Half of responses ‘strongly oppose’ Oatlands Drive plan


Mar 11, 2021
Oatlands Drive, Harrogate

Half of the responses to a consultation over plans to make Oatlands Drive in Harrogate one-way were strongly against the proposal, according to a new report.

Of the 2,298 people who responded to North Yorkshire County Council’s consultation, 50% indicated they ‘strongly oppose’ the scheme, while 38% said they supported or strongly supported it.

The scheme proposes making the road one-way southbound, towards Hookstone Drive, to create more space for cycle paths and widened footpaths.

It has already proved controversial, with more than 1,600 people having signed a petition set up by resident Anna McIntee opposing the plans. Opponents have cited the impact on school buses and the increasing creation of a ‘rat run’ on surrounding residential streets at peak times.

However, Harrogate and District Cycling Action said roads including Oatlands Drive need to be made safer for cyclists in order to reduce traffic around Harrogate.

Kevin Douglas, chair of the HDCA, told the Stray Ferret:

“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.”

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In a report due to be considered by NYCC’s Harrogate and Knaresborough area constituency committee next week, network strategy officer Louise Neale said:

“In total, we assessed over three hundred potential schemes to put forward as part of our bid for tranche two [funding from the Department for Transport] in August 2020.

“The criteria of the funding was particularly stringent and with a relatively small amount of funding available only a handful of schemes were deemed suitable for this round of funding. Three of the five schemes included in the bid were in Harrogate and Knaresborough.”

As well as the Oatlands Drive scheme, the consultation asked for people’s views on plans to introduce cycle lanes and crossings on the A59 near Harrogate Golf Club, and to improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure on Victoria Avenue near Harrogate Library.

Both of those schemes proved more popular in the consultation, with 44% and 43% respectively supporting or strongly supporting them.

Full details of the responses to the consultation have not yet been released, but NYCC said it will take the feedback into account. In her report for the area committee, Ms Neale added:

“The first round of consultation focussed on the corridors for the routes rather than detailed design. The feedback from the first round of consultation will be collated to inform more detailed consultation plans.

“The second round of consultation is planned to take place in late March.”


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