The project would see a £11m programme of works with the aim of changing the highway from the bus station, towards the railway station, and James Street.
The meeting heard from a number of members of the public, speaking for businesses, and groups.
Cllr Keane Duncan, the Councillor with responsibility for Highways, spoke in support of the scheme, along with Highways Officers.
A number expressed a view that it wasn’t a perfect scheme, but that doing nothing was not an option.
It was stated that the scheme was about developing a better balance for car users, and cyclist/ active travel.
Opposition to the scheme, was voiced on many grounds, including possible damage to business, during the construction phases, and in the final solution.
There was also concern around the lack of an integrated town centre development plan, and that this was potentially an island of development.
Highways countered those arguments, by seeking to rationalise the true extent of the work.
The scheme had originally come to the committee for debate and an approval to be taken forward to final approval with the North Yorkshire Council Executive. Strictly speaking North Yorkshire Council can still proceed with the scheme, as it stands, as they are not looking for approval from the committee.
A further motion was proposed, voted on, and agreed to, that said:
Harrogate needs a vibrant, safe, prosperous and accessible town centre, and would welcome further investment via a Gateway Scheme to achieve that.
- That the committee support the investment in a Gateway Project
- That there is ongoing and improved work in listening to views
- That the committee has the opportunity to hold North Yorkshire Chief Executive to account
- A full report is given to the committee in the Autumn on the schemes progress
- The committee has a meaningful role in the ongoing development of the scheme
- A rigorous process for monitoring expected and actual impact on traffic is put into place
Highways stated the budget is coming from central government, that it is expected that the bulk of the spend on the scheme is in 2023/24.