Harrogate businesses reject key proposals in £10.9m Station Gateway scheme


Last updated Sep 16, 2021
station gateway james street
How James Street could look if the Harrogate Station Gateway goes ahead.

Most Harrogate businesses oppose plans to reduce Station Parade to a single carriageway and pedestrianise James Street, a poll reveals.

The joint Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce, Harrogate Business Improvement District and Independent Harrogate survey was sent to more than 900 businesses. A total of 180 replied.

It was conducted shortly before the start of the next round of consultation on the £10.9m Harrogate Station Gateway scheme, which includes plans to pedestrianise some or all of James Street and reduce Station Parade to single lane traffic.

Of those who responded:

– 75% were against the full pedestrianisation of James Street
– 72% were against reducing the A61 from Cheltenham Mount to Station Bridge to a single lane
– 30% were in favour of making lower Station Parade one-way
– 42% in favour of two-way cycle lanes on Bower Road and along East Parade to the Odeon roundabout
– 74% were in favour of improving the area in front of Victoria Shopping Centre with the potential to host a range of events and activities

A total of 79% believed that reducing Station Parade to a single carriageway would be of no benefit to town centre businesses, and 68% felt likewise about pedestrianising James Street.

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The poll’s findings differ from those of a recent online consultation by the councils proposing the scheme, in which total of 45% of 1,101 respondents were in favour of the full pedestrianisation of James Street and 49% favoured an making Station Parade one lane.

In a joint statement, all three organisations said:

“Before the next phase of the Harrogate Station Gateway Project consultation begins, we canvassed the views of business owners and landlords.

“The questions we asked required either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, and from conversations we have had with our members and levy payers over many months, the results come as no surprise, i.e. keeping the James Street and Station Parade status quo.

“Those who responded also strongly rejected the idea that pedestrianising James Street and reducing Station Parade to a single lane would bring business benefits.

“We would like to thank those who took the time to participate in this survey, the findings of which now be shared with North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council officers and members.

“Whilst we welcome investment in the town centre, we are keen to see it spent improving access for all, not just those arriving by foot or bicycle, whilst at the same time enhancing the existing public spaces with quality materials.

“We also appreciate the funding the authorities has received has to be used in specific ways which will constrain what they do, but we cannot ignore our businesses views regarding this project.

“Now covid restrictions are lifted, we ask that during the next round of consultation there are plenty of opportunities for the public to inspect the plans and speak to the project team, in person, and not just via online presentations.

“For our part, we will be looking to hold an event for businesses, in particular for those whose livelihoods are dependent on a vibrant town centre, so they can fully understand the benefits we are told this scheme will bring.”

The Station Gateway project, which aims to improve walking and cycling in town, is funded is funded by the government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

Both North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council support the initiative and hope to start work early next year.


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