutton Bank.
The membership of the TMG changed over time, including members of the public. The strength of the committee showed both the commitment of its constituents and the continuing and increasing severity of the problems for our parishioners and other road users, in the hundreds of incidents per year. (The numbers quoted on road signs have not been updated despite regular provision of new information.) It researched deeply and extensively a large range of issues. It logged evidence of incidents and negotiated with other bodies at length to share the information gathered and to suggest solutions.
EU regulations for the Primary Route Network at that time prevented limits on lorry weights on this section of the road via a Traffic Regulation Order. A later preferred option of a layby-based circle legally and practically sufficient for a lorry to turn without reversing down the highway was reported to be too expensive. HGVs have no option but to reverse against the flow of traffic to the first reversing turn possibility in a local lane.
The TMG's work reached a sort of conclusion in late 2018 when works were agreed with North Yorkshire Highways to install Variable Management Signs, deploying sensors under the road surface on the worst sticking points for detection of stationary vehicles. The information could then be indirectly conveyed to flashing signs, giving advance warning of slow moving traffic and blockages.
After some delays, those signs are now reported operative in their locations on the roads approaching White Mare Roundabout in Thirsk, where the A61 joins the A170. This could provide an opportunity for vehicles to re-route onto the A19, for example.
The TMG has not met since 2019. Restrictions on movement and association have played a part. Currently there are no plans to revive the committee. We are not confident that the fundamental issues on the road through the village and up the Bank have been fully resolved. Information is still welcome.