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Beech Grove in Harrogate to remain blocked until at least August 2022 say County Council


Beech Grove is to retain the bollards and planters until at least August 2022.- the barriers allow cycles through, but not other vehicles.

North Yorkshire County Council describe the scheme as “pioneering” and say it will encourage more walking and cycling, although it is not clear why they believe that.

Although not-scientific, a visit to Beech Grove will show very few cycles using the route. It creates questions where NYCC perceive the route is helping cyclist get from and to.

Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council say the trial needs to be extended to gather further data, as the current data was gathered during a non-typical period.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said:

Taking into account the consultation responses, traffic survey data, ongoing site observations and other active travel measures in Harrogate, we have decided to maintain the modal filters until summer 2022, when the experimental 18 month order ends, and a formal decision will be taken on the way forward.

A reduction in traffic levels on Beech Grove has resulted in a reduction in the speed of vehicles and an increase in cyclists. More people are likely to cycle – for both commuting and leisure – when improved infrastructure is in place that reduces conflict with vehicles.

We are committed to encouraging active travel, easing congestion and improving air quality in Harrogate. Other schemes such as the Otley Road cycle route, the Station Gateway project and the Active Travel Fund proposals for Victoria Avenue are all at various stages of design and construction so when work is complete we anticipate a further increase in cycling.

Beech Grove and Lancaster Road is not easily accessible to residents, with many having to take a longer route to access their properties.

Cllr Mackenzie added:

The various lockdowns have had an impact on traffic levels so an extension means we can collect further data before a decision is made on whether to make the measures permanent or set aside the scheme.

We will continue to listen to the views of residents on the Beech Grove measures which will be taken into account as part of an ongoing review of the scheme.

 

Councillor Richard Cooper, member for Harrogate Central, said:

We appreciate that some local residents remain sceptical about these new sustainable transport measures but extending the trial is important to be able to make an informed decision once we have more traffic data and consultation responses.

We cannot pretend that traffic congestion, poor air quality, a diminishing environment and climate change can be solved without radical changes to our transport infrastructure and our personal travel habits.

Any comments should be emailed to area6.boroughbridge@northyorks.gov.uk. The deadline is April 29, 2022.


5 Comments

  1. Sir
    As a resident of Harrogate for over 50 years and find the claims regards the Beech Grove closure to all but cyclists and pedestrians is nessercary and valuable is laughable especially taking into account the extension being required due to the lockdown reduction in traffic. I must assume that the data showed a leaning to not being required
    I can find nobody whom feels it to be of any tangible true benefit
    As for Otley Road… Victoria Avenue and Station Parade. To reduce impact… fumes….. improvr air quality… safety etc…. requires proper cash and thinking
    Where does said council members believe the traffic will go (do they believe it will just disappear? )
    A token gesture of moving the true problem aside In a wave of back patting publicity and celebration is not acceptable
    For the past 30 years our !! beautiful town has been fundamentally destroyed in the name of investment
    Why fix what isn’t broken when the towns infrastructure continues to creak under the strain of new build housing spreading across the area like a Pandemic
    I see a need for more schools…. Dr’s surgerys/health centres…. the District Hospital is bursting so much so that if for example you are a stroke patient or maybe suffering mental health issues you must travel to Leeds or York….and yes this brings me back to the start…..
    We are left having to become part of the supposed problem of car usage… congestion…. and poor Air quality
    Please fix as soon as you can what needs fixing before considering anything else
    Regards
    Gary Steel

  2. Quote: ” , , , so an extension means we can collect further data before a decision is made on whether to make the measures permanent or set aside the scheme.”

    I wonder, does anyone truly believe that decisions in this context are data-driven? The utterly illogical nature of previous decisions would certainly not justify this belief. We’ve had fifty years of opportunity to rectify the ludicrously labyrinthine one-way system of West Park and Station Parade – fifty years of evidence! That really should be enough to put it right. Perhaps sense will prevail once the present incumbents move on – and give us all some peace.

  3. You see by the decisions made by half of these councillors that they either don’t live in Harrogate where they cause misery or they live in an absolute dream world!
    Half of the traffic congestion is caused by temporary traffic lights and the fact we have traffic light ever 200yards in two which are not sequenced correctly to allow traffic to flow.
    Most cyclists I’ve seen in and around the area don’t use the cycle paths, and apart from the odd idiot cyclist or group that think they are above the rules of the road when using it ride on the road ways.
    As previous person has mentioned the town is expanding quicker than the basic infrastructure, so fix that first before closing roads off to motorists as all you do is increase traffic in other areas and before you say use public transport you should try getting a weeks shopping for a family of 4 on a bus to Sainsbury’s as a family.
    Think before you act!

  4. Contrary to what is implied in your headline and previous comments, access to Beach Grove is not blocked. All of Beach Grove is accessible to all traffic. However through traffic between West Park Stray and Otley Rd for motorised traffic has been stopped. This makes this route much more attractive and safer for cyclists. It links the cycling route from Victoria Ave to Otley Rd where a segregated cycle path is currently being installed. It is well documented fact that where good cycling infrastructure is put in place people who would otherwise not cycle choose to do so, and in the process reduce road congestion for those who prefer to drive, as well as saving the NHS huge sums of money by keeping themselves healthier. I unfortunately have to drive a van around the Harrogate area 4 days a week as part of my job. All my other journeys are done by bike and I can assure you that cycling is by far my preferred option as it is quicker and much more pleasant than sitting in traffic jams. If you’re thinking “it’s alright for you, you are probably young and fit”, I am 62 and fit (due to regular cycling) and I know many cyclist much older than me who are happy to ride day in day out. You maybe ought to try it, you might just be surprised how pleasant, fast and enjoyable cycling is. You could even get an e-bike if you’re worried about the hils.

  5. The negative tone of this article and some of the comments is almost laughable. Do these people actually think that carrying on as we have done in the past is really an option? All the research nationally and for our region shows that traffic has to reduce by about 40% to achieve our carbon reduction goals. How will that happen if safe alternatives to the car aren’t provided? On top of that we have the additional traffic being generated by all the new developments around the edge of town. Congestion is going to get an awful lot worse if something doesn’t change. And then there is air quality – sitting outside a cafe on Cold Bath Road or West Park feels very unhealthy – I can taste the pollution. It especially damages the health of young people who live or go to school near heavy traffic. It is all very well making negative comments about change but I’m not hearing any positive suggestions for alternatives from these nay sayers. I’m sorry but repeating this rubbish endlessly does not make it right.

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