Stray protection 'guarantee' as £3m Yorkshire Water project starts

Harrogate's gorgeous Stray which is to be given special protection when a major Yorkshire Water work building project begins soon.
Harrogate's gorgeous Stray which is to be given special protection when a major Yorkshire Water work building project begins soon.

Harrogate's precious Stray is to receive special protection from damage as Yorkshire Water unveils a £3 million scheme to lay six miles of new water pipes in the town shortly.

Drivers in Harrogate will still be effected, however, as a road closure is needed in the town centre.

The next phase of Yorkshire Water’s £3 million clean water pipe replacement scheme will begin in early February to lay a section along the northern edge of the Stray.

In total the project, which started in Beckwithshaw and runs to Forest Head Lane in Starbeck, will involve laying six miles of new water pipes in the town to provide extra capacity to meet the predicted water needs of the growing number of new developments, whilst also improving the resilience of the overall water supply to the area.

Protecting the Stray

With the Stray being such an intrinsic and unique part of Harrogate, Yorkshire Water has been working with a specialist arboriculturist and the council’s Parks and Environmental Services, to ensure trees and grassed areas are protected throughout the work.

Specialist track matting will be laid to protect the grass from equipment; where ground has to be dug up to lay pipes it will be filled back in a quickly as possible; and work will take place as far away from the tree canopies and root spread as possible to avoid unnecessarily damaging any of the trees.

From early February until the middle of June, the second phase will focus on laying just under a mile of pipe, along the northern edge of the Stray near to York Place and Knaresborough Road.

Yorkshire Water’s capital partners, Morrison Utility Services will start work near to Stray Rein and move along the Stray towards Knaresborough Road.

Harrogate roadworks

Between February 23 and March 3, to coincide with the school holidays, Oatlands Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic near to its junction with York Place so that the pipe can be laid under the road.

Signed diversions will be in place via Wetherby Road throughout the work and pedestrian access will be maintained at all times. For safety reasons the working area will be to fenced off, but where necessary crossing points will be provided.

Mark Allsop, communications advisor at Yorkshire Water said: “We’ve worked extensively with North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways Department and Harrogate Borough Council regarding every aspect of this essential scheme to try and minimise traffic disruption as much as possible whilst the pipe is being laid in the Stray.

We’ll be doing everything possible to keep disruption to a minimum and complete the work as quickly as we can.”

The next phase of work will involve using specialist drilling techniques to lay the pipe underneath Wetherby Road to ensure traffic disruption is avoided.

The company have also given advice to customers that that it will not need access inside anyone’s property and that customers should always ensure they ask for identification before letting anyone onto their property.

Any customers with questions should contact Yorkshire Water’s helpline on 0345 124 24 24.

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