HDCA Zone 4
HDCA Zone 4

North Yorkshire County Council Area 6 (‘Area 6’) has launched a consultation on possible active travel measures on Oatlands Drive and in the adjoining Saints residential area.

This is the consultation letter being sent to local residents. The consultation runs from 24th October to 28th November 2022.

There are no specific proposals, but people are invited to make comments on a map of the area on Commonplace. We encourage you to add your own ideas to the map and/or support proposals which others have added.

Our Suggestions

We have reviewed the cycle provision in this area and set out our ideas in Zone 4 of our Harrogate Cycle Infrastructure Plan. (Note that Hookstone Road and Hookstone Drive are included in our Zone 4, but not in the Commonplace consultation).

We’ve also added our suggestions to the Commonplace map. The main ones are as follows.

1) Stray Rein

We propose a modal filter on Stray Rein just north of Slingsby Walk. This would make the northern part of Stray Rein walking and cycling only. There is potential for some Stray land to be returned to grass.

Consultants for Area 6 have already done a design for this.

2) Cycle Path from Stray Rein to Prince of Wales Roundabout

Map showing Stray Rein
Map showing Stray Rein

A cycle path could be built from Stray Rein to Prince of Wales roundabout, using the bridge over the railway which currently has no path on it. The approximate route is shown in blue on the map above.

A Stray land swap could be organised, with grass returned to the Stray as described in (1) above.

3) Crossings for Slingsby Walk

Tiger crossing on the Canal Road cycleway, Bradford
Parallel crossing on the Canal Road cycleway, Bradford

There should be parallel crossings (zebra + cycle) for Slingsby Walk of:

  • Oatlands Drive and
  • Wetherby Road

4) Oatlands Drive

Oatlands Drive has 95cm painted cycle lanes. These are dangerously in breach of Cycle Infrastructure Design guidance because:

  • most people will perceive cycle lanes on busy or fast roads to be unacceptable for safe cycling (para 6.1.6)
  • the Desirable Minimum width of cycle lanes is 2m (Table 5-2)
  • cycle lanes less than 1.5m wide should not be used (para 6.4.3)

There are two schools here (St Aidan’s and St John Fisher). Pupils should be able to cycle to school, and they should not be asked to share the road with fast-moving vehicles.

We have been told by North Yorkshire County Council that the 85th percentile speed on Oatlands Drive is more than 10% above the 30mph limit. They say that any cycle infrastructure should therefore be appropriate to a 40mph road.

The only way to create space for physically-protected cycle tracks is to make Oatlands Drive one way for motor vehicles.

For longer trips by car, any extra time and distance caused by a one-way road is insignificant. For short trips by car, the extra time and distance is a useful incentive to walk or cycle instead – and there would be safe facilities to do so.

A very small percentage of people will be unable to walk or cycle, but they will still be able to drive.

20mph and Traffic-Calming

An alternative scheme on Oatlands Drive would be to make it 20mph and put in extensive traffic-calming measures. This is unlikely to make it safe enough for children to cycle on it.

Any changes to Oatlands Drive should involve the removal of the dangerous painted cycle lanes.

5) The Saints Residential Area

If residents of the Saints are unhappy about the use of their residential roads as through routes, the only effective solution would be to make it a Low-Traffic Neighbourhood with strategically-placed modal filters.

This would need the support of residents.

6) Wetherby Road

Wetherby Road from the Woodlands junction to the Empress roundabout is included in the consultation.

In our Zone 8 plan we suggest kerb-protected cycle tracks either side of the road.

7) Warwick Crescent/Hamilton Avenue/Rayleigh Road

This is the signed cycle route to Hornbeam Park and is reasonably quiet.

To make it better, a 20mph limit could be applied to these streets.


North Yorkshire County Council Area 6 (‘Area 6’) was awarded funding for a good scheme on Oatlands Drive in November 2020. It dropped the scheme in May 2021. Now in October 2022, a year and a half later, it is consulting not on specific designs but just on the question ‘anyone have any ideas?’

A lot of time has been wasted. If they were just going to ask for ideas, surely that could have been done in June 2021.


The consultation letter laments the inability to reach a consensus on the Oatlands Drive scheme, but in transport matters there will never be a consensus.

If Area 6 is only prepared to make on-the-ground improvements where there is a consensus, they will never do anything.

2 thoughts on “HDCA Response to October 2022 Consultation on Oatlands Drive/The Saints

  • 26 October 2022 at 10:41 am

    I support Harrogate District Cycle Action group’s comments, recommendations and plans. I am a local Harrogate resident, cyclist and car driver.

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