Harrogate District Cycle Action Chair Kevin Douglas made a statement to the Harrogate & Knaresborough Area Constituency Committee meeting today.

Kevin gave some background to our organisation, and said that we have worked with the local authority and helped secure funding. Our main concern is the failure of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) to deliver, in particular on:

He had four main asks:

  1. the development of a detailed cycling plan for Harrogate District
  2. the appointment of a dedicated cycling officer for the District
  3. a local area budget for small improvements
  4. the transfer of the Cycle Forum from Harrogate Borough Council to NYCC

Louise Neale responded on behalf of NYCC. She blamed the delays on Otley Road on land issues and design issues.

On Victoria Avenue and A59 she said that Active Travel England want to see design changes, and she appeared to imply that that is the reason for ongoing delays.

‘Active Travel England, who are the funders, have been involved in discussions about these schemes, and they are keen to be involved in the ongoing design work. They are fully aware that these schemes have not yet been delivered, and they have suggested further design work as a way forward.’

nycc officer at the area constituency committee meeting

The Oatlands Drive public engagement is due to start this month, said Louise Neale.


Rene Dziabas made a statement on behalf of the Harlow and Pannal Ash Residents Association, HAPARA, largely consisting of negative comments about the Otley Road cycleway. HAPARA recently carried out a survey where they in effect invited people to grumble about Phase 1 of the cycleway, and they grumbled about it.

HAPARA said that on Phase 3 of Otley Road cycleway, from Harlow Hill out towards Beckwithshaw, there isn’t enough space for a cycleway separate from the pavement. That simply isn’t true.

HAPARA’s approach to all the planned development on the west of Harrogate is to complain about the extra traffic it will generate – but it’s not clear what their solution is. It’s not possible to dual Otley Road.


Malcolm Margolis on behalf of 20s Plenty North Yorkshire raised the issue of NYCC’s 20mph policy, and asked for a default 20mph limit in towns and villages in Harrogate District. This would be a first step towards a default 20mph limit in urban areas throughout the county.

The response from Allan McVeigh NYCC was largely negative, defending NYCC’s poor 20mph policy.

Green Councillor Arnold Warneken put forward a motion to support 20s Plenty North Yorkshire’s request, and he was supported by Cllrs Mike Schofield, Chris Aldred, Peter Lacey and Hannah Gostlow. Cllr Lacey said that the current policy is from a different era. Cllr Gostlow said the voice of pedestrians is not heard enough.

Cllrs Sam Gibbs and Michael Harrison were against, and Cllr Paul Haslam abstained.

All other councillors voted in favour and the motion passed.

Climate Change Sub-Group

Cllr Warneken made a short presentation relating to a recent Climate Change Sub-Group meeting. He said that all councillors should attend a full-day carbon literacy training day.

We Need to Get a Move on With Active Travel Schemes

Louise Neale of NYCC made a presentation on the Harrogate Transport Improvement Programme. She said that it is now in Phase 2 (!) and they are collecting data and considering designs. By the end of 2022 there will be further details to share.

Cllr Haslam said we seem to be lost in process and he would like to see more action.

Cllr Michael Harrison was more interested in road schemes than active travel, specifically a Killinghall bypass as rejected by the Harrogate Congestion Study. Louise Neale said NYCC is doing a high-level assessment of a Killinghall bypass.

Cllr Chris Aldred commented on the active travel schemes.

‘The active travel schemes, we just need to move them on, because they’ve been kicking about…There’s about four or five schemes that are listed there that really won’t take that much infrastructure to develop, and have been identified as good positive schemes. We’ve even got the money for them through Active Travel England, we’re not spending the ratepayers’ money. [Despite staffing problems] we just have to get a move on with active travel schemes. How long since that Congestion Study? We need to stop talking about things and get a move on.’

cllr chris aldred

Cllr Philip Broadbank echoed Chris Aldred’s comments. ‘We seem to be bogged down, I don’t know what it is. We need to have the real impetus to get on and do things. We’re going round in circles all the time and we keep talking about the same issues every five years, and we just need to make progress.’


HDCA Statement to Today’s Council Meeting

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