Council reveal park and ride plan to ease Harrogate congestion

Plans are being discussed to open up Harrogate's first ever park and ride route.
Plans are being discussed to open up Harrogate's first ever park and ride route.

Harrogate is set to get its first park and ride scheme as the town gears up for major changes in its town centre.

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Talking to the Harrogate Advertiser in response to this newspaper’s Town Centre Survey, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Coun Richard Cooper said dealing with traffic congestion was an essential part of the improvements everyone wanted to see happen.

He said: “Harrogate Borough Council is in discussion with Transdev looking at a park and ride for Harrogate.

“Harrogate Bus Company is leading the process supported by the council.

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“If it goes ahead, it would complement existing bus routes and would run every ten minutes into town to incentivise people to get out of their cars.”

After a fantastic response to the the Advertiser’s survey of public opinion, local civic leaders this week gave their reaction to readers’ ideas on how to improve the town centre in tough times for the traditional retail sector.

Although the idea of pedestrianisation divided people, congestion remained a common bugbear.

Praising the Advertiser’s survey, the council leader said the strong nature of the public’s views bolstered his determination to support changes in the town’s interests, even if it wasn’t always easy.

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Moves to introduce a park and ride were unlikely to be a quick process and would inevitably involve the creation of new bus lanes on Harrogate’s roads.

“We’re still discussing possible locations for a park and ride.

“You can’t have an effective park and ride unless you give buses some sort of priority over motorists. That will mean bus lanes.

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“It’s likely to be a lengthy process involving changing the road system, questions of land ownership and a lot of statutory consultation. “North Yorkshire County Council has indicated its support for a park and ride scheme in general but these things take time, possibly a matter of two or three years or more.”