How long! Shocking new figures on Harrogate congestion
New official figures show that schools, hospitals and other key services in Harrogate take more than 20 minutes on average to reach on foot or by public transport.
Each year the Department for Transport calculates journey times from neighbourhoods across England to eight local services by walking or on public transport.
The measure represents a typical Tuesday’s travel in October, based on road networks, traffic speeds and public transport timetables.
Destinations range from job centres to GP surgeries and food shops.
In Harrogate, journey times to these sites averaged 24.7 minutes on foot or public transport in 2017, the year covered by the latest statistics - longer than the average 18.0 minutes across Yorkshire and the Humber.
Primary schools were the most accessible service - with journey times averaging 11.8 minutes - followed by food shops (14.8 minutes) and centres of employment with between 500 and 4,999 jobs (17.3 minutes).
The Local Government Association, the national membership body for local councils, is calling on the next government to ring-fence funding for transport networks to tackle travel times which are getting longer across the country.
It’s an issue which local authorities in the Harrogate district are already aware of and attempting to work on.
Coun Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for transport and access, said the figures did not surprise him.
In fact, they were the reason the county council was currently working hard to improve matters.
He said: “North Yorkshire County Council has already made a really good start in making improvements in boosting sustainable travel and public transport.
“The recent public engagement on the Harrogate Congestion Study has given us a clear preferred way forward, and the county council is already developing schemes to improve travel options in the Harrogate area.
“We are ready to invest in rail improvements, cycling and walking facilities and air quality upgrades.”