During the next few weeks and throughout the spring North Yorkshire County Council is carrying out a series of highways improvements in Harrogate and surrounding areas as well as upgrading facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.
This comprises a major investment of nearly £4 million in Harrogate’s transport infrastructure, offering benefits for many years to come.
The improvements will entail road resurfacing, and upgrades to junctions and traffic signalling. They will also include enhanced pedestrian crossings and pedestrian links from bus and rail stations to the centre of town, as well as increased cycle storage. The overall aim is to reduce congestion and improve the travel environment as a key support to the town’s economy.
The investment includes road resurfacing which has been brought forward in advance of the Tour de France in July in Harrogate and the A59 at Goldborough last year. It also includes over £2 million to support traffic engineering and signalling and sustainable transport and travel.
Much of the resurfacing work will take place in the evening between 7pm and midnight to reduce inconvenience for local residents and businesses and the travelling public. Diversions will be signposted.
County Councillor Gareth Dadd, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways said: We will be carrying out extensive and sustainable highways works throughout Harrogate this year” “Throughout this time we will make every effort to keep disruption to a minimum. But we urge residents and the travelling public to understand that although there will undoubtedly be some short-term inconvenience, in the long run these works will benefit the town greatly.
Obviously the Tour de France will provide an enormous boost to the regional economy and we must prepare well for this great event. But overall, the aim is to improve the travel infrastructure in a multitude of ways in order to support the district’s continuing prosperity.
By the end of May resurfacing and/or junction improvements will have taken place on:
- Harlow Moor Road (resurfacing in advance of the Tour de France – completed)
- Palace Road, Ripon (resurfacing in advance of the Tour de France – completed)
- A59 Skipton Road (East) from Empress roundabout to New Park roundabout (resurfacing for the Tour de France 24th Feb to March 14th)
- A59 Skipton Road (West) from New Park roundabout to Crowberry Drive (resurfacing for the Tour de France 17th to 21st March)
- A61 Parliament Street from Prince of Wales to Kings Road (resurfacing for the TdF 24th to 28th March)
- A61 Ripon Road from Kings Road to Knox Mill (resurfacing for the TdF – 31st March to May 2nd)
- A59 from the Dropping Well Public House to Blubberhouses (ongoing works in advance of the TdF to be completed by the end of May)
In addition, essential maintenance work on the A59 at Kex Gill to improve the stability of the slopes and help to prevent further landslips has begun this week and is expected to last for approximately six weeks. The work will be carried out using temporary lights to maintain traffic flow at all times.
At the end of last year, the county council began delivery of a programme of improvements to pedestrian and cycle facilities which are being funded from a successful bid to the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The programme delivery will continue through 2014 and 2015 and contains the following:
Pedestrian improvements to the pelican crossing outside Harrogate’s railway station entrance completed last month (January), providing better visibility of the crossing and its users, improved visibility of traffic signals and extensive footway repaving;
Construction has started this month (February) on the Yorkshire Showground Greenway cycle and pedestrian route. This new route will provide a surfaced path from Hornbeam Park rail station, the nearest station to the Showground site, for those attending events. It will also link up with existing cycle routes across the town.
Construction has started this month (Feb) on new and upgraded cycle storage facilities at key locations throughout Harrogate town centre;
A series of upgrades to traffic signals and junctions on the A661 Wetherby Road corridor will begin in the summer. An expanded urban traffic control system is being procured to improve the coordination of traffic signals in Harrogate through a centrally located computer. The aim is to ensure that signalling adapts better to real time traffic flows to reduce delays to traffic in the town.
A dedicated Harrogate travel website and smart phone application is currently being developed to provide sustainable travel information with the aim of encouraging more people to explore the town by walking and cycling.
The county council is currently considering submitting a bid of up to £1.5 million for the next round of DfT Local Sustainable Transport funding which would seek to improve integrated travel options to create better access for people using Harrogate’s bus and rail stations.
The county council has further information about the Harrogate LSTF on its website: http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/article/26188/Harrogate-and-Knaresborough-sustainable-transport-package