Tesco are running a consultation on their proposal for a new supermarket on the old gasworks site at New Park, off Skipton Road.
As well as the shop, they want to build a café and a petrol station.
They are proposing to include:
- 200 car parking spaces
- 24 cycle parking spaces
It appears that at least half the total site area is devoted to cars (parking and fuelling).
The consultation website states:
Our new proposals will deliver a much-needed new food store for the north of the town. This will reduce the number of long car journeys across Harrogate and we anticipate a reduction in CO2 emissions from the shorter trips customers will be making.TEsco consultation website
That is greenwash, and based on nothing more than a far-fetched hope, or the desire to say something about sustainability without doing anything about sustainability.
Traffic has been increasing for decades.
It went up by a third between 2010 and 2019.
While some people might make shorter trips to Tesco, it is equally likely that other people will drive to Tesco from the other side of town, going further than before.
The plans put forward by Tesco are totally car-centric. Doing the same as before will get the same result as before: ever more traffic.
Action Not Words: a Separate Active Travel Entrance
If Tesco are serious about sustainability, it needs more than just empty words.
One way of doing this would be to provide a separate entrance to the site for people on bikes and on foot. If possible, this should be from the existing cycle route on Jennfield Drive/the Hydro.
Action Not Words: Cycle Tracks on the A59
Another suggestion for cycle access to a Tesco supermarket on this site is via the A59 Skipton Road. There should be segregated, protected cycle tracks either side of the A59 Skipton Road, linking up to the vast new housing estate on the north side of Skipton Road.
The cycle tracks must be accommodated at the new roundabout entrance Tesco intends to build, with priority crossings of the arms of the roundabout.
This should be funded through a contribution from Tesco, with any balance paid by the highways authority.
The risk here is that the roundabout entrance to the supermarket is built to prioritise motor vehicles, as in every other case to date, and active travel routes are much harder and more expensive to retro-fit.
Action Not Words: Jennyfield Drive
The Jennyfield Drive cycleway should be brought up to modern standards, in particular by giving it priority over the side roads it crosses. Again, this might be funded by a developer contribution.
Action Not Words: Reduce the Space Devoted to Car Parking
If sustainable transport is prioritised, the area given over to parking private cars could be reduced. That space could be used for something more constructive (and perhaps with more commercial benefit to Tesco).
We need to understand what would enable and encourage people to arrive at the supermarket by sustainable means of transport, then build to achieve that.
The Open Street Map below shows the site and the surrounding area. (Click to enlarge).