The HBC & NYCC have blocked off two roads with planters on Lancaster Road and Beech Grove. This is an experiment which started on the 12th February 2021, during lockdown, to see if longer term these roads can be permanently blocked off to the motorist to create a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN). We are now told the trial is being extended to Victoria Road.
- Please note that an LTN has also been recommended for implementation in Bilton.
This is the first of many ‘experiments’ to be done without public consultation. We were told these will be up for 6 months but this was changed to 18 months without notice.
It came as a surprise to local residents, most of whom knew nothing about the planned LTN until approximately a week before its installation began on Wednesday 10th February 2021.
As one resident said, ‘My wife and I were extremely surprised to receive the council letter dated 1st February 2021 and received over a week later, as were a number of other friends who either live on Beech Grove or as we do in the directly affected vicinity…. To add insult to injury we were therefore all extremely annoyed when the Stray Ferret published an article in which Kevin Douglas, Chairman of Harrogate District Cycle Action, was reported as saying that they had been consulted.’
https://thestrayferret.co.uk/harrogate-street-set-to-be-closed-to-traffic/ dated 4th February 2021
‘Kevin Douglas, chairman of Harrogate District Cycle Action, described the measure as “a start” in improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians. He said: “I think it is a positive step forward.
“We were consulted on a number of options and this is the one that requires the least disruption and makes sense without having to cost a huge amount of money.
“It will certainly help pedestrians and cyclists on that road. At the moment, the parking has been difficult and it has been quite risky to go down.”
This ‘temporary’ closure has forced cars onto other roads namely Victoria Road, which is double parked and narrower but also onto busy routes and could potentially create more pollution and congestion as cars queue to get to the Prince of Wales roundabout. For example, onto Otley Road, which is about to have yet more problems with major construction works, as the new cycle lanes are put in.
- Traffic coming from the Crown roundabout/Duchy, Queen Ethelburga’s estates that is heading into the town centre habitually turns up the Esplanade and along Victoria Road before shortly turning left into the very end of Beech Grove and then forward to join West Park Road, and on into the centre, without really impacting at all on Beech Grove itself. Not allowing this traffic to do so is pushing large numbers of vehicles onto either Harlow Moor Road, Cold Bath Road, Queens Road and Victoria Road ( now being closed as well), as this will be their only route towards Otley Road and thence into the town centre.
- Once the cycle lanes are built on both sides of Otley Road, giving, as is proposed, cyclists ‘right of way’ over every road joining Otley Road, the traffic snarl-ups will be huge.
- All the new housing near the RHS, plus this additional traffic from the Duchy Estate and that which filters through there from the Queen Ethelburga’s estate etc, will have to somehow join Otley Road. All of this traffic will then have to go all the way to the P of W roundabout in order to enter West Park Road and the town centre. Creating MORE Congestion, delays and problems.
- If people from the Duchy & Queen Ethelburga’s estates go via the junction at the Ripon Road, Parliament Street, and King’s Road junction the extra traffic is going to cause huge hold-ups there, with traffic trying to get up Cheltenham Parade and into town.
Is this scheme actually going to create more traffic problems and more congestion? Will this then lead to NYCC & HBC towards banning cars from going into Harrogate at all?