John swales Reform UK
John swales Reform UK

Council say traffic changes could happen this year to Oatlands Drive and Victoria Avenue, following public consultation

18 March 2024

John Swales is standing as the Reform UK candidate in the North Yorkshire Council by-election for the Stray, Hookstone and Woodlands Division of Harrogate.

The election is on the 11th of April, and follows the resignation of the previous councillor.

An issue that hangs over the Saints part of the division is the possibility of traffic flow changes. These changes would likely make the junction of St Hilda’s and Oatlands, and the junction of St Winifred’s and Oatlands Drive being changed into one-way sections.


John Swales said:

The proposals for changes to the highways in the Saints areas go back many years.

In 2021 there were proposals to make Oatlands Drive one way, to accommodate a segregated cycle lane. Those proposals were dropped due to the volume of opposition from the general public.

Then in 2022, North Yorkshire County Council had some of the budget for the changes re-assigned for an extended survey of the area. That was a survey that looked at parking, and the flow of traffic using number plate recognition type cameras.

The changes would have seen the junctions onto Oatlands drive being made into one-way sections.

However, most in the Saints area were of the understanding that the proposals had been dropped, but that is not the case.


North Yorkshire Council have said they anticipate that changes will be made to both Victoria Avenue and Oatlands Drive this financial year (2024-25), with a public consultation and engagement taking place in the Spring 2024.


John Swales said:

With any highway changes, we need to be very clear on what they achieve, and for what cost.

Although there may be a budget waiting for these changes, it doesn’t mean the changes are the right thing to do.

We need to be realistic and pragmatic. If the junctions are made one-way onto Oatlands Drive, it will just push traffic onto different routes.

If the council want to say that people should be using different forms of transport, then again we need to be pragmatic – for many cycling isn’t an option, and there are extremely limited bus services in that immediate area.

I am not against cycling or using buses, and if I get elected as Councillor, I will fight to oppose these changes.



  1. Please ask the LOCAL residents. . Most PROBLEMS OCCUR DuRing SCHOOL times. If parents and sixTh Formers were better Drivers and parked Sensibly the pressures would Ease Considerably.

  2. Politicians and HARROGATE council do not seem to understand when they are making changes without the Public supporting them. Their proposed changes to oatlands road being a prime example of IDEOLOGY pushed by IDIOTS. The majority of the public have pointed out the problems with the plans, but they have just keep going. Why bother with consulting.

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