Harrogate Station Square as it could look
Harrogate Station Square as it could look

The consultation about Harrogate’s Station Gateway project, funded by Transforming Cities, opened today. It runs until 24th March 2021.

£7.9 million is available to provide access to and from the town centre, with a focus on cleaner alternatives to car journeys. It is a step towards becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038, and it will regenerate the Station Parade area and improve health and well-being.

Objectives and Benefits of Transforming Cities Fund

Some of the objectives and benefits of the Transforming Cities Fund are to:

  • increase the number of people travelling to Harrogate station and town centre by bus, on foot, and by bike
  • take up to 12 million car trips a year off the roads by 2036
  • increase bus, rail and active travel trips
  • enhance the quality of the environment around Station Parade for residents, visitors and nature

The Plans

The plans are split into Zone 1 and Zone 2, as shown on the map below.

Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 1 & Zone 2
Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 1 & Zone 2

Zone 1

This is the consultation document for Zone 1. It describes two options.

The first is a one-lane option for motor vehicles on Station Parade, which gives more space for walking and cycling there. The second has two lanes for motor vehicles on Station Parade and therefore gives less space to active travel there – but it includes more extensive provision for bikes on East Parade.

The visual plans in the consultation document are more helpful than the text in gaining an quick understanding of what is proposed.

Plan A

In the consultation document, Plan A communicates some of the problems with the current layout of Station Parade. It says lower Station Parade is dominated by traffic and parked cars and lacks greenery; buses are often delayed in traffic; and people on bikes have to be brave enough to share a busy road with vehicles.

Plan B

Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 1, Plan B
Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 1, Plan B

Plan B shows the one-lane option. Some of the main features are:

  • through traffic encouraged to use Cheltenham Mount instead of heading up to Station Parade (but where is it routed then?)
  • a short isolated stretch of cycle lane on Bower Road, and another at the top of Cheltenham Parade
  • lower Station Parade made one way (south); a new bus lane and 2-way cycle track added
  • changes to One Arch including new lighting and a cycle track going through it
  • walking and cycling given more priority at the Cheltenham Parade/Station Parade junctions
  • a new 2-way cycle lane on upper Station Parade
  • cycle lanes either side of East Parade

Plan C

Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 1, Plan C
Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 1, Plan C

Plan C shows the two-lane option. Some of the main features are:

  • through traffic does not use Cheltenham Mount
  • a longer stretch of cycle lanes either side of Bower Road, leading to the junction with East Parade, but apparently does not quite connect to lower Station Parade. (Check if the bike lanes have physical protection)
  • roundabout junction at Bower Road/East Parade improved for cycling and walking
  • bike lanes either side of East Parade
  • the same arrangements as Plan B on lower Station Parade
  • a very slightly longer cycle lane at the top of Cheltenham Parade – but apparently nothing for bikes lower down Cheltenham Parade
  • no bike lane on Station Parade between Cheltenham Parade and the railway station

Zone 2

This is the consultation document for Zone 2.

Again, there are one-lane and two-lane options for Station Parade, in Plans B and C.

There are also three options for James Street, ranging from non-pedestrianisation (Option A) to full pedestrianisation (Option C); and cycle tracks on Station Bridge.

Plan A

This is the plan of the existing layout in Zone 2.

Plan B

Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 2, Plan B
Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 2, Plan B

Plan B shows the one-lane option, and Option B for James Street (pedestrianised at agreed times of day). Some of the main features are:

  • 2-way cycle lane on Station Parade
  • one-way bike lanes either side of Station Bridge
  • one-way bike lanes either side of Station Parade between the station and York Place
  • water feature at Station Square – but should there be a drinking fountain, to encourage people not to buy bottled water?
  • James Street pedestrianisation option B (I think)
  • Albert Street becomes eastbound only instead of westbound only
  • improvements at the Odeon roundabout, with parallel crossings (but the dodgy turn into Marlborough Road looks much the same)

Plan C

Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 2, Plan C
Harrogate Station Gateway, Zone 2, Plan C

Plan C shows the two-lane option. The main features are:

  • the bike lane on Station Parade doesn’t go any further north than the station
  • other aspects very similar or the same

James Street

There are visualisations of the James Street Options A and C (but not B).

Visualisation of James St, Option A
Visualisation of James St, Option A
Visualisation of James St, Option C
Visualisation of James St, Option C

Consultation

Consultation is open from 24th February to 24th March 2021. A link to the survey can be found on West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Harrogate Station Gateway page.

HDCA Views and Response

One-Lane Proposal

The one-lane proposal is more ambitious, in that it reduces traffic on Station Parade, and provides cycle facilities for the whole length of that road. One reservation is that we want to understand where traffic goes after it has been diverted onto Cheltenham Mount.

Two-Lane Proposal

The two-lane proposal is less in line with the objectives of the Transforming Cities Fund, in that it reduces motor traffic less. For those arriving from the north by bike, there is a gap in provision on Station Parade.

On the other hand, it does include a really good roundabout at the East Parade/Bower Road junction, which is not included in the One-Lane Proposal.

HDCA Response on Transforming Cities

If you have any views you wish to share with us, please do so by 10th March 2021 – either by leaving your comment on this page, or using the Contact page in the main menu.

We will then draft a response by 16th March, and post it here on the website.

Transforming Cities Consultation

3 thoughts on “Transforming Cities Consultation

  • March 2, 2021 at 5:56 pm
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    One point I think worth raising is the connectivity into the existing network of cycle routes. In a few places it seems to narrowly miss the link.

    Of particular note is Station parade to Victoria Avenue (North and Southbound). It would also be nice to be able to turn right into Station Parade from Victoria Avenue (towards the station) and also right turn from Station Parade into Victoria Avenue (away from the station).

    The plans show the cycle paths seem to just appear in various places like Station Avenue, Dragon Road etc. I think it is a bit of a missed opportunity not to link to the old Bilton railway path at Dragon Road car park, as that is a key route for anyone coming from Bilton (and people getting out to the Greenway). I guess the scheme must have limits, but that would be a good one.

    All the best,

    Alex.

  • March 2, 2021 at 10:00 pm
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    I was very impressed with the difference in Knaresborough when the Bond End traffic lights were replaced with roundabouts. Immediately all the queues of traffic disappeared and the flow massively improved. The traffic seems much less even though I’m sure the actual number of vehicles is much the same.
    It makes me wonder if we could improve Harrogate town centre in a similar way.
    The obvious contender is the big junction where Parliament St, Kings Rd and Ripon Rd all meet. If that became a roundabout, we would no longer need several lanes on Parliament St to accommodate the queues.
    Parliament St could then easily become 2-way. That would eliminate the through traffic from the loop around Cheltenham Parade and Station Parade. With the traffic much reduced past the railway station, I think there would be less opposition to reallocating space away from motor traffic in that area.
    The big snag with these proposals as they stand, is that although they are good for cyclists, they take something away from the motorists who are still a majority and a powerful lobby likely to resist these ideas.
    I think that if we could make the traffic flow better generally, there would be something for everyone and then perhaps these proposals would be welcomed by all.
    I can see from the road layout that Parliament St has previously been a 2-way street, but much longer ago than the 20 years I’ve lived here. I’d be interested to know what caused the current one-way system to be instigated and what it was like before.

    • March 3, 2021 at 9:49 am
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      Philip, Malcolm Neesam could tell you all about that. I’ve just tried and failed to find the info from him which we have somewhere. It’s in at least one of his books. I remember that he said the one way system was put in place as the first phase of a disastrous multi stage plan to destroy Harrogate with massive roadbuilding including, I think a flyover near the town centre. That led to the Civic Society being formed in protest. See http://www.harrogatecivicsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/eNewsletter-October-2020.pdf The plans were dropped but the one way system remained unfortunately. Malcolm N has been adamant since that West Park/Parliament Street should revert to two way. Several people think an alternative might be to make it single lane, northbound, restoring some of the tarmac to Stray grass, and enabling the cafes to expand further onto the paved area, more European outdoor style. This would mean West Park Stray would potentially be bordered by one busy road, Otley Road, one single lane road, West Park, and one now very quiet road, Beech Grove. A huge improvement.

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