Tour of EATF locations, Harrogate
Tour of EATF locations, Harrogate

Thanks very much to those who came along on the EATF Mini-Tour this morning. We looked at the roads where quality cycle infrastructure may be installed, funded by the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF). We were delighted two Councillors could join the tour – Phil Ireland and Chris Aldred.

Our ride took in Beech Grove, Victoria Avenue and Oatlands Drive. (The other road that may benefit from EATF funding is the A59 between High Bridge and Harrogate Golf Club).

Beech Grove

This was part of the EATF Tranche 1 bid by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC). They say funding wasn’t granted, but they are going to put in a bike lane anyway. We discussed concerns over the design.

Beech Grove bike lane design
Beech Grove bike lane design

The problem with the design is that it provides protection in one direction only. Returning from town, people on bikes would have to share a (reduced width) carriageway with traffic. We watched as vehicles went past quite fast – including taxis, pickup trucks and 4x4s.

Two parents present said they would not let their young children ride on Beech Grove as currently planned. None of us thought the design was acceptable, or an improvement.

Victoria Avenue

This is an EATF Tranche 2 scheme. A decision from the DfT on funding is due in early September.

There would be a bike lane either side, between parking and the kerb; or a 2-way bike lane in the centre. We think this is a good scheme, and it would provide part of the link between Otley Road and the station and town centre.

Oatlands Drive

Crossing York Place

Using the light-controlled crossing of York Place between Queen Parade and Oatlands Drive, it took a full 40 seconds for the lights to change to green for us. Even when there was no traffic coming, the lights stayed red. NYCC gives priority to motor traffic and makes people on foot and bikes wait. This goes against national policy to make walking and cycling the natural choices for short journeys.

Existing Oatlands Drive facilities

Everyone agreed that the narrow painted bike lanes on Oatlands Drive are not fit for purpose. We saw someone riding on the pavement instead – clearly having rejected the official facilities as unsafe.

The bike lane on one side was full of parked cars.

EATF scheme for Oatlands Drive

Oatlands Drive is also a Tranche 2 scheme. It would be made one-way (south) for cars, and there would be a physically protected bike lane either side. This will be great, and we hope it will be funded.

Action points

  1. Phil Ireland and Chris Aldred to use their contacts to get the Beech Grove design changed, and report back
  2. Phil and Chris to raise with NYCC the time taken for the York Place crossing lights to change (and for other pedestrian crossing lights in Harrogate) and report back
EATF Mini-Tour Report

2 thoughts on “EATF Mini-Tour Report

  • August 31, 2020 at 10:38 pm
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    I think the points raised about the safety of cycling up Beech Grove with the proposed scheme are important. You will have to ride a good distance away from the parked cars to avoid getting “car doored” and any cars behind will not be able to pass unless you pull into the parked car areas – this is building in unnecessary conflict with cars. I would still be wary about letting my children ride on that road unless the speed limit is reduced to 20miles per hour/and the townward cycle lane has robust physical barriers to stop cars encroaching on the lane(I can see why you would have to drive faster on that road.
    Really like the idea of protected bike lanes down Oatlands drive and one way system -it would also connect to the safe bike route down the Crimple Valley (the coach road)

  • September 11, 2020 at 10:23 am
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    Regarding Beech Grove, the diagram in this report illustrates very clearly the problem with the proposed design. Anyone cycling away from town could end up with a car on their tail all the way up the hill. Cycling infrastructure should not be built upon a presumption of brave cyclists and patient drivers!
    Beech Grove is a key link from South Harrogate – and the planned Otley Road cycleway – into town, so I would really like to see safe cycling provision here in both directions.

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