North Yorkshire have launched an initial (Phase 1) consultation on schemes funded by the Active Travel Fund.
In Harrogate District, the roads to be improved with protected bike lanes and better crossings are:
- Oatlands Drive
- Victoria Avenue
- A59 between Starbeck and Knaresborough High Bridge
Oatlands Drive links in with walking and cycling routes on Slingsby Walk and the Yorkshire Showground, and leads to two schools (St Aidan’s and St John Fisher). The plan is for improvements to walking and cycling facilities on Oatlands Drive.
The current painted bike lanes provide no protection, and are much narrower than the Absolute Minimum width in government guidance. They are unsafe, so children (and some adults) end up cycling on the pavement – or their parents won’t let them cycle to school at all.
With two schools on Oatlands Drive, it’s difficult to believe that anyone could be against making safe provision for children to walk or cycle to school. As well as cutting congestion and pollution, active travel is vital for childrens’ health, avoiding the illnesses associated with a sedentary lifestyle. The scheme will also benefit everyone else who wishes to walk or cycle.
Victoria Avenue will be part of a route to the town centre and station – a link from Otley Road and Beech Grove to Princes Square and Station Parade. Again, there are to be protected bike lanes either side, and better crossings.
The A59 scheme will link High Bridge, Knaresborough, and Starbeck, with a protected bike route. (This is still only part of a route, because provision will run out at Starbeck).
The survey (link on North Yorkshire’s consultation page) simply asks for your views on the locations of the schemes. We think they are good and we ask you to support them. The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete, and the deadline is 23rd February 2021.
Acting Against Pollution, Climate Change, and Inactivity
Most of us know that we face the problems of air pollution, a rapidly changing climate, and diseases related to inactivity. We need to make changes. These are not just changes to be made by other people, somewhere else. It also means us, here.
Some changes might occasionally mean an extra few seconds on a car journey – a slight inconvenience. In exchange, you get safer walking and cycling for yourself, your family, and the children who go to local schools; less danger and pollution; and the knowledge that you’re contributing to making Harrogate a cleaner, greener town.
It’s time to decide: do you want to be part of the problem, or part of the solution?
As you can see from the consultation timetable, there is to be a Phase 2 consultation, which will ask for views on the designs of the schemes.
The ATF money must be spent in the next financial year, between April 2021 and April 2022.