Manse Farm will make traffic ‘significantly better’

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The road network in Knaresborough is set to be transformed by new measures put in place by the developers of Manse Farm.

Developers CEG now have planning permission for 600 houses with 2.5 hectares of employment land for the 42 hectare site East of Knaresborough.

Pam Johnson from North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways department told Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee that the installation of new MOVA technology would ease congestion and keep traffic flowing at traffic blackspots.

The layout of the Bond End junction will be remodelled to separate left and right turning traffic and MOVA technology will monitor the volume of traffic and adapt the traffic signals accordingly.

Ms Johnson told the committee: “Evidence shows that MOVA increases the flow of traffic through a junction by between five and 13 per cent, we aren’t expecting to get 13 per cent but we think we will get more than five per cent.”

MOVA will also be installed at the traffic lights at the junction of the A59 York Place and Gracious Street and the roads leading to the junction of Chain Lane and York Road will be realigned to create a traffic controlled cross roads.

Fears that the much hoped for rail halt may not materialise were raised by a number of councillors, and Coun Margaret Atkinson (Con Kirby Malzeard) asked for the rail halt and car park to be reserved for ten years rather than eight.

Planning officer Tracey Rathmall said: “This site is sustainable even without a rail halt, 600 houses does not create a need for a rail halt.”

Developers CEG will also put up £650,000 to fund a bus service to the new housing estate for five years, after which developers say it will become self funded.

When completed the new houses will be accessed from two roundabouts on York Road, however until the first 50 houses are occupied the site will be accessed through the Eastfield estate.

Coun Reg Marsh (Lib Dem, Woodfields) who opposed the plans said: “It is not fair for the people living on Eastfield estate will have to put up with all the traffic while the houses are being built.”

Steve McBurney, from CEG’s Harrogate office said: “The planning application was approved in accordance with the officers’ recommendation and the Council’s Draft Local Plan and incorporates new homes, including affordable housing for local people, business space to generate new jobs, a new school, neighbourhood centre, landscaping and land for a rail halt.”