Work on the delayed Otley Road cycle path is set to finally begin in August. The first phase could be completed before Christmas, according to North Yorkshire County Council.
£3.2m was set aside to build the route in 2018 but the plans have been beset by delays that have frustrated Harrogate’s cycling community.
There are three phases to the construction of the route.
The first phase of the cycle path will connect Harlow Moor Road to Arthur’s Avenue close to Harrogate Grammar School . This work could not start due to utility works on the Harlow Moor Road and Otley Road junction, which were completed last week.
The second phase of the cycle route will link Arthurs Avenue to Beech Grove. This phase meant a consultation over the use of Stray land.
Harrogate Borough Council agreed in March to designate a plot of land on Wetherby Road as Stray land in exchange for the loss of grass verges on Otley Road for the new cycle path.
The Stray Ferret asked the Duchy of Lancaster, which owns the Stray, if they have accepted the offer but we did not receive a response at the time of publication.
Cllr Don Mackenzie, executive member for access at North Yorkshire County Council, told the Stray Ferret:
“I don’t know whether the Duchy of Lancaster has accepted the exchange of land. But assuming that has happened, we’re all set to start. Work on the first phase should begin in August and should be completed within a few months”.
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The third phase will link Cardale Park on Harlow Hill to the route.
Rene Dziabas, chair of Harlow & Pannal Ash Residents Association (HAPARA) called on NYCC to communicate with residents and businesses affected by the works.
He told the Stray Ferret:
“The start date of August broadly accords with what we have already been told. Given that this first phase of the Otley Road cycle path will be disruptive, we hope that NYCC will actively pursue a policy of communicating with all residents and businesses affected on what can be expected. So far this project has not been well communicated to those most affected.”