Council leader ‘received just one Beech Grove closure complaint’


Last updated Mar 5, 2021
The road closure on Beech Grove.

The leader of Harrogate Borough Council has said he has received just one complaint from residents in the Beech Grove area who oppose the road closure.

Cllr Richard Cooper, who is also the Harrogate central district councillor for North Yorkshire County Council,  was replying to that complaint.

The concerned resident, who requested anonymity, wrote to Cllr Cooper and Cllr Don Mackenzie to say that the road closure was a “fine mess” after drivers churned up grass verges.

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The closure is a six month trial and designed to encourage cycling by stopping through traffic and creating a Low Traffic Neighbourhood.

The road was closed with only a few days notice under an “experimental order” and initially led to cars driving over part of the Stray to avoid the closure.

However, since North Yorkshire County Council installed a sign on the Stray the problems have been reduced to those who struggle with three-point turns.

Richard Cooper

Cllr Richard Cooper.

Cllr Richard Cooper wrote in response today:

“I strongly support the low traffic neighbourhood scheme. I hope very much it becomes a permanent and growing feature of our roads in Harrogate.

“You are the only correspondent I have had from the area opposing the scheme.

“It seems very odd to me that on the one hand I get many, many complaints about drivers putting their foot down on Beech Grove when there are so many older people living there.

“Yet when we do something about it then there is a complaint.

“The problem with the chewed up verges isn’t created by the Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme.

“It is caused by the lazy and inconsiderate motorist who ignores the many road signs and is too poorly skilled at driving, or more likely couldn’t care less, to execute a fairly simple three point turn.”

Cllr Don Mackenzie, executive county councillor for access at North Yorkshire County Council.

Cllr Don Mackenzie, executive county councillor for access at North Yorkshire County Council.

Cllr Don Mackenzie also replied to say that the county council could protect the grass verges from further damage:

“Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. It sounds like you are not a supporter of our Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme on Beech Grove.

“As you know, NYCC will be collecting views on this experimental order for the next six months.

“I have picked up a great deal of support for the scheme on social media in these early days.

“We have had to take steps to prevent inconsiderate drivers from attempting to bypass the closure.

“We can perhaps also consider means of preventing the sort of verge damage which your photo shows, if that occurs more often.”

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