Chris Kitson of the Community Action Group, presented a petition to the committee that was originally received by NYCC on 15 December 2017, when it had 2,314 signatures. Chris Kitson said that the petition now had 3,000 signatures.
If a petition contains signatures from 1% (1,586) or more of the population of Harrogate District, but less that 5% (30,130) of the County’s population, it is scheduled for debate at a meeting of the Area Committee and petition organiser is offered the opportunity to speak for five minutes.
Chris Kitson spoke for his allotted 5 minutes, talking about the impact of a road through the Nidd Gorge/ Greenway being wider than the roadway itself.
The petition was to seek support for the advisory vote of the previous Area Committee when it had voted 14 votes to 2 against a relief road to be supported. A subsequent meeting of the NYCC BES had decided to put a greater level of detail to the options and continue to head towards a consultation. At the time they said that it would give a more informed consultation, but it was important for the wider public to have a chance to give a view.
Councillor Cooper said that he felt that he had been ignored. David Bowe (Corporate Director Business and Environmental Services at North Yorkshire County Council) said that they had not been ignored and reaffirmed that this was currently a decision on having a consultation and not on a final solution. He continued that if they had of been ignored, then they would have continued with a consultation in January.
David Bowe said:
The goal is not to deliver a relief road but to deal with congestion, but there is little we can do without major impact.
Mr Bowe continued saying that he was shocked that people felt they had been ignored.
No further detail is currently available on the alignment of an inner relief road.
As in previous Area Committees, the discussion was focused on a relief road, rather than the whole picture of looking at the congestion in the town.