Otley Road, which is among the areas in the improvement package
Otley Road, which is among the areas in the improvement package

Council excludes local media from engagement event on Otley Road cycle way scheme

24 May 2022

Council officers behind Harrogate’s Otley Road cycle route are hosting an engagement event with key stakeholders on the next phases of the scheme.

  • Local media is being specifically not invited and will be refused entry.
  • The council claim that the basis for the Otley Road cycle way scheme and other active travel measures in the town is based on the results of the Harrogate Congestion Study in 2019, they say that  “thousands of residents signalled their support for a greener town centre” – but this is not true.

Phase one was completed in January, with phase two – from Arthurs Avenue to the town centre – scheduled to begin later this year.

A meeting is being held tonight (Tuesday, May 24) with stakeholders including access, cycling and walking groups, local councillors, the Stray Defence Association, Harlow and Pannal Residents Association, Harrogate Grammar School and Carbon Zero Harrogate.

Melisa Burnham, North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways Area Manager, said:

We are pleased to be able to hold a face-to-face engagement event with stakeholders to update them of the progress to date, whilst recognising the links to additional strategic transport projects across the district.

We acknowledge there are still outstanding matters to complete as part of the phase one works and will be sharing assurances regarding the completion of these. We will also discuss the designs for phase two and the emerging design for phase three.

From initial public consultations in 2019 to walkthroughs of phase one of the route, we have been engaging with the public. This is a great opportunity to have everybody in one room and share our vision as we go forward.

The designs for phase two of the Otley cycle lane remain similar to those first unveiled in 2019 but we see this as an opportunity to review the design and welcome constructive feedback from the stakeholders before we commence on site.

Phase three relies on developer funding from the West of Harrogate urban extension. Plans are currently being worked on which will then lead to more detailed planning, including a feasibility study.

Melisa Burnham added:

The clear message from the congestion study was that the public wanted more cycling and walking infrastructure which would encourage more people to leave cars at home when making short journeys.

Once all phases of this scheme are finished, it will help to improve safety along the entire length of the Otley Road corridor. The aim is to accommodate all users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists – to aid sustainable travel, ease congestion and support the future growth of Harrogate.

1 Comment

  1. This council is operating under dictatorship and excluding the press proves my point.
    Forgive me for thinking we are in a democracy – my mistake

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