One of those routes is Victoria Road, a road that runs parallel to Beach Grove, and a route that more vehicles have been forced into taking as a route towards the Crown roundabout.
County Council now have plans to make traffic flow changes where cars can not exit from Victoria Road onto the Otley Road.
Council are pitching this as “a pioneering trial to enhance Harrogate’s vision for sustainable transport”
It is said to be part of the upcoming Otley Road cycle route changes and will be for an 18-month trial.
- The proposal is intended to simplify traffic movements at the junction between Victoria Road and Otley Road and to improve safety.
- Vehicles will be prevented from leaving Victoria Road on to Otley Road.
- Existing parking restrictions in the area will remain, a barrier will be placed at the junction, and one-way only and no entry signs will be installed.
- Victoria Road will continue to be accessible to residents, their visitors, deliveries, emergency vehicles, refuse collections and taxi / private hire vehicles.
They say that the proposal recognises sustainable travel links to the town centre from the West of Harrogate, along with the schemes on Victoria Avenue and Harrogate town centre, to be delivered through the Active Travel Fund and Transforming Cities Fund early next year – although it is not clear how that is the case.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said:
This addition to the existing active travel schemes in Harrogate demonstrates our commitment to encouraging sustainable transport to ease congestion and to improve air quality,”
Like the trial on Beech Grove, we look forward to receiving the views of residents during the course of this experimental order. Those views will be taken into account as part of an ongoing review of the scheme.
Local member Councillor Richard Cooper said:
A large proportion of greenhouse gases come from transport which is why I support measures such as active travel schemes that encourage or persuade people to leave their cars at home more often.
I support the trial because we have to look at reducing carbon emissions from travel. We can’t simply read the report from the IPCC last week and think this is someone else’s responsibility, and they can take care of carbon emissions and climate change while we carry on as normal.
I also want to see if this helps achieve a reduction in carbon emissions and we will get a feeling for that during the trial. If it doesn’t then we should scrap it and look at something else that does.
Residents’ feedback must be listened to, alongside that from Beech Grove, and I look forward to seeing the effect of the proposals on traffic levels in conjunction with the new cycleway on Otley Road. That feedback needs to be taken over a sensible period once motorists have had chance to get used to the new road priorities.
A consultation with residents has started today (13 August 2021), with a view to the trial beginning in September.
As this is an experimental scheme the public will have a six-month period to share their views.
The County Council will then consider whether to make it permanent, extend the experiment or set it aside.
It is not a scheme where elected councillors will have a vote on if it proceeds or not, that will be a council officer decision.
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