Letter: Highways - I have a very long memory...!

A map showing the Harrogate Relief Road potential options � Crown copyright 2016 Media 051/16
A map showing the Harrogate Relief Road potential options � Crown copyright 2016 Media 051/16

‘Major new highway proposal for Harrogate is unveiled’, Harrogate Advertiser, September 29.

What a revelation! New - who are they kidding?!

North Yorkshire County Council published a study in June 1985 – over 30 years ago, and after a lot of hot air aired frequently during 1986 and 1987 and published in the Advertiser, the eventual result was the construction of just the Southern Bypass.

Claim and counter claim was apparently designed to confuse. Your front page story on September 7, 1984, which predated the eventual study is headed ‘Warning on road scheme’ and stated that plans for a multi-million pound road scheme linking Starbeck and Bilton could lead to a monumental blunder by the county council – this is attributed to County Councillor Nigel Hepstinstall.

After strenuous objections from Harrogate Golf Club, with frequent letters and comments published in your paper, the June 26, 1987 front page proclaimed ‘Delight as road plan is ditched’ referring to the Northern route which it had been conceded would render the existing course unplayable.

However, by November 1987 another headline proclaimed ‘Northern by-pass is back in the running’.

Living in Starbeck for the last 46 years I, like many others, suffer from gridlock on Knaresborough Road and anyone needing to ‘flow’ round the Empress roundabout knows that journey times are difficult to predict.

I will be fascinated to watch how these major new highway proposals come to fruition.

David Leonard

Moorland View, Starbeck