Stray Views: ‘Old wounds’ over west Harrogate bypass need to remain open
Last updated Dec 22, 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].

As you can imagine the headline to an article in the Stray Ferret immediately caught my attention – “Council quashes hopes of West Harrogate Bypass

The only facts I can support and agree with in this article is that yes, North Yorkshire County Council, held a widely publicised consultation about congestion in 2019, and yes, Cllr Duncan’s predecessor may have abandoned unpopular plans to build a relief road by the Nidd Gorge following the consultation but certainly not for the reasons reported in this article.

The facts reported in the local media at the time gave the impression that the relief road was going to travel through or very close to the Nidd Gorge itself, an area of outstanding natural beauty. This impression apparently was bolstered with images of the Nidd Gorge so naturally most people are going to react as they did to this highly unpopular proposal. The questions in the consultation were skewed to make people answer in a particular way (as they nearly always are with consultations generated by North Yorkshire Council) to give the result the council wanted.

The people of Harrogate were totally misled and didn’t specifically vote against a relief road but the route they were led to believe it was taking through Nidd Gorge.

We are fed up with North Yorkshire Council massaging the information to suit themselves. The resulting doomed Station Gateway and the now scaled back gateway did not and will not tackle congestion at all in Harrogate. It will continue to be an ever-growing problem for the town. The results did not resoundingly favour sustainable transport and demand management solutions to congestion. They resoundingly rejected a route for a relief road through or near Nidd Gorge.

I fully support Conservative Cllr John Mann in his view that there is merit in the idea of building a bypass as a long-term project and his other comment that “congestion is already quite severe and dangerous to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians”. I believe “old wounds” as Cllr Duncan comments on this issue should and need to be kept open.

Barry Adams, Harrogate

Read more:

Cyclists and hospital queues

In response to concerns over Harrogate hospital queues for cyclists.

If cyclists are that worried about the queues to get in the hospital, get off your bike and walk along the footpath. Simple.

Rob Young, Harrogate

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