County Council to close approach road to Oatlands Junior School in Harrogate during pick-up and drop-off times

21 March 2023

North Yorkshire County Council have said they intend to close the approach road to Oatlands Junior School, during drop-off and pick-up time, using an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO).

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, and highways officers outlined the measures for the Pannal Ash and Oatlands area at a meeting with local schools, police, councillors and campaign groups.

It will be trialled from September 2023, in what will be the first Schools Streets initiative is to be trialled in the town, closing Beechwood Grove.

County Council say it is to create a safer environment and encourage more children to walk or cycle to school.

Oatlands Junior School has now announced plans to increase its intake from 300 to 420 by taking children from reception age
Oatlands Junior School

NYCC also say that the closure of the 150metre stretch of road will promote a healthier lifestyle, reduces congestion, improves air quality and leads to a better environment for all road users.

  • The road will be physically closed with a barrier
  • The pilot would require an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. This would be a time-limited order. It has not yet been made and would be subject to consultation. Any objections would be considered by Cllr Duncan and Karl Battersby, BES
  • The exact times of the closures have yet to be thought up
  • Local people on Beechgrove have not yet been consulted
  • Access will be provided to emergency vehicles, but it is not clear how

The road is a wide road with little parking during most of the day, as all houses on the street have their own drives. It becomes much busier at school pick-up and drop-off times. This measure is a measure to dissuade drivers, rather than encourage walking and cycling. It is likely that the numbers using cars may reduce, but it is also likely that it will just force parking onto adjacent streets.

Beechwood Grove, junction

 

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, said:

This meeting represents a crucial step towards improving road safety and promoting more sustainable journeys for children and families.

We are working closely with all Pannal Ash and Oatlands area schools, local councillors and residents to make improvements in these busy areas.

The council has agreed to a comprehensive package of highway improvements to be delivered in the immediate term, including new crossing points, vehicle activated signs and Harrogate’s first School Streets pilot at Oatlands Junior School.

We are continuing to work on further measures to be delivered in the longer term, including consideration of requests for new 20mph zones.

Highways improvements are just part of the strategy, however. Culture change is critical too and we are supporting all schools in the area to play their role by producing a Travel Plan if they don’t yet have one in place.

I would like to thank everyone involved in this unified effort to make travelling to school safer, healthier and happier.

Subject to consultation, this sustainable transport package could include 20mph speed limits, crossing points, cycling signage and improvements to bus corridors.

Proposals will be presented to local councillors at the area constituency committee this summer and implementation could start from autumn.

Additional Media

Beechwood Grove, Harrogate, route

360 video of the route

 

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