Birmingham Blue Route
Birmingham Blue Route

We hope that LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design can have a transformative impact in Harrogate District, but that will only happen if it is applied, not ignored.

We produced a Summary of 24 Key Points for NYCC, and 3 Key Points for HBC.

Around this time (October 2020), NYCC told us at a Cycle Forum meeting that they aware of LTN 1/20, and that it would be considered in all new work. That is very different from having read it and being committed to applying it.

‘We are aware of LTN 1/20 and will consider it in all new work.’

NYCC in October 2020

Subsequently, the usual pattern of responses from NYCC officers when asked to apply LTN 1/20 was to:

  1. cast doubt on whether LTN 1/20 applies in North Yorkshire
  2. question the authority of the document (‘it’s only guidance’)
  3. focus on a word or phrase in the relevant paragraph of LTN 1/20 (‘should’, ‘normally’, ‘preferably’, ‘try to’) and use that to claim that the provision is optional and can be ignored
  4. do whatever they wanted to do originally without reference to LTN 1/20

We raised this with Corporate Director Karl Battersby. He committed NYCC to LTN 1/20 – but talk is cheap. In practice, as soon as there are difficult choices to be made, LTN 1/20 is thrown overboard. Examples include:

Positives

Harrogate Station Gateway has been designed broadly in line with LTN 1/20, as has the (now delayed) ATF T2 scheme on Victoria Avenue.

Negatives

Otley Road Cycleway

There are constraints on Otley Road that mean the cycleway would always have involved compromises, but Phase 1 has not been designed to the best standards possible.

It is not Direct at junctions like Arthur’s Avenue and Pannal Ash Road. At the Harlow Moor Road junction, a large amount of extra space has been allocated to motor vehicles, leaving cyclists and pedestrians crammed together like sardines.

NYCC’s attitude has been that they designed Phase 1 of the Otley Road Cycleway a long time ago, so it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t meet LTN 1/20 standards. Shouldn’t a local authority want to design and build the best cycle infrastructure possible, to modern standards?

J47 A1M

Around £10 million is being spent on increasing capacity at J47 of the A1M. NYCC is simply replicating the pre-existing narrow shared use path around the roundabout at the junction. The problems are:

  • it’s far narrower than minimum widths in LTN 1/20
  • it’s not connected to a network, so does not serve a cycling purpose

It is dispiriting to see that no thought whatever has gone into enabling active travel as part of this huge and expensive project. Again, the excuse for ignoring LTN 1/20 is ‘we designed this a long time ago’.

Summary

In summary, NYCC are aware of LTN 1/20, and make reference to it in their statements and documents. It is genuinely being applied in a couple of projects, including Station Gateway.

On a day-to-day basis, as soon as there are difficult choices to be made, LTN 1/20 is jettsioned. Unless NYCC are forced to apply LTN 1/20, they will continue to prioritise motor vehicles, and as a result cycle infrastructure will be well below the minimum standards.

1) Introduction

This is the home page of the Active Travel England section, which contains the Introduction and links to all other pages in the section.

2) Attitude of the Highways Authority

Notes on the attitude of the highways authority, North Yorkshire County Council, and the way they approach active travel.

3) Cycle Infrastructure Design

The impact of LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design in Harrogate, and the way it is applied (or not) by NYCC officers.

4) Housing Development

The active travel disaster zone that is recent and ongoing housing development in Harrogate District.

5) Projects

A brief overview of some current projects in Harrogate District, including Otley Road Cycleway and Station Gateway.

6) Junctions

This section highlights the issues which have not been addressed at two important junctions.

7) LCWIP

An analysis of the Harrogate & Knaresborough LCWIP, how (if) it is being used in practice to inform bids for fuding, and the work we are doing to try to make it more comprehensive.