Does Harrogate need a northern bypass to ease congestion?
North Yorkshire county councillor David Simister has called the for the debate on a northern by-pass to ease congestion in Harrogate to be re-opened as soon as possible, writes Hollie Bone.
The UKIP member for Bilton and Nidd Gorge argued traffic and congestion is ‘killing the town’ and the conditions would only get worse with the construction of hundreds more homes in the area.
Harrogate Borough Council meetings have revealed that business owners had said the number one priority was to improve the town’s transport links, which would help attract investment and new jobs to the district.
County Coun Simister said: “Skipton Road is one of the most congested roads outside of London, and this will be crippling when hundreds of new homes are built on land opposite Saltergate School.
“If we are serious about attracting businesses to the district we need to ensure we have a road and rail infrastructure that can cope with the current, daily demands of tens of thousands of commuters, let alone what that will become in a few years’ time.”
Arguments for better road links in Harrogate are also supported by Conservative Councillor Don Mackensie of the Saltergate Division.
Saltergate Coun Don Mackenzie (Con) said: “I would support any plans to improve the road links in Harrogate, I think everybody would.
“Residents in Jennyfields have told me they have great difficulty leaving the estate via Skipton Road, and the Tesco proposals have added additional worries in the area regarding congestion.”
Plans for a northern by-pass in particular are not unsupported by the council, but requires funding to be able to go ahead.
Coun Mackenzie said: “There is no funding at this stage for the northern bypass plans, but we are hoping for substantial funding in the near future.”