Proposals for changes for the Oatlands area were previously put to the public in Spring 2021, received a great deal of opposition, so were dropped.
County Council have now spent £200,ooo putting their case together, for what is being termed active travel measures. They have engaged consultants, used temporary number plate recognition cameras collecting data, along with people on foot, collating data on traffic and parking.
The Otley Road changes for cycling have obviously problematic to implement, creating a situation for shared pavements for cyclists and pedestrians -there is little flow of cyclists using the Otley Road cycle paths.
North Yorkshire County Council say they are hosting public engagement to make improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure.
They are asking for suggestions as to what improvements could be made to the area including on and around Oatlands Drive. It is also consulting on phase two of Otley Road cycle route, its links with Beech Grove and the town centre, ahead of construction.
Over the last five years the county council has secured more than £15m in active travel funding to deliver sustainable transport projects in the Harrogate district. This includes the National Productivity Fund to deliver a package of safety improvements along the Otley Road corridor, and the Transforming Cities Fund aimed at enhancing sustainable transport links in Harrogate town centre.
A new interactive map has been created which provides an overview of active travel projects in Harrogate and how they link together. To view the map, visit the county council’s website at www.northyorks.gov.uk/harrogate-active-travel-projects
North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways, Cllr Keane Duncan, said:
We are looking at options for active travel and traffic calming improvements in the Oatlands area as part of our aim to encourage cycling and walking, easing congestion and improving air quality in Harrogate.
Previous consultations about the Oatlands area have generated a lot of comments, so we have made a commitment to carry out a more detailed study to assess possible improvements there.
The public engagement demonstrates our commitment to ensuring local people are involved in the design process from the outset. Once completed, we will assess public responses along with the traffic data to develop potential options. We hope to be able to present these by the end of the year so they will be ready when further funding becomes available.
Further public engagement on phase two of Otley Road cycle route, its links with Beech Grove and the town centre will run alongside that of Oatlands Drive, focusing on the final designs.
Three options for the route are being considered and will be presented to residents. A meet the designer event will also be held for local stakeholder groups and residents, allowing them the opportunity to discuss the options in further detail.
The results will be considered in November with construction hoping to begin in summer 2023.
Cllr Duncan added:
There are pros and cons for all of the proposed designs which is why we need to engage with local residents and stakeholders.
It’s important to consider the possibility of conflict between road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, as well as the impact on properties along the route and parking. We would urge everybody to have their say and help us to shape the final designs.
The public consultations will launch this coming Monday (24 October 2022) and run until 28 November 2022. They will be listed on the county council’s website at www.northyorks.gov.uk/current-consultations