Last Saturday some of our members spent the day at the opening event of the Harrogate Climate Action Festival (CAFe) at Harrogate College. This was a community day organised by the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition and Harrogate College and was set up to launch a series of events taking place over the next three weeks to bring together residents, businesses, climate experts and campaigners with the aim of accelerating local action to counter the threat of global warming.
Transport use in Harrogate District is the largest emitting sector of green house gases accounting for 44% in 2020 (PCAN Harrogate Roadmap Summary 2020 available for download here: https://harrogatecycleaction.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Harrogate-roadmap-summary-Andy-Gouldson-6-April-2020.pdf) and so choosing more sustainable travel options such as cycling can be an important way of reducing our personal contribution towards climate change, and so we attended the event to engage with attendees to discuss cycling as a cheap, convenient and sustainable travel option for getting around Harrogate, as well as discussing cycling routes around the town and beyond.
We came away from the event with some very important messages from the people who came to speak with us:
- Feedback was very positive about proposed cycle
routes including the Otley Road Cycle path and the importance of the Beech
Grove LTN to provide a link with the Station Gateway.
- Several people, particularly women and older
people, said how unsafe they felt cycling on on Harrogate’s busy roads and they
would welcome the creation of more segregated cycle ways around town and that
they should be linked.
- We met with several owners of electric cycles
who told us how useful they are for ironing out many of the hills within
Harrogate, but concern was expressed about security when leaving these bikes,
which can be expensive, in town. Of particular concern is the Station Gateway
where commuters may be expected to leave their cycles all day and sometimes
overnight. If this is to be successful, then a secure bike storage solution
would be needed.
- Lots of interest in and support for proposals to
extend the Greenway up Nidderdale to Pateley Bridge and beyond, including
support from people with businesses in Nidderdale who see it as a sustainable
way of bringing more people into the area.
- As well as extending the Greenway, there was
interest in linking Harrogate with other nearby towns and cities such as Leeds,
Bradford and Ripon for commuting.
Once again, thanks to the organisers and everyone who came along to talk with us and for helping to make it such an enjoyable day. Please register your support for safer cycling in Harrogate District by signing up as a supporter here: Support Us page