Victoria Avenue, Harrogate
Victoria Avenue, Harrogate

North Yorkshire County Council, Area 6 Highways, has again delayed the cycle projects paid for by the Active Travel Fund 2 (ATF2). These are the active travel schemes for Victoria Avenue and the A59 Knaresborough Road.

We had recently been told by Area 6 that there would be an engagement with the public on designs for these schemes in September 2022.

Now the Stray Ferret quotes Executive Member for Transport Keane Duncan saying that ‘a public consultation is likely to take place in the New Year.’

‘The New Year’ is vague. Area 6 have delayed all the active travel schemes for which they are responsible time and again, and repeatedy failed to meet their own deadlines. In our view, January 2023 will simply be the start-point for more delay.

History of the Schemes

We were delighted when North Yorkshire won funding for three schemes from ATF2 – Victoria Avenue, A59 and Oatlands Drive. That was in November 2020.

At the time, Cllr Don Mackenzie said:

‘The grant…comes with strict conditions. The schemes need to be delivered quickly and should reallocate road space from vehicles in favour of cyclists and pedestrians…’

cllr don mackenzie

Unfortunately Area 6 have not been able to deliver them quickly; their capacity for delay is inexhaustible.

This is a brief outline of the history of the project to date:

13th November 2020ATF2 bid successful
February 2021First consultation, on the location of the schemes
March 2021Oatlands Drive scheme dropped before the second consultation; funding to be used for a ‘feasibility study’ instead
March 2021Second consultation, on the details of the two remaining schemes
November 2021Construction of Victoria Avenue & A59 schemes to start (missed)
February/March 2022Construction of Victoria Avenue & A59 schemes to start (missed)
31st March 2022DfT deadline for construction of Victoria Avenue & A59 schemes (missed)
11th April 2022HDCA meeting with Area 6 to discuss designs for Victoria Avenue & A59 schemes
May to July 20225 emails from HDCA to Area 6 asking for progress (unanswered)
September 2022Area 6 promised a public engagement on designs (did not happen)
“the New Year 2023”New promised date for public consultation
History of the ATF2 projects in North Yorkshire

Oatlands Drive

NYCC dropped their excellent Oatlands Drive scheme after the first consultation. That consulation was only about the location of the schemes, but they appeared to drop Oatlands Drive on the basis of the design.

It was then decided to use the funding for a Feasibility Study in the Oatlands ward instead. This was due to start in Summer 2021. It didn’t.

The latest date we have been given for an online Oatlands consultation is “early October 2022”.

Failure of NYCC’s ATF3 Bid

NYCC put in an odd bid for funds from the Active Travel Fund 3. In May 2022 we found out it had failed.

Lack of ambition and failure to follow Cycle Infrastructure Design guidance were the main reasons ATF3 bids failed. NYCC’s failure to deliver their ATF2 schemes cannot have helped either.

Prospects for an ATF4 Bid

Earlier this month, Active Travel England CEO Danny Williams said that Active Travel Fund 4 was ready to go and only waiting for Treasury sign-off.

What are the chances of an NYCC ATF4 bid succeeding?

ATF2 Projects Delayed Again

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