There are official plans and policies at national, county council and borough council level. They form the framework within which North Yorkshire County Council (‘NYCC’) and Harrogate Borough Council (‘HBC’) operate in trying to improve local cycle provision. We draw them together here.

Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy

The national government’s Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy (2017) states that the DfT wants to make cycling and walking the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey. It is split into three sections:

  • strategy
  • financial resources
  • action plan

Part of the strategy is to ask local authorities to prepare Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plans. There is an aim or target to double cycling between 2013 and 2025.

Cycling UK say that in 2019, government spend on cycling per person per year in England (outside London) was £7. Research for the DfT indicates that this must be immediately doubled, then doubled again, to have a chance of meeting the CWIS targets. The 2019 Conservative manifesto commitments would see spending cut from £7 to £1.55 per head. Cycling UK say this needs to be urgently re-evaluated.

Action in the CWIS includes helping local authorities to produce Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plans.

NYCC Local Transport Plan

NYCC explain that they were required to produce a plan for local transport every 5 years, until the law changed. Now plans can cover a much longer period.

The most recent NYCC Local Transport Plan is LTP4, published in 2016. It covers 2016-2045, but it can be reviewed and refreshed before the end date. There is:

Executive summary

In the executive summary, NYCC mentions (p9) walking & cycling in relation to its objective of protecting the environment and preventing climate change, although the council believes it cannot directly influence the majority of travel choices in the county.

Active travel is mentioned in relation to the objective of promoting healthier travel (p10).

NYCC’s key commitments on walking & cycling are on p12, and include seeking ‘high quality provision for walking and cycling within and linking to all new developments’.

Parts 1 & 2

Parts 1 & 2 contain more details of the objectives, and NYCC’s approach to achieving them. Active travel is discussed in relation to promoting healthy travel, on p71.

Part 3

Part 3 explains the actions NYCC will take. It is divided into sections based on themes and modes of transport. Walking and cycling are in section 3j, pp156-162.

Section 3j says that efforts to provide for and promote utility cycling are to be concentrated on the main urban centres in the county, Harrogate and Scarborough.

Disappointingly, much of of section 3j is given over to explaining the difficulties in providing for cycling, and setting out the steps which NYCC feels it can’t take.

Among the rare positive points, NYCC commit to increasing their involvement with the Cycling Forums in Harrogate and Scarborough, and appointing a councillor as Walking & Cycling Champion.

Harrogate Cycle Infrastructure Plan (‘HCIP’)

Phase 1 of the Harrogate Cycle Infrastructure Plan (‘HCIP’) was drafted by consultants WSP and adopted by NYCC in July 2019.

It has a lot of background information. There are some useful comments and photos on best practice (p78 onwards); an explanation of WSP’s approach to developing a cycle network (p85 onwards); and a draft network map (p97). Draft priorities are listed in paragraph 6.5.

Phase 2 of the HCIP will be a series of draft designs, which will be the basis of bids to government for funding.

Harrogate Cycling Delivery Plan (2015)

The 2015 Harrogate Cycling Delivery Plan was produced under the DfT’s October 2014 Cycling Delivery Plan. The DfT document called for local authorities and LEPs to partner with the DfT to improve cycle infrastructure locally – in particular by developing a local walking and cycling delivery plan.

In effect, the Cycling Delivery Plan idea (nationally and locally) has been superseded by the Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy (nationally) and Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (locally).

Still, Harrogate’s 2015 Cycling Delivery Plan is a useful document. HBC didn’t publish the Plan itself, for fear that other local authorities might copy it.

HBC did publish a proposed list of schemes (Appendix A) and a map showing them (Appendix B). In a way, it’s more useful just to see the practical ideas, without all the words that go with them.

Harrogate & Knaresborough Cycling Implementation Plan (2013)

This plan developed was originally adopted by HBC in 2000, and subsequently added to and developed. A map of cycle routes was appended to the implementation plan – the March 2013 version of the map is at the end of this document.