North Yorkshire County Council highways chiefs have come under fire for a lack of consultation ahead of major “improvements” to one of Harrogate’s busiest crossroads.
Days after the schools break up for their summer holidays, highways contractors will move onto the Woodlands junction to carry out work which the authority claims will benefit all users.
However, UKIP county councillor David Simister (Bilton & Nidd Gorge) and Libdem Borough Councillor Helen Flynn (Nidd Valley) have accused the council of by-passing traders, interested groups and residents in the consultation process, by not giving them an opportunity to comment.
Councillor Simister said: It appears North Yorkshire County Council’s first rule of consultation is there is no consultation!
Some local traders on Wetherby – who will undoubtedly suffer whilst this work is being carried out – only received a letter last week informing when it was going to start and the nature of the scheme.
The new road layout will be almost identical to what has been undertaken on Leeds Road to accommodate the new M&S, and that certainly has not made any improvements. In fact I would say to the contrary.
The county council is simply not listening and is not interested in seeking the views of those who live and work and use this junction on a daily basis.
Woodlands Pub landlord Steve Carr said: My pub is on the corner of Wetherby Road and Hookstone Road yet I have not been asked for my views.
The work will cause major delays whilst it is being carried out and will result in a loss of trade for me and others.
And, looking at the plans, these ‘improvements’ will do nothing to improve traffic flows. If the county council had bothered to consult then we could have told them so.
It’s clear the so called experts in Northallerton do not have to use Wetherby Road on a regular basis. If they did they would rip up these plans, start again, and, more importantly, consult!
As I have said before, the time has come for Harrogate to take back control of its highways from Northallerton.
North Yorkshire County Council are expected to provide further details of the changes on Tuesday, 15 July 2014.