New proposals revealed for scaled-back Harrogate Station Gateway
Nov 23, 2023
An aerial view of the station area in Harrogate.

Plans to improve Harrogate’s town centre may still go ahead in much reduced form, but the costs will not go down, and may yet rise, according to documents published today

The document, published ahead of a council meeting on Tuesday, also gives further details of the proposed £11.2 million Station Gateway.

The original proposals entailed the part-pedestrianisation of James Street and the reduction of a 300-metre stretch of Station Parade to a single lane to make space for cycle lanes. 

But North Yorkshire Council halted the scheme in August following a legal challenge by Hornbeam Park Developments. The council admitted it made an error by not following the correct procedure.

At a meeting on Tuesday next week (November 28), councillors are now set to discuss revised proposals that do not include major alterations to the road layout – the elements that gave rise to the most controversy. 

But despite the more modest scope of the plans, the Supplementary Agenda document published ahead of the meeting states: 

“…a reduced scope scheme is not considered likely to achieve savings but rather will require the entire ‘in principle’ TCF [Transforming Cities Fund] budget”. 

It adds: 

“The risk of further budget increase if a revised project is developed cannot be discounted.” 

The plans to be discussed are believed to focus on those elements of the scheme that gathered the most public support.

One Arch

One Arch

These include public realm improvements to Station Square and One Arch (the foot tunnel under the railway at the bottom end of Station Parade), improved access into the bus station and linked sequencing of the traffic lights between the Ripon Road/King’s Road and the Station Parade/Victoria Avenue junctions. 

The possibility of a southbound segregated cycle lane on Station Parade, while retaining two lanes for motorised traffic, is also being explored. Wider cycling infrastructure improvements would be delivered under further stages of investment. 

The Harrogate Station Gateway scheme is one of three schemes worth £42 million being funded by the government’s Transforming Cities Fund to improve station gateways to town centres in Harrogate, Selby and Skipton. 

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, said:

“We are now at a critical stage in the delivery of the three projects, which will be transformative for Harrogate, Selby and Skipton. 

“Our revised proposals focus on core elements with the most public support. The plans are affordable, deliverable and are built on extensive cross-party engagement with councillors. 

“We are being clear and realistic about what we can achieve now, and the measures we want to deliver in further stages. 

“This is positive progress that puts us in the best possible position to deliver this landmark package of investment while avoiding potential delays and navigating budget constraints. 

“It means we are ready to submit final business cases for the Selby and Skipton schemes next month, and for Harrogate as soon as is possible.” 

Further detailed work on the Harrogate scheme will be required prior to public consultation next year.

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