County Council officers and specialist consultants met with members of the Bond End Steering Group last week to spell out progress with proposals to improve air quality at the junction which was made an Air Quality Management Area in 2013.
The County Council has been working together with Harrogate Borough Council towards achievable solutions that will bring about a cleaner environment. Now they are using specialist consultants Mouchel to undertake detailed traffic and environmental modelling work.
This work will set out technological solutions in addition to a potential junction improvement to bring about longer term air quality improvement.
County Councillor Bill Hoult, chair of the Steering Group:
We understand people’s extreme concern about air quality at Bond End. We are currently working very hard to put together the most effective mitigating measures against pollution at this junction.
We understand totally that people feel the need to protest and draw attention to this issue but they must be reassured that we are taking it extremely seriously.
Air pollution from traffic congestion is a problem in towns and cities across the country, but our specialist consultants are currently undertaking modelling for Bond End to bring about long-term mitigating proposals.
Once this work is complete a number of proposals will be set out for consultation with the community and stakeholders in January 2017.
The Steering Group consists of representatives of the County, District and Town Councils.
The Borough Council has already secured a successful £237,000 bid to the Government’s Clean Bus Tecyhnology Fund in partnership with local bus company Transdev, for buses operating between Harrogate and Knaresborough which go through the Bond End junction.
The Fund will pay for modifications on buses to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide by at least 50 per cent.
Councillor Rebecca Burnett, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainable Transport:
This funding provides the opportunity for a number of older buses, to be fitted with green technology to make them more environmentally friendly.
This will mean less pollution and cleaner air for everyone and is a key contribution to improving air quality at Bond End.
Councillor Bill Hoult, Chair of the Bond End Steering Group and local Ward Member
We are making real progress on solutions for Bond End. The modelling is complex and very specialised and there is a need to ensure that the solutions consider future growth in the town.
The consultation planned for early in the New Year will give everyone the chance to comment on the options being considered.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways:
There has been a need for a long time to make these improvements and we are working closely with the Borough Council, businesses and traders to ensure the project goes ahead as smoothly as possible.