Otley Road cycleway in Harrogate to be extended
Last updated Apr 18, 2024
Otley Road cycling
The first phase cost £2.2 million.

The Otley Road cycleway in Harrogate is to be extended, a meeting heard last night (April 17).

The cycleway was conceived as part of wider plans to form a safe off road cycling route from Harrogate town centre to Cardale Park.

The first phase from Cold Bath Road to Harlow Moor Road, was constructed at a cost of £2.2 million but North Yorkshire County Council scrapped plans for the second phase last year.

Cllr Keane Duncan, the Conservative executive member for highways and transportation at the council, said at the time none of three options put forward proved popular with cyclists, walkers or motorists — despite cyclists highlighting how a consultation revealed more people were in favour of going ahead than not.

However, last night’s spring meeting of Harlow and Pannal Ash Residents Association heard that although there were no plans to revive the second phase, the third phase would go ahead.

Hapara chair Rene Dziabas said it had been informed of the news by North Yorkshire Council, which succeeded North Yorkshire County Council in April last year.

Mr Dziabas told the meeting, which was attended by council highways officials, the 1.1km phase three would be built on the north side of Otley Road between Harlow Moor Road and the western edge of Harlow Carr.

It would be a two-way shared cyclist / pedestrian route measuring three metres wide, he said.

He added five trees and about 1,500 square metres of grass verge would be lost as part of the scheme and there would be toucan crossings at Beckwith Head Road/Crag Lane and Cardale Park junctions.

The cycleway will be funded by developers who are in the process of building 4,000 homes in the west of Harrogate.

Mr Dziabas said:

“Just about everyone thought because phase two had been cancelled, phase three wasn’t going ahead. It’s going ahead. We have had it confirmed by highways.”

He added there will be no specific public consultation on phase three, which will be considered as part of a far broader west of Harrogate traffic assessment.

A leaflet by Hapara said:

“The general view of this scheme is that it will not deliver any real benefits to mitigate against the high levels of traffic on Otley Road which is how it was sold when initially launched.

If the intention is to get more people cycling, which is a perfectly sensible aim, this scheme seems to be an expensive way of delivering the

It added:

“No timescales are available at the moment, but North Yorkshire Council has indicated that they wish to see phase 3 constructed prior to the occupation of dwellings on the relevant major sites, including H49 and H45. This could be years away but meanwhile design studies will continue.”

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