Victoria Road Harrogate
Victoria Road Harrogate
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Further traffic changes as a knock-on effect of Beach Grove being made a no-through road


Since North Yorkshire County Council made changes to Beach Grove in Harrogate, making it a no-through road for cars, as expected, traffic has been pushed towards other routes.

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.

NYCC say:

  • 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.

Victoria Road, Harrogate
Victoria Road, Harrogate

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.

Any comments should be emailed to area6.boroughbridge@northyorks.gov.uk


8 Comments

  1. The “consultation with residents”…. In our case, a single letter, left on the doorstep outside a building housing 6 separate apartments ( one of several on the Duchy Court site) was the first we heard of these plans and whilst it was made more than apparent this trial was going ahead as intended NYCC generously gave a 24 hour window through which residents should raise their objections! How considerate. Immediate Email and social media responses are one thing but surely some thought should be given to those who do not use or have access to those resources…..are their opinions consequently not valid ?

  2. It is only making the traffic worse. And the cyclist now use the footpath on the stray infront of the flats as a short cut. We should look at ways to get people into town not keep them out. Pedestrianisation is also not the way forward. People need to park get out of their vehicle shop and have something to eat or drink get in their vehicle and leave. The town centre is dying. It used to be so beautiful. Lets get it back.

  3. Just read David Sunderland’s comment and agree with what he says. I also live in the affected area and not a single letter was left on our doorstep.

    What does Mackenzie actually mean when he says “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.” – absolutely nothing!!! How will this ease congestion and improve air quality – the opposite will in fact happen.

    NYCC’s record of consultation on the Beech Grove LTN has been woefully lacking. This looks to continue with this latest surprise announcement of another experiment at the junction of Victoria Road and Otley Road – it’s utter madness.

  4. 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.

    Why do we have Councillors if they have no say in the matter?

  5. I assume by sustainable transport the powers that be mean cycles. I Iive on Victoria Road and walk along Beech Grove regularly. Before the Beech Grove closure I rarely saw a bike on Beech Grove, and I have not seen any difference since. Am I supposed to carry a big shop back from town on the back of a bike? The whole idea has been badly thought out and should be put back to how it was. Murphy’s first law of engineering, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!

  6. The blocking off of the exit end of Victoria Road on to Otley Road will subsequently push more traffic down Lancaster Road as a means of access onto Otley Road. We have already seen a sconsidrable increase of traffic on what was once a quiet and peaceful Road. There aren’t any less cars on the road because of it, just higher polution from cars taking longer route round.

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