Stray Views: I can suggest only two solutions to Harrogate’s traffic congestion
Last updated Dec 8, 2023
Stray Views
Stray Views is a weekly column giving you the chance to have your say on issues affecting the Harrogate district.
It is an opinion column and does not reflect the views of the Stray Ferret. Send your views to [email protected].

Dear Editor,

I read repeatedly of North Yorkshire Council councillors and others stating that recent consultations on Harrogate’s traffic congestion have rejected any road building projects and instead have supported more active travel schemes as the preferred solution. [Council quashes hopes of west Harrogate bypass]

Whilst I do not have a copy of the consultations to refer back to, my memory is that there never was a question along the lines of  “Would you like to see further bypasses built? ”. The questions were more vague and designed to obtain the preferred council outcome. For example “Would you support the encouragement of more active travel?”. It is almost impossible to say “No” to such a question. The health benefits alone make “Yes” the only sensible answer.

But active travel will not remove Harrogate’s congestion at anytime in the near future, or even the medium term. The station gateway as originally proposed would not have improved the journey from, for example, Oatlands to Asda nor the journey back with a week’s shopping – wobbling up Leeds Road on a bicycle!

I can suggest only two solutions to Harrogate’s traffic congestion – one would be to complete the bypass around Harrogate, on a route that avoided sensitive areas of countryside. The other would be to ban all non-electric vehicles and all large cars from journeys into and within Harrogate. This second solution would need to be coupled with a scheme to provide small electric vehicles to all residents at a much subsidised cost (which would be demonstrably cheaper than building a bypass!), together with 2 or 3 Park and Ride schemes.

We could be pioneers! Think of Harrogate leading the way and being ahead of other towns in its innovative approach to reducing traffic congestion.


Andrew Dodd, Harrogate

I would like to add my support to the letter condemning the proposed removal of large numbers of mature trees in order to be able to increase production of Harrogate Spring Water. [Stray Views: Harrogate Spring Water plans a ‘total tree wash’]
Water in plastic bottles has a place in emergency situations such as the war in Gaza or Ukraine but there is no justification for it in this Country. Convenient it may be, but necessary it is not, and certainly not at the expense of the felling of mature trees.
Michael Pattinson, Harrogate


We’ve also had a number of emails from readers getting in touch with us after we ran a story about the new parking payment system at Harrogate District Hospital, run by private firm Parkingeye.  Harrogate hospital defends criticism of new parking payment system. We will be doing a follow up story including some of your experiences this week. Get in touch with your views [email protected]

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