Campaign group issue stunning drone footage of Harrogate 'Nidd Gorge relief road' route

Members of HALT (The Harrogate & Knaresborough Alliance for Less Traffic).
Members of HALT (The Harrogate & Knaresborough Alliance for Less Traffic).

With just days until the public consultation on traffic congestion in Harrogate and Knaresborough closes, campaigners have made a drone video which they claim shows exactly what damage any 'Nidd Gorge relief road' would cause.

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The aerial video by members of HALT (The Harrogate & Knaresborough Alliance for Less Traffic) follows all the way from Killinghall hill via Bilton, the Nidd Gorge area and Forest Lane to Harrogate's southern bypass.

The county council is running a mainly online public consultation with a list of questions asking residents' opinions on traffic problems and possible solutions.

Running until Monday, July 8, the public engagement follows nearly two years of discussions, meetings and two separate Harrogate Congestion Study reports by WSP, the powerful international agency which offers a consultancy service, as well as providing transportation and infrastructure engineering.

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The study has identified two possible packages of solutions which are on the county council's website but the the public survey's questions do not explicitly relate to the packages.

One package is comprised of a raft of ‘green’ measures to discourage car use in Harrogate, while the other includes more some sustainable measures plus also the possibility of a new Killinghall bypass and a new ‘relief road’ through residential Bilton and Nidd Gorge.

But members of HALT point to the county council's own data on the likely effects of a new relief road to insist it would do little except damaging an exceptional area of land for natural habitat and wildlife.

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They advise anyone filling in the council's online survey to pay attention to question 15 and say no to a relief road.

Their viewpoint is backed by both Harrogate's MP and the leader of Harrogate Borough Council.