Multi-million pound boost for Harrogate town centre's 'Green' transformation
Harrogate’s multi-million pound bid for new transport funding has paid off - and it may prove a turning point in its efforts to create a 'Greener' town centre.
After the Government agreed to support new investment in transport schemes across the Leeds city region, Harrogate, too, is to share in the £317 million pot which, it is hoped, will result in a new eco-friendly 'gateway' in the town centre.
As a result of securing a total of £7.9 million for Harrogate, the town's Station Parade area may be set to become an oasis of walking, cycling and public transport with better links to other parts of the town, too.
The money was secured by North Yorkshire County Council with the close involvement of Harrogate Borough Council as part of three simultaneous bids for transport improvements in Harrogate, Selby and Skipton.
Access to Harrogate rail station and bus station will be made easier through creation of a more pedestrian-friendly environment and new cycle and walking routes will provide improved access across and to the town centre and the north of the town.
North Yorkshire County Council's executive member for access Coun Don Mackenzie said: "I believe this award from the TCF project is great news for all three towns in North Yorkshire but especially so for Harrogate, which has higher levels of traffic in its town centre than anywhere else in the county.
"The gateway scheme centred on Station Parade will enhance the area for pedestrians and improve facilities for cycling and public transport.
"The investment is very welcome and should be the latest in a series of improvements ahead."
The wide-ranging programme financed by The Transforming Cities Fund, seeks to support the delivery of high quality walking and cycling infrastructure, to reallocate road space and to boost public transport provision.
The new financial boost for transport is part of the current move towards devolution in Yorkshire.
As a result of the devolution deal announced between council Leaders and the Government earlier this week, West Yorkshire will now have access to a five-year London-style transport fund from 2022-23.
The deal will also enable the Combined Authority to have freedoms and flexibilities available to other Mayoral areas to provide further investment to the Transforming Cities Fund schemes, and to manage delivery of the programme locally.
Coun Kim Groves, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said:
“We are delighted with the government’s announcement in the budget to support our region’s Transforming Cities Fund bid, which means we will be able to deliver a transformational programme of new infrastructure, and help create a step change in travel across the region.
“The £317 million announced in the budget, one of the biggest allocations nationally, means we will be able to begin delivery of our ambitious programme, which will dramatically improve access to public transport, cycling and walking across the region."
Selby is to receive £16m from the Transforming Cities Fund while Skipton will get £5.8 million.
Leeds will see major works to the front of the city’s rail station and the creation of a 700-space secure cycle parking facility in preparation for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and a new bus rapid transit scheme, including 5.5km of new bus lane, connecting East Leeds to the city centre and key employment sites.