Council reveals priority cycling schemes for Harrogate
Last updated Feb 15, 2024
Otley Road cycling
Extending the Otley Road cycleway is among the top priorities.

North Yorkshire Council has published a list of its cycling priority schemes for Harrogate.

The local authority has also unveiled plans to come up with a similar list of priority schemes for Knaresborough.

The schemes first in line for Harrogate are: extending the Otley Road cycle route; creating a cycleway on Victoria Avenue, the Station Gateway and a package of sustainable transport measures around Otley Road, including speed limits, new crossing facilities and upgraded of bus stops.

All these proposals have been in the pipeline for some time, amid frustration from cyclists about the lack of progress.

The list of priorities is included in a report written by Alexander Kay, senior transport planning officer at the council, for a meeting of the council’s environment executive next week. The report says:

“The list represents the priority routes North Yorkshire Council should focus on going forward in terms of developing feasibility studies, detailed designs and also construction. Clearly, the timeframes are dependent on appropriate funding becoming available.”

Victoria Avenue

Victoria Avenue is another top priority.

The report also reveals the council’s medium-term and long-term priorities. Medium-term is defined as less than five years and long-term is defined as more than five years.

Medium-term priority schemes

A59 Starbeck level crossing to Empress Roundabout

A59 Forest Lane Head to Starbeck level crossing

East Parade (including Dragon Parade/Dragon Road)

Skipton Road A59

A59 Maple Close to Knaresborough

Long-term priority schemes

Pannal Ash Road

Hookstone Drive

Ripon Road (Jennyfield Drive to Parliament Street)

Hookstone Road

Hornbeam Park Avenue

Jennyfield Drive

Beckwith Road

Wetherby Road

Oatlands Drive

Oatlands Drive, Harrogate

Oatlands Drive

The list was compiled after the council assessed 160 potential cycle corridors against 16 criteria.

The report recommends councillors support progressing the Harrogate schemes and agree for work to start on compiling a list of Knaresborough cycle route priorities, using the same methodology as the Harrogate assessment.

But it cautions:

“The completed cycle priority list will provide the blueprint for developing cycle schemes in Harrogate, influencing active travel bidding opportunities.

“However, at this stage there are no financial impacts apart form officer time to complete the cycle priority list or begin study work in Knaresborough.”

‘Another report with no substantive actions’

Commenting on the report, the campaign group Harrogate District Cycle Action said:

“When the Active Travel England funds were awarded in 2020 Don Mackenzie. North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and the cycling champion, made the following comment: ‘The grant awarded to us by the DfT comes with strict conditions. The schemes need to be delivered quickly, should reallocate road space from vehicles in favour of cyclists and pedestrians, and offer alternatives to existing well-used bus routes.’

“Four years later with no delivery of any schemes of any substance  we are presented with yet another report with no substantive actions.

“What do the council mean by the phrase ‘a clear intention to act’ when despite millions of pounds of government funding in the last few years they have been unable to deliver anything and most of the money has gone?”

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