Dear Reader: Bypass this expensive traffic suggestion for Harrogate

The clogged-up state of the district’s roads has prompted a lot of traffic on this newspaper’s Facebook page recently.

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 13th November 2015, 5:26 pm
Harrogate Advertiser columnist Graham Chalmers.
Harrogate Advertiser columnist Graham Chalmers.

At the heart of the debate is whether an extra bypass or two would help or not.

Most of the readers’ posts have pointed in different directions. Some have welcomed the idea, others have given it a wide berth over fears of the huge costs involved.

Despite everyone’s good intentions, the sobering fact is that the average amount of time between calls for a bypass being made in Britain and a bypass actually being built is a staggering 45 years – or thereabouts.

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Perhaps the real solution to gridlock in an era when the need for extra housing threatens to make the situation worse isn’t one or two expensive ‘big bangs’ but a focussed series of realistic and less costly small measures where improving traffic flow was finally given priority over other considerations?

One of my recent Dear Reader columns led to a minor bit of ‘trolling’ online about my supposed “champagne lifestyle.”

I could complain but you don’t join the cast of Strictly without expecting the occasional bitchy remark from Craig.

My latest act of extravagance saw me visiting Clitheroe.

Located just over the border in Lancashire near The Forest of Bowland, a landscape of wet, clinging mist and dark drama, Clitheroe has more to offer than I’d expected.

Despite the oldfashioned layout of its streets set on a small hill, it can boast most of the symbols of modern affluence.

There was a deli, a book shop, an old-fashioned toy shop, an old-fashioned sweetie shop, a proper butcher’s, a luxury confectioners and a whole array of independent cafes, one of which was serving its own brand of Fat Rascal, Bettys please take note.

All Clitheroe lacked was a champagne bar.