Area Commitee
Area Commitee

County Council receive petition on inner relief road consultation proposals

15 March 2018

North Yorkshire County Council, Harrogate  Area Committee, met this morning to receive a progress update and petition on the possibility of a inner relief road.

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 (Corporate Director Business and Environmental Services at North Yorkshire County Council)
David Bowe (Corporate Director Business and Environmental Services at North Yorkshire County Council)


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.


Harrogate 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.






  1. Thanks for doing this piece, Tim. The officer gave a classic example of the use of ‘weasel words’…simply bulldozing the last democratic decision of the elected members. Its quite clear that the officers want a ‘relief road’ and cannot see how any other measures could work – because they have so little imagination or experience in places other than North Yorkshire (where the car has always reigned supreme). Unfortunately, councillors are not assertive or committed enough to deal with this kind of manipulation.

  2. I think it is disgraceful that the council is even contemplating building a road through such a delightful, irreplaceable beauty spot .The whole area is one of outstanding natural beauty which should be protected for future generations .Gillian Gray .Harrogate .

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