Town centres development schemes for Harrogate, Selby and Skipton are currently in development. The plans are to spend a total of £42m on infrastructure changes to support sustainable travel.
The work is being put together by a consortium of groups, including HB and NYCC, and they have published a report this week that recommends the proposals go forward to detailed design stage.
Controversially, though, NYCC’s own consultation showed 55% didn’t support the scheme, and a further community-led poll showed even less support.
That report will go to the North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive and recommends moving forward ready for implementation and for a final business case to be prepared for each project.
For Harrogate, there will be changes to the railway and bus station frontages with changes of access for walking and cycling.
The schemes are being financed from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund.
That is a fund that says it is about ‘driving’productivity through improved connections between urban centres and suburbs, with a focus on investment in infrastructure to improve public and sustainable transport connectivity.
North Yorkshire County Council makes some very bold claims about these road and pedestrian areas changes:
NYCC claim that the Gateway Project will:
- Increase people’s access to jobs, education, healthcare and leisure facilities
- Encourage sustainable travel
- Reduce car journeys
- Improve public health and wellbeing
- Create a higher-quality environment for residents, visitors, businesses and wildlife
At the January NYCC Area Committee a petition was presented, and disregarded by all Harrogate-are County Councillors. The petition came from the Harrogate Residents’ Association. The petition was largely rubbished by all the councillor’s at the meeting, although it showed strong objection to the scheme.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said:
These proposals represent the biggest investment in Harrogate, Selby and Skipton town centres in decades and aim to increase productivity by making it quicker, easier and safer for people to travel around and connect with economic opportunities. We want to encourage more people to travel by foot, bike and public transport because it is good for health and the environment by promoting fitness and reducing congestion. The spending will also provide a welcome boost for our town centres after two difficult years of trading during the pandemic.
The entire project is a great example of partnership working between Craven District Council, Harrogate Borough Council, Selby District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and is set to deliver real benefits to residents and businesses across our county.
We have listened to feedback from the public consultations and are confident people will be pleased with the results.
NYCC own consultation showed that 55% of respondents didn’t support the scheme.
A report for the North Yorkshire County Council Executive seeks member approval to submit a final business case to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is administering funds on behalf of the Department for Transport.
A further poll is being run by the Crowd Wisdom Project, we recommend you go to Harrogate Gateway – keep the conversation going by taking part in a “polis” poll — Harrogate Informer (harrogate-news.co.uk) and take part. This is an innovative “Polis” poll and the outcome will be published shortly.