Letter: Relief road plan means devastation in the pipeline

It is hoped a new bypass will ease congestion in Harrogate.

It is hoped a new bypass will ease congestion in Harrogate.

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Rather than tackle traffic congestion and air pollution, the county council clearly intends that our area will instead be carved up by ‘relief’ roads - if we don’t stop them.

New roads would destroy the character of Harrogate and Knaresborough and pull in yet more traffic.

They will make matters even worse and not solve the congestion, which is caused by 90 per cent internal traffic movements.

Councillors were taken by surprise when many people packed a North Yorkshire Harrogate area committee meeting on this issue in Ripon last week.

Residents who spoke were applauded. Some were concerned that their homes could be demolished but no-one has been given any official information. Many hundreds of houses will be affected.

The strongest message was that the county council should have consulted with local people months ago.

It would not agree to an urgent public meeting close to homes which could be affected. Instead, it reaffirmed a decision not to consult until next summer at the earliest, possibly not until 2018. By then it will be too late to stop the devastation which is so obviously in the pipeline.

There is an urgent need for all interested organisations and individuals to meet and agree what can and must be done.

Shan Oakes

Harrogate and District Green Party