Lib Dem leader accuses Tories of ‘pinching’ Harrogate Station Gateway ideas
Last updated Nov 7, 2023
Pat Marsh and Keane Duncan are pondering the future of Station Parade.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats in Harrogate and Knaresborough has accused the Conservative transport chief of “pinching” their ideas for the £11.2 million Station Gateway.

North Yorkshire Council is hastily assembling new proposals for the scheme after admitting its previous plans failed to follow the correct procedure in the wake of legal action.

Councillor Keane Duncan, the Conservative executive member for highways, revealed last week that two of the most controversial aspects of the scheme — reducing Station Parade to one lane and pedestrianising James Street — would be scrapped.

A detailed new plan has yet to be published but it is expected to include improvements to Station Square and One Arch and upgrading traffic signals.

Lib Dem leader Pat Marsh said the Lib Dems suggested dropping the Station Parade and James Street proposals at an online meeting of the council’s Harrogate and Knaresborough area constituency committee working group on October 31 — shortly before Cllr Duncan’s announcement.

She said the 13 members of the area constituency committee are due to walk around the gateway site tomorrow (Thursday, November 8) with a senior officer at the council.

Cllr Marsh said the visit would enable the council to better understand the area and consider a “better connected” Lib Dem plan for the town centre.

She said previous gateway proposals “started nowhere and ended nowhere”.

Cllr Marsh said:

“There are simple solutions that would connect the town better. They would enable cyclists to feel safer and not upset motorists.”

She added she would reveal full details of the proposals after tomorrow’s meeting but said they included improvements to the public realm near the train and bus stations, keeping the Station Parade taxi rank where it is and “tidying up” the area around the train station car park.

Cllr Marsh said:

“What we feel we have come up with is a better connected scheme.

“We are not playing politics — that is why we put something forward and offered to do a walk round.”

The Stray Ferret has asked Cllr Duncan to respond to Cllr Marsh’s comments but has not had a response.

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