We’ve received comments from our Supporters which we’ve taken on board, and had an online meeting with the Transforming Cities team; we now have a view on the scheme, which is set out below.
A Positive Development
We are very positive about the Transforming Cities proposals. The objectives – increasing sustainable travel to Harrogate Station and town centre, and reducing car trips – align very much with our group’s aims.
The plans have been prepared in a very professional way and are excellent.
One-Lane or Two-Lane
We are in favour of the One-Lane Option, which reduces Station Parade to one lane. Through traffic is routed along Cheltenham Mount, Bower Road, East Parade, and over Station Bridge back to Station Parade.
The Two-Lane Option does much less to achieve the objective of creating a more welcoming environment for people arriving at the station, and the cycle provision on Station Parade has a missing link in that version.
On James Street, we support Option 3, with all motor traffic prohibited.
Comments and Suggested Improvements
Linking up to Existing Cycle Routes
The success of the Transforming Cities cycle tracks depends on them linking up in a safe and convenient way with the main routes into town, including:
- Victoria Avenue (which links to Beech Grove, Park Avenue, and the future Otley Road Cycleway)
- from Asda car park via the Dragon Cycleway to the Nidderdale Greenway
- North Park Road, Marlborough Road, and South Park Road, to Stray Rein, and
- North Park Road, Marlborough Road, Victoria Avenue and Queen Parade, to Oatlands Drive
Parking in the Cycle Tracks
All over Harrogate, vehicles park or wait on double yellow lines, and on pavements, hindering travel for other road users. We are very keen that preventing vehicles parking in and blocking the cycle tracks should be part of the design process – otherwise it will inevitably be a problem as soon as the infrastructure is finished.
There needs to be enough provision for taxis. It’s not clear from the plans that there’s sufficient space, but we have been reassured that this is in hand.
If the scheme is successful, it will bring many more people into the town centre by bike. Electric bikes are increasingly popular, and they will require secure storage at the station, in locked facilities with CCTV. Again, we’re assured that this is part of the plans.
Specific Design Points
There are a few specific points on the cycle track design that we have raised, and which are now in the hands of the Transforming Cities team.
We’d like the roundabouts at the top and bottom of East Parade to be as close as possible to the LTN1/20 design in Figure 10.37.
The design for the roundabout at the junction of East Parade and Bower Road (in the Two-Lane Option) is already similar to this, but with space constraints. The Odeon roundabout in the consultation document relies on parallel crossings of the arms, which is an improvement on the present situation, but not as good as Figure 10.37.
Station Entrance on East Parade
We have discussed with the Transforming Cities team the risk of ‘left hooks’ when people ride north (downhill) on East Parade, past the entrance to the station where vehicles may turning left across a cyclist’s path. (See the Zone 2, Two-Lane Option plan).
Solutions under consideration include traffic lights giving cyclists a 5s headstart, for times when the lights are turning from red to green. Also, it would be helpful to extend the blue-coloured cycle track across the junction, to make priority clear.
Station Entrance on Station Parade
In the Two -Lane Option, priority for the cycle track across the station entrance appears to be broken. This may encourage cyclists to use the road instead, and increase danger or discourage cycle use.
If a water feature is to be added to Station Square, would this also be the opportunity to put in drinking fountains, as has been done in London? This is to discourage single-use plastic bottles, which are so damaging to the natural world, and encourage people to fill their own multi-use bottles.
It would be great to pedestrianise Princes Square, and create a park there, perhaps with Disabled Parking only. That would eliminate most of the town centre shopping traffic, and force people to look for proper parking, or travel by other means.
The centre of town does not currently have much provision for families to take a break and sit down in a pleasant environment. This would be a great opportunity.
Asda Entrance off Bower Road
The entrance into Asda from Bower Road gives about 30% of the space to those walking in, who make up about 70% of the total people, and 70% of the space to the 30% in cars.
If possible, it would be good to install a modal filter, so this entrance could only be used by bike or on foot. This would provide a route to the Dragon Cycleway.
There is another entrance to the Asda car park, from Dragon Road.