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North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has now published the self-assessment on active travel that it submitted to Active Travel England in August 2022.

Question 14, Agreeement to Abide by the Network Management Duty

Question 14 states:

‘Do you agree that no scheme, now or in the future, will be removed prematurely? The Network Management Duty requires real-world feed back to be taken [into] account. This means schemes should be retained and adjusted to make them work. Schemes should not be removed unless there is substantial evidence to support this.’

Q14 of the self-assessment for active travel england

NYCC’s response was, ‘Yes, I agree to the above statement.’

Despite this, at almost exactly the same time as they submitted the self-assessment, they removed the active travel scheme on Beech Grove with no evidence at all.

As a result, we made a formal complaint to NYCC about their conduct.

Question 21, List Schemes that Have Been Removed

Question 21 asks:

‘Please list any ATF or other active travel schemes (including temporary schemes) that have been removed or significantly adapted, with explanation. Failure to accurately alert us to these will result in zero funding.’

Q21 of the self-assessment for active travel england

NYCC do not appear to have mentioned Beech Grove in response to Q21.

Question 45, Extra Information

Question 45 asks for ‘any other relevant information you want to share’. Here, NYCC describes what it has done about Beech Grove:

‘The LTN on Beech Grove was experimental and removed at the end of an 18 month trial period. NYCC remains committed to providing active travel infrastructure to encourage walking and cycling. A review of the feedback and data gathered throughout the trial period is underway to be considered as part of a wider package of permanent measures to promote environmentally-friendly travel which will be consulted upon in September. This will provide an opportunity to bring forward a detailed and co-ordinated plan connecting the various active travel initiatives in Harrogate whilst addressing the objections raised during the trial period.’

NYCC’s other relevant information about beech grove

Points to note about this response to Q45 include:

  • the fact that NYCC removed Beech Grove LTN is hidden away in ‘other relevant information’ when it should have been clearly stated in the response to Q21, List Schemes that Have Been Removed
  • the answer given to Q45 is incompatible with the earlier statement under Q14, where NYCC agreed that schemes would be retained and adjusted, and not removed without substantial evidence to support this
  • to date, NYCC has published no evidence report at all relating to the Beech Grove LTN trial
  • a consultation did not take place in September as NYCC told Active Travel England it would, but did start at the end of October
  • it seems highly likely that NYCC does not have the backbone to put in a meaningful scheme on Beech Grove, and will try to fob us off with a token, useless scheme involving paint-only cycle lanes in breach of Cycle Infrastructure Design guidelines
North Yorkshire Self-Assessment for Active Travel England

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