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.
Oatlands one-way system will cause havoc
I live on Beech Grove and feel the need to redress the apparent balance of opinion on the new traffic scheme. It is not yet clear whether it will be an eventual benefit as it awaits the link to the cycleways on Otley Road, which are later this year. So patience is required for now.
However, it has been the most thoughtless implementation imaginable. The signs are completely inadequate to inform the motorists of the change so it is almost inevitable that drivers will come up against the barriers. It would have been so easy to display reasonable size signs in good time, but no, it has been implemented as a motorist trap. It would also have helped if there was a partial barrier at the town end of Beech Grove, outside Wentworth Court, being a clear indicator that entry was for residents and parking only.
Whoever has done this should show a little respect for road users.
Chris Graville, Harrogate
Bewerley Park changes lives – we must preserve it
I have read the article concerning the proposed closure of Bewerley Park outdoor education centre with increasing sadness and distress. Bewerley Park holds a very special place in the hearts of many generations of people who have been introduced to the outdoors in its halls and dormitories. The work I have done there, working in groups with highly skilled experienced staff is truly life changing.
I realise, however, that nostalgia and heart-warming stories do not pay the bills. In the long run the closure of Bewerley Park will cost the council more. The best way to plan for the future of outdoor education in North Yorkshire is to include the current facilities.
If we do not then the council will need to pay for this from a private company or from outside the area, which will inevitably cost more. This is to say nothing of the impact on the local economy. If Bewerley Park were to close, the economic impact on Pateley Bridge from loss of revenue from visitors would be substantial.
In addition to this the mental health benefits of exercise and being in the outdoors are well documented. Children and young people have suffered greatly in the covid pandemic and we will really need our outdoor education centres in the coming months and years. The current staff at the current centres are best placed to meet this need.
To lose the facilities and expertise that we already have would be to neglect the future health and well being of our children and will surely cost us more in the long run.
Caroline Shevelan, Cumbria
Harrogate schools have shone during covid crisis
As we possibly move closer to a phased reopening of schools, a word of praise and gratitude for our local schools and their excellent staff: the state primary and secondary schools attended by my daughters in years 3 and 7 have done a truly marvellous job of providing user-friendly, well structured online education to pupils during lockdown, honing their provision during this latest period of restriction to a fine art.
They even set up a laptop and tablet donation scheme when the government’s promise to provide these where needed fell short of the mark.
The schools’ exemplary efforts in such testing times show up Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s premature encouragement to parents to report inadequate online provision for what it is: an act of petty, ideologically driven malice.
Glyn Hambrook, Harrogate
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