Since writing this page, there has been such an overwhelming response opposed to this scheme that NYCC has already withdrawn the one way concept. 57% (50% strongly) opposed to the schemes in the council survey and the petition created by us received over 1700 signatures, the council also received over 100 letters of objections. This really emphasises the importance of people power.
We have kept the details up because the scheme has not been completely ruled out and there is a chance the one way option could be revisited.
The latest scheme has just been published on 23rd March and we will update this as soon as possible.
There is a £215,000 proposal to make Oatlands Drive one way, out of town only, with a 20mph speed limit and additional wide cycle lanes. Parallel pedestrian and cycle crossings would be provided where Slingsby Walk crosses Oatlands Drive and Wetherby Road, as well as where it meets Knaresborough Road. There would be a further crossing at the junction of Oatlands Drive and Hookstone Road.
The Oatlands Drive scheme is designed to help provide a safe cycle route between Hornbeam Park/Yorkshire Showground and the town center, as well as from the Woodlands and Oatlands residential area to town. Its aim is to allow more pupils to get to St Aidan’s and St John Fisher schools by bike.
However, the existing cycle route runs along Stray Rein connecting through Rayleigh Road and Hamilton Avenue. All these roads are relatively traffic-free and there are no safety concerns. This connects both to the cycle paths at the end of Hookstone estate and more importantly the railway station. The proposed cycle lane runs parallel with the existing route only a few hundred meters further east but less well connected with both infrastructure and other facilities (like the gym, Harrogate college, climbing wall, restaurants, and cafes). There appears to be no logical demand for creating a parallel but less well-connected facility.
Neither St John Fishers or St Aidan’s Schools were initially consulted and school buses will find access difficult.
There are thousands of residents and pupils who will be adversely affected by this change. This will force yet more cars onto two main roads, Wetherby Road and Leeds Road as people who live nearby struggle to access Harrogate, causing these surrounding roads to become congested and potentially more dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians. It will also cause queues of traffic leading to more C02 emissions.
The more worrying point is road safety. There is a reasonable flow of traffic along Oatlands Drive with obvious peaks at the start and finish of school times. The road is wide and has good visibility.
The existing traffic will need to go somewhere. Whilst on paper it may be hoped that the traffic will use either Wetherby Road or Leeds Road a significant amount of traffic will create rat runs through the Saints or through Wheatlands Road, Stray Rein and other connecting roads. This will divert traffic into residential areas with poor visibility, parked cars, and other safety issues.
Moving the cycle traffic onto a road that has more traffic than on the current route increases the car/bike interaction even allowing for a dedicated cycle lane and one-way system. There will still be both bike and car movements on and off Oatlands Drive.
A simple solution to cars obstructing the existing Oatlands Drive cycle lanes would be to have double yellow lines, which have been requested for many years and never been approved by HBC.
Spending money on something of lower quality than what already exists would seem a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The survey response from the people and the petition so far, shows that the people really do not want this.