Knaresborough Viaduct
Knaresborough Viaduct

The Harrogate & Knaresborough Area Constituency Committee meeting of Councillors on 8th June 2023 was of interest from an active travel point of view.

Western Arc Coordination Group

On behalf of the Western Arc Coordination Group, Rene Dziabas expressed dissatisifaction about the lack of progress or information in relation to the 4,000 extra houses planned in the west of Harrogate.

The Parameters Plan is not good enough, and the promised infrastructure strategy has not materialised.

In a written response from council officers, they said that a ‘buildability and costings exercise’ is currently being undertaken by consultants.

Pannal Ash Safe Streets Zone (PASSZ) Statement

Jenny Marks of PASSZ read out a statement on behalf of Stephanie Talbot, mother of one of the children seriously injured on the pavement outside Ashville College in February.

Mrs Talbot’s son and his friends were hit by a truck when walking to school. The boy had eight broken bones and could have been killed. Many aspects of the family’s life are still on hold now, seventeen weeks later.

This should not happen to any child while walking to school. Mrs Talbot’s daughter had previously said that she did not feel safe walking near Ashville and Rossett because of drivers.

20mph Petition

Hazel Peacock spoke in support of a petition of more than 500 signatures asking for a 20mph limit on the streets of south and west Harrogate. The petition was organised by the Oatlands Road Safety and Active Travel Campaign.

Oatlands together with Pannal Ash represents 9,000 children.

The request was for the ACC to support the petition. Executive Member for Transport Keane Duncan is due to report on the council’s 20mph review at a meeting on 4th July 2023.

Paul Haslam said that 50% of children would like to cycle to school, but only 4% actually do so due to their parents’ safety concerns.

Councillor Sam Gibbs suggested taking the NPIF money remaining after North Yorkshire’s disastrous abandonment of the Otley Road cycleway despite majority support, and using it to pay for a 20mph zone.

Councillor John Mann put forward a motion to note the petition but leave it to the Executive to carry out their review.

The ACC voted to support the petition.

Harrogate Station Gateway

There was a petition from opponents of Harrogate Station Gateway including residents of Granville Road.

Head of Major Infrastructure Projects Richard Binks said that yesterday his team had an on-site (i.e. in Harrogate town centre) meeting with the DfT and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

‘They [the DfT] were really taken with what they saw, they really think the scheme is fantastic and they were showing a huge amount of support for the project. There were discussions in that forum in terms of the forward programme, the construction phasing, the financial position and the risk position. Again, the liaison went very well. We’re awaiting feedback in terms of the funding profile position, but it’s certainly going in a positive direction.

So I think all the aspects of the scheme are lining up to deliver this wonderful project, and I do 100% appreciate there’s a huge amount of passion in the community either positive or negative, and we share that passion in the delivery team’.

richard binks

Mr Binks said that NYC is now in delivery phase.

Local Transport Plan

Paul Haslam, who is Climate Change Champion, gave an update on behalf of the Climate Sub-Group. He said there is a Local Transport Plan consultation ‘coming up’.

He suggested that no major roads would be built in the coming years, but there would be an effort to make the existing roads fit for public transport.

Cllr Haslam made some cryptic comments about the road quality issues for cycling. ’14mm is not bad for car tyres, but it might be a little harsh for a cycle ride’.

I have no idea what this means. It appears to completely overlook the fact that fear of motor vehicles is the biggest deterrent to cycling.

H&K ACC Meeting 8th June 2023

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