40 Parking spaces to go in North Yorkshire town redevelopment …
Station View (Image: Pic Supplied)
A £11.2M revamp of Harrogate town centre, which would see a major thoroughfare reduced to a single lane to traffic, will reach another stage in the approval process at a meeting of North Yorkshire Council next week.
Councillors are recommended to agree that the council submits a full business case to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in September, with a decision in late autumn.
If approved by the combined authority, work could begin by the end of the year.
Backers of the Station Gateway scheme say it will deliver easier access for buses, pedestrians and cyclists to the town centre.
Pledge over Harrogate Station Gateway - despite inflation fears
However, business groups and others fear such road restrictions will worsen congestion, hit visitor numbers and damage town centre traders, with 40 parking and several taxi spaces also removed, forcing cars onto other roads.
An online petition against the scheme has attracted more than 2,000 signatures, citing harm to town businesses, as well as hindered access to emergency vehicles.
“The whole premise of the scheme is nonsense and will irreversibly damage Harrogate.
“Those who live and work in the town centre are not being listened to. Our voices must be heard ,” said petitioner Rachael Inchboard.
The Station Gateway scheme aims to improve the area around Harrogate’s rail and bus stations more attractive. It forms part of a £42 million Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) investment within North Yorkshire, which will also see the station gateways in Selby and Skipton enhanced.
Latest move in transport plans for Harrogate and Selby
The Tuesday’s meeting of the council’s executive follows May’s meeting of Harrogate and Knaresborough’s area constituency committee, where an overwhelming majority voted in favour of progressing the project.
The scheme includes reducing 300m of the main A61 Station Parade to single lane traffic, creating a two-way cycle lane at its northern end and a bus lane.
James Street will also be partly pedestrianised.
Station Square will undergo a major overhaul, including the removal of the ‘little temple.’
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “The Harrogate scheme represents a landmark investment, aiming to rejuvenate the town centre, support businesses and encourage people to travel more sustainably.
“The recent area committee vote showed significant, cross-party support for the scheme from local councillors. The majority recognised the importance of securing this £11.2m investment and the transformative impact the project could have.
“We have responded to councillors’ feedback by pledging to review the Odeon roundabout design prior to final submission and to consider key junctions outside of the scope of the Gateway project (Ripon Road/King’s Road/Cheltenham Parade) to further limit congestion.
“The full business case submission would represent a huge step forward for the scheme, enabling us to stay on track to start work in winter 2023.
“Input and oversight provided by local councillors and engagement with town centre businesses will be incredibly valuable as the project proceeds, and we will soon provide more detailed plans for this.”
- ^ recommended to agree that the council (edemocracy.northyorks.gov.uk)
- ^ Pledge over Harrogate Station Gateway - despite inflation fears (www.yorkpress.co.uk)
- ^ An online petition against the scheme (www.change.org)
- ^ Latest move in transport plans for Harrogate and Selby (www.yorkpress.co.uk)