Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

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NICK 647063
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Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by NICK 647063 » Fri Oct 22, 2021 22:25

Hi All

I often work around North Yorkshire and cannot for the life of me understand why does the A61 still run from J50 of the A1(M) to Thirsk?

Coming down the A1(M) if I need Thirsk or anywhere towards Helmsley on the A170 I come down to J49 and straight on the dual carriageway A168, the A61 has a weight limit in Thirsk but that route through Skipton on swale and Carlton Miniott is so much slower! And I’m always following traffic doing the same route, even from Ripon it’s a simple mile down the A1(M) to J49 and on to Thirsk…..

What’s the reason for the A61 east of the A1(M)? Surely if downgrade to B status it would pull even more traffic away from it which would basically bypass the villages and remove a primary route A Road from Thirsk town centre, I must be missing something as it’s a simple downgrade and a win win situation I would say….

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by bart » Fri Oct 22, 2021 22:54

I think the problem might be that this would encourage traffic onto Dishforth Road. The signed route from Ripon to Thirsk is via the A61 and Google maps says there's only 1 minute's difference from J50 to (the centre of) Thirsk between that route and the A1(M)/A168. If you were to downgrade the A61 east of the motorway, would the signed route (or the sat-navved route) instead take you down the A1(M)? And if you're going from Ripon to J49, Dishforth Rd is much more direct. I note that there's such a desire to keep traffic off Dishforth Rd that, from the A168, Ripon is signposted down the A1(M) to J48 and on the B6265, even though this is significantly longer and slower than the direct route.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by KeithW » Sat Oct 23, 2021 09:48

The A61 is a significant road that links the East Midlands , South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. Rather like the A6 few people are going to drive its full length but that doesn't mean it should be downgraded. Specifically in North Yorkshire it links Harrogate and Ripon to Darlington and Tyneside via the A1(M) and Teesside via the A19.

The A61 between Harrogate and the A1(M) has an AADF of around 16k. Dissuade traffic from using it and you will end up throwing it onto the A59 and routing it through Knaresborough which has enough problems as it is. For the record in the 1970's when I worked for ICI Fibres division the HQ of which was in Harrogate so I was often driving from Middlesbrough to Harrogate. If anything we should be upgrading the A61 between Harrogate and the A1(M) as it gets very congested at peak periods. In fact there was a thread on Sabre discussing just this.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=41805&p=1141185&hil ... s#p1140501
https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/traffic-c ... resborough

Leeds to the A1(M) traffic most uses either the A64 or M1 in any case.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by stu531 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 10:01

I use Dishforth Road myself as, from (say) Teeside to Harrogate, it's a more direct and faster route. But as a route choice, it's quite meandering and isn't so wide. The A61 from the A1 to Ripon is a much wider, less winding route.

So I think the A61 it's preserved because of the fact that Dishforth Road is not a great route. As Bart says, traffic is discouraged from using it, as in this.

If Dishforth Road was ever to be improved (and I very much doubt it ever would), then you could imagine the A61 re-routing this way and eventually meeting the A19 at Thirsk Bypass.

Interesting point that Keith brings up about improving Harrogate routes. Again I don't think the A61 from HG to Ripon would ever be upgraded; more likely that the A59 would get upgraded, given that it'll now have S4 on a length heading west from the A1. But then considering Harrogate is so much an 'old money' town, there's little local desire to improve roads or connectivity from it!

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by Bryn666 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 18:37

This probably requires J49 to be full free-flow before it's really viable. But you can probably at least divert HGVs if the A61 is deemed unsuitable and remove primary status.
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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by KeithW » Sun Oct 24, 2021 08:09

Bryn666 wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 18:37
This probably requires J49 to be full free-flow before it's really viable. But you can probably at least divert HGVs if the A61 is deemed unsuitable and remove primary status.
The Dishforth Road is not a route I would recommend as a diversion route for HGV's, its very narrow in places and goes right past houses.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.14269 ... 8192?hl=en

Then there is the matter of the weight restriction.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.14351 ... 8192?hl=en

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by JLRacerZz » Sun Oct 24, 2021 08:50

yeah i agree with stu there was talk about a61 Killinghall bypass but that has become the next battle ground as i would say

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by KeithW » Sun Oct 24, 2021 09:19

One thing worth remembering is that the A61 and Disforth Road run from the same roundabout NE of Ripon so Harrogate is a problem either way.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by Bryn666 » Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:27

KeithW wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 08:09
Bryn666 wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 18:37
This probably requires J49 to be full free-flow before it's really viable. But you can probably at least divert HGVs if the A61 is deemed unsuitable and remove primary status.
The Dishforth Road is not a route I would recommend as a diversion route for HGV's, its very narrow in places and goes right past houses.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.14269 ... 8192?hl=en

Then there is the matter of the weight restriction.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.14351 ... 8192?hl=en
Given the OP specifically says EAST of the A1(M) to Thirsk no one is talking about sending HGVs down Dishforth Road except for join the A168 from the A1..
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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by JohnnyMo » Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:35

KeithW wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 09:19
One thing worth remembering is that the A61 and Disforth Road run from the same roundabout NE of Ripon so Harrogate is a problem either way.
Except Ripon (A61) is signposted from here on the A59 and Ripon is signposted from here on the A61. Both route bypass Harrogate.
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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by KeithW » Sun Oct 24, 2021 12:19

JohnnyMo wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:35
Except Ripon (A61) is signposted from here on the A59 and Ripon is signposted from here on the A61. Both route bypass Harrogate.

It all rather depends on where you are starting from.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by ForestChav » Sun Oct 24, 2021 12:59

Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:27
KeithW wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 08:09
Bryn666 wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 18:37
This probably requires J49 to be full free-flow before it's really viable. But you can probably at least divert HGVs if the A61 is deemed unsuitable and remove primary status.
The Dishforth Road is not a route I would recommend as a diversion route for HGV's, its very narrow in places and goes right past houses.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.14269 ... 8192?hl=en

Then there is the matter of the weight restriction.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.14351 ... 8192?hl=en
Given the OP specifically says EAST of the A1(M) to Thirsk no one is talking about sending HGVs down Dishforth Road except for join the A168 from the A1..
That was my initial impression too, but when I looked on a map in a bit more detail, I think people are meaning that if the traffic is being encouraged to use the A1 and A168 to Thirsk from the end of the A61 (as it would be) then they would just as easily try and cut off that corner by using Dishforth Road instead and heading straight to the A168.
C, E flat and G go into a bar. The barman says "sorry, we don't serve minors". So E flat walks off, leaving C and G to share an open fifth between them.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by Bryn666 » Sun Oct 24, 2021 13:13

Yes that's a potential issue, presumably if Knaresborough and Harrogate get sorted out this will send more traffic to J47. You could then remove the A61 number north of Harrogate entirely.
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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by Micro The Maniac » Sun Oct 24, 2021 13:15

Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:27
Given the OP specifically says EAST of the A1(M) to Thirsk no one is talking about sending HGVs down Dishforth Road except for join the A168 from the A1..
Yebbut...
If the A61 east of the A1 was downgraded, then traffic for Thirsk would look for the optimal route - and A61+B1xxx may be suboptimal compared to DishforthRoad+A168/A19

ETA: Too slow... ForestChav has already made this point.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by ForestChav » Sun Oct 24, 2021 13:49

Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 13:13
Yes that's a potential issue, presumably if Knaresborough and Harrogate get sorted out this will send more traffic to J47. You could then remove the A61 number north of Harrogate entirely.
Knaresborough and Harrogate are more an A59 issue though. Which is fine, but perhaps not directly workable for the A61, being in different directions.

If you wanted to do the obvious and take the A59 out of Knaresborough (which they should - especially between the B6165 and the river crossing) it's probably already been done for you, by taking the A658 and A661 into Harrogate instead of the A59, which could then terminate at the same roundabout with the A59 without any multiplexes or silliness. The issue would then be more what you'd need to do with Harrogate, which may well amount to being nothing sensible, given that Harrogate extends NE of the A59 by some way with no obvious way round unless you find another way around Knaresborough (e.g. bypassing both together to the north).

As for the A61, the only obvious thing I can think of doing (unless you can bypass Harrogate to the West) is to just send it along the A658 and end it on the A59.
C, E flat and G go into a bar. The barman says "sorry, we don't serve minors". So E flat walks off, leaving C and G to share an open fifth between them.

Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by jabbaboy » Sun Oct 24, 2021 17:04

Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 13:13
Yes that's a potential issue, presumably if Knaresborough and Harrogate get sorted out this will send more traffic to J47. You could then remove the A61 number north of Harrogate entirely.
Not sure I agree with that mind. Ripon is a primary destination and rightly should be considering it's a city. The A61 will always be the quickest route from Harrogate from there. Similar it deserves it Primary route from the North. The route to the A1(M) South is different depending on the direction though with traffic heading towards Ripon traffic along a B road - arguments for it to be an A road? Seems like it should be imo but heading towards the A1(M) taken North up the A61.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by ForestChav » Sun Oct 24, 2021 17:11

jabbaboy wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 17:04
Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 13:13
Yes that's a potential issue, presumably if Knaresborough and Harrogate get sorted out this will send more traffic to J47. You could then remove the A61 number north of Harrogate entirely.
Not sure I agree with that mind. Ripon is a primary destination and rightly should be considering it's a city. The A61 will always be the quickest route from Harrogate from there. Similar it deserves it Primary route from the North. The route to the A1(M) South is different depending on the direction though with traffic heading towards Ripon traffic along a B road - arguments for it to be an A road? Seems like it should be imo but heading towards the A1(M) taken North up the A61.
Like other small cities, I doubt Ripon would be considered such without the cathedral. Ely is a city too, but not of any great traffic importance, though it's still on the A10.
C, E flat and G go into a bar. The barman says "sorry, we don't serve minors". So E flat walks off, leaving C and G to share an open fifth between them.

Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by NICK 647063 » Sun Oct 24, 2021 17:44

KeithW wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 09:48
The A61 is a significant road that links the East Midlands , South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. Rather like the A6 few people are going to drive its full length but that doesn't mean it should be downgraded. Specifically in North Yorkshire it links Harrogate and Ripon to Darlington and Tyneside via the A1(M) and Teesside via the A19.

The A61 between Harrogate and the A1(M) has an AADF of around 16k. Dissuade traffic from using it and you will end up throwing it onto the A59 and routing it through Knaresborough which has enough problems as it is. For the record in the 1970's when I worked for ICI Fibres division the HQ of which was in Harrogate so I was often driving from Middlesbrough to Harrogate. If anything we should be upgrading the A61 between Harrogate and the A1(M) as it gets very congested at peak periods. In fact there was a thread on Sabre discussing just this.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=41805&p=1141185&hil ... s#p1140501
https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/traffic-c ... resborough

Leeds to the A1(M) traffic most uses either the A64 or M1 in any case.
Unless you actually are doing a drive of the full A61 you would never use it all! Even when I’m in Leeds city centre and wanting Ripon it’s actually far quicker to use the A64/A1(M) and B6265….. the A61 is pretty much pointless these days as a complete route……

As for this topic I was clear to state East of the A1(M), yes Dishforth road is shorter but it’s already used as a shortcut and I can’t see that would change, some people simply follow signs and if the A61 was downgraded then Thirsk would simply be signed onto the A1(M) to the next Junction J49, I just think the positives of removing an A road from Thirsk outweigh the risk of a few rat runners.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by jabbaboy » Sun Oct 24, 2021 19:02

ForestChav wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 17:11
jabbaboy wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 17:04
Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 13:13
Yes that's a potential issue, presumably if Knaresborough and Harrogate get sorted out this will send more traffic to J47. You could then remove the A61 number north of Harrogate entirely.
Not sure I agree with that mind. Ripon is a primary destination and rightly should be considering it's a city. The A61 will always be the quickest route from Harrogate from there. Similar it deserves it Primary route from the North. The route to the A1(M) South is different depending on the direction though with traffic heading towards Ripon traffic along a B road - arguments for it to be an A road? Seems like it should be imo but heading towards the A1(M) taken North up the A61.
Like other small cities, I doubt Ripon would be considered such without the cathedral. Ely is a city too, but not of any great traffic importance, though it's still on the A10.
Yeah your probably right to be fair, mind there is similar sized towns up in the North East / Yorkshire which are primary, the likes of Consett and Bishop Auckland which don't really have any traffic importance either and to be fair to that part of the A61 it's still the easiest and best way from the Burnley / Blackburn area to parts of the North East, bypass or no bypass of Harrogate, the A59 route with the A1(M) is a massive diversion.

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Re: Get the A61 downgraded A1(M) J50 to Thirsk!

Post by KeithW » Sun Oct 24, 2021 22:49

NICK 647063 wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 17:44

Unless you actually are doing a drive of the full A61 you would never use it all! Even when I’m in Leeds city centre and wanting Ripon it’s actually far quicker to use the A64/A1(M) and B6265….. the A61 is pretty much pointless these days as a complete route……

As for this topic I was clear to state East of the A1(M), yes Dishforth road is shorter but it’s already used as a shortcut and I can’t see that would change, some people simply follow signs and if the A61 was downgraded then Thirsk would simply be signed onto the A1(M) to the next Junction J49, I just think the positives of removing an A road from Thirsk outweigh the risk of a few rat runners.
I believe I already mentioned that from Leeds I would typically use the A64/A1(M) and I was thinking of the following situations.

1) Skipton to Teesside. This involves taking the A59 to the New Park Roundabout. From there I can either take the A61 via Ripon to Thirsk or the A59 to the Empress Roundabout through Knaresbrough to the A1(M) at Allerton Park. This is often very congested and the A61 is often the better option

2) From Leeds Bradford Airport to Teesside. In this case I will typically take the A658/A59 to the A1.

I can think of few cases where I would use the full A61. The closest I have come would be before the M1 was extended to Hook Moor when I did on occasion take the A61 but that must have been over 40 years ago and as I had typically driven up from Edgware it was after 8 PM by the time I got to Harrogate. The A1 from the Doncaster bypass was still mostly 1960's D2. The Wetherby Roundabout was still there in all its horrible glory so avoiding that was an imperative. The other problem with the Dishforth Road was that in those days the A168 from Dishforth to Thirsk was an S2 road that snaked through Dishforth , Topcliffe and Thirsk.

As I said in my initial post the fact the few people will use the full A61 is no reason to downgrade it. Not many people drive the full length of the A1 or A19 on a single journey either. I have actually done the latter though before the A1(M) was built through Yorkshire. The dreaded queue for Wetherby could extend to the A64 on a bank holiday weekend. Then it was time for the A64 and A19 through the middle of York but that as they say is another story.

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