North Yorkshire County Council will decide on a final set of recommendations on Friday (July 3rd) on changes to a major junction in Harrogate.
The authority’s Corporate Director, Business and Environmental Services, in consultation with the BES Executive Members, will decide on proposed changes to the A61 Leeds Road/Leadhall Lane/Hookstone Road junction in Harrogate.
This decision comes after a comprehensive process of consultation and careful traffic modelling to create the best solution for this very busy junction.
Officers believe the proposed solution takes account of both the technical analysis and the views expressed by road users.
The key recommendations are:
- that the echelon parking arrangement outside the shops on Leeds road will remain the same
- that a third lane for the A61 Leeds Road southbound traffic is not added to the junction (the county council’s modelling shows that the suggested third lane and the associated loss of one of the northbound exit lanes would worsen congestion overall at peak periods)
- the removal of the protected right turn into Vernon Road from Leeds Road and removal of the red infill area to increase stacking space on Leeds Road southbound
- to carry out a public consultation on a ‘no entry’ restriction at the Vernon Road junction from Leeds Road
- to improve further the existing traffic signal control and timings with the installation of an enhanced traffic signal control system and associated traffic signal apparatus
- the removal of the regularly contravened no right turn restriction on Mount Street and provision of yellow box marking to help motorists enter Leeds Road to go northbound
- to introduce dropped kerbs at Firs Road and Leadhall Lane to assist pedestrians
- to reposition road markings at the Firs Road junction and right turn into Leadhall Lane to assist motorists using these junctions
- the introduction of a ‘no waiting and loading at any time’ restriction on the western side of the northbound Leeds Road exit lane to prevent inconsiderate parking
- the erection of ‘merge in turn’ signs for the northbound Leeds Road exit lanes
to remove and amend road markings around the Beech Avenue junction to increase capacity and safet
The current road layout was installed as part of the new Marks and Spencer’s development on the former Nidd Vale Motors site on Leeds Road which was completed in spring last year.
Since the new road layout was installed, the County Council has received numerous complaints regarding congestion at the junction and, more recently, there have been calls from regular road users to change it back to the original layout. Some changes to road markings have already been made earlier this year.
The County Council has been closely monitoring the junction since the new layout was installed and appointed an officer working group to produce a wide-ranging report which was produced in draft form in March.
This draft report was consulted on widely and has been modified as a result of further public feedback, along with extensive traffic modelling.
Barrie Mason, Assistant Director for Highways and author of the report said:
We know that people have been very unhappy with the junction layout and we have listened very carefully to what people have had to say.
As a result we have worked extremely hard to take account of all the responses. We have also carried out extensive traffic modelling of key suggestions.
Harrogate is an expanding town with a thriving economy and this does mean that the road network becomes congested at peak times. The county council has invested heavily in the road infrastructure, improving the quality of roads and providing new facilities for all road users.
Our aim has always been to make this junction work for the surrounding communities and all road users.
I would like to thank everybody who has taken the time to give feedback and I hope that people will recognise that the report to be considered by the Corporate Director and the BES Executive Members strikes an appropriate balance between the technical analysis and the views expressed by road users.