Business case approved for £12.1m Harrogate Station Gateway
Last updated Mar 27, 2024
Labour mayor Tracy Brabin at today's West Yorkshire Combined Authority meeting.

Preparatory work on the £12.1 million Harrogate Station Gateway is set to begin soon after the full business case was approved today.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority nodded through the scheme, along with other similar gateway projects in Selby and Skipton, in just two minutes at a meeting.

It followed a lengthy debate that resulted in buses in West Yorkshire being brought back under public control, which Labour mayor Tracy Brabin described as a “historic moment”.

Ben Still, chief executive of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, suggested administration of the three North Yorkshire gateway schemes could be transferred to the newly formed York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority, which will be led by whoever is elected mayor on May 2.

Cllr Keane Duncan, the executive member for highways at North Yorkshire Council and Conservative candidate to be North Yorkshire mayor, said last week preparatory work would begin soon on the Harrogate gateway if approval was granted today. Construction is due to start in September and last one year.

He added:

“This is a very exciting time for the regeneration of all three town centres.”

Today’s decision is unlikely to be welcomed by gateway opponents, especially after the cost of the Harrogate scheme increased again from £11.2 million to £12.1 million and the plans are not expected to be made public for months.

The scheme has also been branded “poor value for money” that will “mainly disbenefit highway users”.

North Yorkshire Council is contributing £1.1 million and the remainder is from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

The project has been ‘de-scoped’ after North Yorkshire Council admitted its previous plans, which included pedestrianising part of James Street and reducing a stretch of Station Parade to single lane traffic, were legally flawed.

The council has said it will include:

  • Pedestrian improvements along Station Parade, including raised crossings and signal junction improvements.
  • A bus lane from Bower Road into the bus station and a south-bound segregated cycle lane.
  • Public realm improvements to One Arch and Station Square.
  • New cycle parking at the railway station.

But the full plans have not been made public, which prompted retired Harrogate architect and anti-gateway campaigner Barry Adams to renew his plea for the scheme to be halted.

Mr Adam said:

“The gateway plan achieves absolutely nothing but disruption to the town. We need to get this madness stopped.”

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