Harrogate Station Gateway – Consultation Outcome Report – 61% say designs do not balance the needs and safety of all road users

19 January 2023

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority have issued a report following a 3rd consultation from August 2023 on the Harrogate Station Gateway Project.

The report states the Harrogate Station Gateway Project is a consequence of a previous consultation of Harrogate people rejecting a relief road, that would have passed near Bilton.

The scheme makes traffic changes from the Odeon roundabout, Station Parade and James Street. It is said that the aim is aims to make the town centre more accessible with cycle lanes and pedestrianisation.

The full report is attached, but overall the public voted against the scheme, when aesthetics and functionality are considered.

How do you feel about the designs for the public space, landscaping and lighting?

  • 1, 038/ 51% said positive or very positive
  • 955/ 49%  said didn’t know, neutral or negative or very negative

How successful do you feel these designs are in balancing the needs and safety of all road users (people on foot, people who cycle, bus users, private vehicle users)?

  • 803/ 39%   said positive or very positive
  • 1234/ 61% said didn’t know, unsuccessful or negative or very unsuccessful

Comment by Tim Cook, Editor of the Harrogate Informer:

It seems that North Yorkshire County Council have gone to crazy town, first with the mess that is the Otley Road “cycle way” or really a bit of a wider pavement, and now this scheme that is  designed to link to the Otley Road.

Consultations are generally viewed by councils as a hoop to jump through, rather than anything they really wanted to do as a genuine listening exercise. They are often used with great positivity when it fits their direction of travel, but then, almost dismissed, when it suits, voicing that it isn’t a referendum, so can be ignored.

We also need to question the validity or balance of the responses. This isn’t a referendum of course, so it will have mainly motivated the cycling fraternity of Harrogate, that’s of course a relationship nurtured by both County and Borough Council as they provide useful backing to schemes such as this.

But the question really is, how does this really benefit Harrogate as a whole. It is termed the Gateway project, assuming that rail is the big gateway to the town centre. The report says that 10% of visitors use rail, that is probably generous.

Without doubt, the Harrogate Town centre needs investment to stay relevant. It is difficult to see the bigger picture of how this scheme helps that. It is easy to cherry-pick statistics that pedestrianisation will benefit, but it needs much more looking at as a whole.

This scheme makes it more diffciult to travel to Harrogate by car, the assumption is that people would then just not use their car, but switch to another mode of transport, but still come.

Implementing this scheme will also cause a lot of damage to the town centre, perhaps reducing footfall. It will be interesting to see how that would be managed.




  1. The public transport system in this country is appalling, bad service and expensive. Grossly underinvested. This plan would work better if we had the same infrastructure as Germany, Holland and France.

    Here, people will still have to use their cars and this will cause more congestion just like the ridiculous crossings at the bottom of Station Parade.

    In an ideal world we need more people to use public transport and cycle and walk but right now it is not going to happen.

    Wring time to propose as the country is on its knees.

    Mend the roads and pavements, make it easier to run a local business. They fleece you and little is done to help local people. Invest in rebuilding the town centre. It is a sgadow if its former self.

  2. The scheme is going to gridlock the town centre. They should run a temporary pilot scheme and reduce Station Parade to one lane for a month and see what happens. They won’t because they to rely on fictitious models that support their case rather than the inconvenient real world. The whole thing is a disgrace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.



Go toTop