Calls for ‘radical’ Skipton Rd rethink

Tis Traffic on Skipton Road, Harrogate.(2312033j)

Tis Traffic on Skipton Road, Harrogate.(2312033j)

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Drastic action is needed to fix “appalling” congestion on Harrogate’s Skipton Road, a county councillor has said.

Coun David Simister, (UKIP, Bilton), branding the busy road a ‘car park’ at peak times, is now called on county decision makers for a “radical rethink” of traffic management.

And with the arrival of the Tour de France in less than a year’s time, he said, it is an ideal time to plan drastic change.

“It’s absolutely appalling,” he said. “I live in the heart of Bilton and I see it day and night. We need a radical rethink of traffic management on Skipton Road.

“There are too many traffic lights. It causes backlogs when there’s nobody there.”

As revealed in the Advertiser, plans are in place to remove street furniture next year ahead of the arrival of the Tour de France on July 5 and 6 next year.

Details revealed in Harrogate Borough Council documents said street furniture would be removed from New Park Roundabout to the finish line on Harrogate Stray.

And Coun Simister is now calling for these temporary measures - to be brought in before July next year - to be made permanent.

“It’s been described as the ‘Skipton Road car park,” said Coun Simister.

“The opportunity for real change is here when they do the road alterations for the Tour de France.”

Coun Simister’s comments were prompted by a North Yorkshire County Council area committee meeting earlier this month.

County councillors, discussing air pollution in the area, were told by members that stop-start traffic was a big issues which needed to be dealt with.

“It’s the Skipton Road car park,” said Brian Dunsby, president of the Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce. “Traffic lights are at the route of the problem.

“Every time Skipton Road has a power cut, the traffic flows better than ever.”

Traffic congestion on the busy road has long been an issue, but it was brought to a head in March this year.

Just as developers submitted plans for an additional 200 homes along the route, the road was named the UK’s second most congested road outside of London.

Research by firm RAM Tracking revealed motorists using the road in rush hour could expect to travel at an average of 1.50mph.

I’m calling on the county council to be radical for a change,” said Coun Simister.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to put something in its place,” he said.

““What a fantastic legacy - to have traffic flowing on Skipton Road.”

What do you think? Write to the editor at 1 Cardale park,. Harrogate, HG3 1RZ, email ackrill.news@ypn.co.uk or contact us on Twitter @HarrogateHound.