Victoria Road one-way scheme will stop ‘rat run’, says cycle group


Last updated Aug 20, 2021
Victoria Road

Changes to make Victoria Road one-way will stop a “rat run” and improve safety for cyclists using the Otley Road Cycle Route, according to Harrogate District Cycle Action.

North Yorkshire County Council will next month begin an 18-month trial to boost active travel on the road by stopping cars from using it to enter Otley Road. It will place a barrier at the junction and one-way only and no entry signs will be installed.

Some local residents who will be affected by the scheme criticised it  last week.

Kevin Douglas, chairman of HDCA, told the Stray Ferret the nearby Beech Grove Low Traffic Neighbourhood has displaced traffic onto Victoria Road creating a ‘rat run’ which is why the move is needed.

He said it will also ensure a safer route for cyclists using Otley Road.

“The idea of these things is they settle down and there is less traffic, it’s to stop rat-running.”

Mr Douglas said he is looking forward to the various active schemes such as Victoria Avenue and Station Gateway being completed as it will eventually create a safe link for cyclists into the town from Harlow Hill. However, he said he was “frustrated” at the speed NYCC is taking to implement them.

He said:

“It looks like they are doing it bit by bit and it’s piecemeal.

“When we get the other schemes youll have access from Cardale Park to town. That’s what people want. But it’s taking a long time and it’s a frustration for us.”

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A petition signed by over 600 people was presented to NYCC this week against the Beech Grove LTR.

Mr Douglas said the public needs to get behind active travel schemes in order to reduce carbon emissions.

He added:

“The aim of these schemes is to get people to use alternatives [to cars]. If every time people say they want it somewhere else, where are you going to do them? 

“I dont know where people think we will get a reduction in carbon usage if we don’t do schemes like this.”

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