Letter: Roads - Strategy must be joined up

Traffic on Skipton Road, Harrogate.(2312033j)
Traffic on Skipton Road, Harrogate.(2312033j)
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I recently visited the Harrogate Conference Centre to attend Harrogate Borough Council’s advertised ‘Pop up Cafe’ to pre-view the Harrogate district draft local plan.

After viewing all the potential plans on display I noticed that even though there were a large number of proposed new housing and some commercial developments shown throughout the district there appeared to be no sign of the much talked about relief roads/bypasses on any of the drawings. I thought this was a bit strange as I believed the town planners would have to consider any proposed new infrastructure, especially the location of potential new major highways when deciding the most suitable sites to put forward for housing development.

I therefore asked one of HBC’s senior development officers who were present at the time about this and was advised that no relief roads or bypasses had been included in the plans on display as it was their view that they were not necessary.

This was apparently due to recent ‘computer traffic modelling’ of the area showing that the present highways system, with some ‘junction mitigation’, could cope with the increase in traffic that the new developments would create, both now and into the future and therefore no relief roads/bypasses were deemed necessary.

As you can imagine I was somewhat surprised with this reply as I had been following the recent articles in the Advertiser by Councillor Mackenzie regarding the move to draw up and put forward plans to the government for proposed routes that these new roads would take.

I also find it hard to believe that such an increase population and therefore increase in traffic within the Harrogate areas main settlements could be so easily absorbed.

Why do North Yorkshire County Council think that the Harrogate area needs relief roads/bypasses and is willing to spend a vast amount of tax payers’ money on them when HBC consider it totally unnecessary?

It’s time we saw a bit of joined up thinking from our local authorities and are told the truth about what is and isn’t required to keep our district the place that we want to live in.

Peter Crowe

Orchard Close, Knaresborough