Campaign against Oatlands one-way scheme ramps up


Feb 23, 2021
Oatlands Drive in Harrogate could get segregated cycleways.

A move to make Oatlands Drive one-way would have a “devastating effect” on students and make surrounding roads congested.

Residents and a student at St Aidan’s and St John Fisher’s Associated Sixth Form got in touch with the Stray Ferret to express their concerns about the scheme ahead of a consultation closing today.

It comes as a leaflet campaign was launched in the area which encouraged residents to send e-mails to local councillors, media and council officers objecting to the plan.

North Yorkshire County Council received £1,011,750 for cycling improvements and outlined three cycle route projects in Harrogate.

Highways bosses have launched a consultation into the plan which would make the street one-way southbound, limit the speed limit to 20mph and create a new segregated cycleway.

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In an e-mail to the Stray Ferret and his headteacher, Thomas Adamson, a year 12 student at St Aidan’s and St John FIsher’s Associated Sixth Form, said the move would have a “negative effect” on his learning and his journey to school.

Thomas, who travels to school from Wetherby, said it would add a further 20 minutes onto his bus journey as Wetherby Road was already “notoriously busy”.

He said:

“While I understand the motivation behind the one-way system, there are already usable bike lanes on Oatlands Drive and two wide pavements for pedestrians and I must think about my own future and the futures of those who must use public transport

“In conclusion, If you allow the building of this new one-way system, it will not only be a waste of public funds that could be used elsewhere to improve Wetherby Road or to provide technology for online learning to those less fortunate than I am, it also have an actively negative affect on my learning in a year that has already had so much disruption and yet is still pivotal for my future.”
Oatlands Drive, Harrogate

Oatlands Drive, Harrogate.

Meanwhile, Philip and Julia Clarke, who live on Park Edge, told the Stray Ferret that they strongly object to the proposal as it would affect their journey to the town centre.

They said:

“In order to drive northwards from our home into Harrogate and beyond, we would have to turn right (southwards) at the end of our street and then find a route to travel north.

“To access businesses and facilities in the town centre or in the northerly part of the town and beyond, which we regularly do, would involve a more circuitous and longer journey.

“That would mean using Wetherby Road or Leeds Road, which would add to the congestion on those roads.”

However, cyclist groups have welcomed the scheme and said it was time that roads were shared with drivers.

Kevin Douglas, chair of Harrogate and District Cycle Action, told the Stray Ferret previously that the measures fit into a wider vision for the town.

He said:

“The main aim is to get people cycling for short journeys into the town centre. We hope to have segregate cycle lanes on all the arterial routes.

“Some think that we want the roads to be car free but we just want to be able to share the roads safely.

“Even the most experienced cyclists feel unsafe with big lorries passing them close by and would feel much safer with a segregated lane.”

Other schemes under consideration include:

  • A59, Maple Close, Harrogate to Knaresborough: segregated cycle lanes along an existing cycle route and improved crossing facilities at either end;
  • Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, Princes Square to Station Parade: pedestrian crossing improvements, segregated cycling infrastructure and bike storage facilities.

People can give their views on the projects here.

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