Draft design for crossing of Wetherby Road
Draft design for crossing of Wetherby Road

North Yorkshire Council (NYC) is consulting on crossings of Oatlands Drive and Wetherby Road, to benefit people walking and cycling on Slingsby Walk.

The council promised to finish construction of these crossings by 31st March 2024, which is clearly not now going to happen, but at least a consultation is finally starting.

Key Point: Timing of Crossing Lights

There is one key point that we would please ask you to make in responding to the consultation.

It is that the lights of the proposed Toucan crossing of Wetherby Road should change PROMPTLY when the beg button is pushed. This means within a few seconds of pushing the button (unless someone else has just crossed the road).

NYC prioritises motor vehicles at all its crossings, making people on foot or on bikes wait anywhere from 45s to over a minute. This makes light-controlled crossings much less useful than they ought to be.

Oatlands Drive

Draft design for crossing of Oatlands Drive
Draft design for crossing of Oatlands Drive

There is to be a parallel crossing (pedestrian and cycle zebra) of Oatlands Drive. This type of crossing is sometimes called a ‘tiger crossing’. This is the draft design.

As far as we know, this will be the first of its type in North Yorkshire, although lots of other councils have already installed them.

The crossing will be on a raised table, which is a good thing. The design looks competent to us.

The diagram shows proposed double yellow lines on the east side of Oatlands Drive, to stop people parking on the Stray – but that is to be the subject of a separate consultation.

We ask you to respond to the consultation supporting the proposal for a parallel crossing of Oatlands Drive (see How to Respond the Consultation below).

Wetherby Road

There is to be a light-controlled crossing of Wetherby Road – a Toucan for people on foot and on bikes. This is the draft design.

The design shows that the alignment of the crossing will be improved from the current one.

We ask you to respond to the consultation supporting the proposal for a Toucan crossing of Wetherby Road (see How to Respond to the Consultation below).

As mentioned above, the key point to raise is that the lights should turn to green for people on foot and on bikes within a few seconds of the beg button being pushed (unless someone else has just crossed the road).

Stray Land

Stray Land option 1
Stray Land option 1

The crossings will take some Stray grass, which needs to be replaced.

Option 1 (the preferred option) is sensible. The new Stray grass is by the War Memorial by Wetherby Road. This is the land that was designated to replace Otley Road verges before NYC abandoned the Otley Road cycleway.

Option 2 is verges by Hookstone Chase and is not sensible.

For one thing, tiny patches of verge by a busy road are of very little amenity value. For another, as part of our plans for a Harrogate cycle network, we have identified Hookstone Chase as the potential location for cycle tracks. Stray Land designation would complicate building cycle infrastructure there.

Option 3 is grass by Hookstone Drive near the junction with Wayside Walk. This is not sensible for similar reasons to Option 2.

How to Respond to the Consultation

The consultation runs from 25th March to 14th April 2024.

Responses to the consultation are by email:

Our suggested response is:

Dear Area 6,

OATLANDS DRIVE/WETHERBY ROAD CROSSINGS CONSULTATION

I support the proposal for a parallel crossing (Tiger crossing) of Oatlands Drive.

I support the proposal for a Toucan crossing of Wetherby Road. Please ensure that the lights change to green for people on bikes and on foot within a few seconds of the beg button being pushed (unless someone has just crossed). If the council sets the timings to prioritise motor vehicles, the value of the crossing will be greatly reduced.

I support Stray Land Exchange Option 1. I do not support Options 2 or 3 – the amenity value of those verges is low, and designating them Stray Land would complicate the future building of cycle tracks.

SUGGESTED RESPONSE TO THE CONSULTATION
Consultations on Crossings of Oatlands Drive and Wetherby Road

6 thoughts on “Consultations on Crossings of Oatlands Drive and Wetherby Road

  • 28 March 2024 at 2:46 pm
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    I support the crossing proposals and the Option1 for exchange Stray land as long as the crossings activate quickly enough.

    • 28 March 2024 at 3:11 pm
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      Thanks Richard, I agree it’s important that people aren’t kept waiting to cross.

  • 28 March 2024 at 7:48 pm
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    To me this looks like we’re just getting a zebra crossing on Oatlands – better than nothing I suppose .

    What I can’t understand is why so much extra land and expense is taken to separate cyclists and pedestrians while crossing the road only to rejoin them at the other side. This is a SHARED path for the whole length between Wetherby Road and Stray Rein – why complicate it at this point ?

    Also that corner of the Stray is notoriously wet and subject to flooding – has the impact of that been considered ?

    • 28 March 2024 at 7:56 pm
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      Hi Peter,

      As I understand it, a zebra is for pedestrians only so a parallel crossing (pedestrians and cyclists) is required. Rules govern the design and dimensions.

      In my view a parallel crossing is better than a light-controlled crossing because there is no waiting.

      Slingsby Walk has been flooded a lot this winter, and really drainage should be installed all the way along.

  • 28 March 2024 at 10:31 pm
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    Thanks, I’m guessing you are correct although there are opinions out there saying that it is not ILLEGAL to cycle over a zebra.

    Overall , it is another example of the car is king. Pedestrians, cyclists and others have to wait until a car gives way before proceeding. I would prefer a Toucan on Oatlands

    • 29 March 2024 at 5:50 am
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      I prefer a parallel to a Toucan.

      Drivers should give way to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing, and must give way to those on a crossing (Rule 195 Highway Code).

      At a Toucan, N Yorkshire Council typically make people wait around a minute to cross.

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