Group of Harrogate traders claim they feel 'left out' of £7.9m Station Parade project
A group of some of Harrogate's most prestigious shops have asked council chiefs to clarify plans for their section of Station Parade as part of the Harrogate Station Gateway project.
Additionally, Independent Harrogate traders on Prince Albert Row have questioned why this ‘forgotten stretch’ has also been left out of a survey residents and businesses are being asked to complete ahead of a March 24 deadline.
But North Yorkshire County Council's executive member for access and transport, Coun Don Mackenzie said the diagrams and details contained in the documents in the public consultation online, in fact, showed that the section of Statìon Parade south of the Station Bridge lights is included.
He added that the proposals clearly include two cycle paths under both one and two-lane options for Station Parade - including the row of shops and businesses on Prince Albert Row.
He continued that the Gateway illustrations show planters on the outside edge of the proposed cycle lane running alongside Prince Albert Row.
Coun Mackenzie said: "The canopied line of shops at Prince Albert Row is very beautiful and I do not believe that much needs to be done to improve the public realm at this location.
"But, while Prince Albert Row is some distance from the actual Gateway, I do not believe it justified to say that it has been "left out" in the proposals."
North Yorkshire County Council, Harrogate Borough Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority secured £7.9m of funding for its Harrogate Station Gateway project from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.
The money is ringfenced to improve provisions for more sustainable forms of transport, in particular cycling and walking in the town centre, which could see Station Parade reduced to a single carriageway as pavements are widened and dedicated cycle lanes created.
A spokesman for the traders, which includes Rigby & Peller, Helen James and Woods of Harrogate, said: “We are being asked for our views, but until we know what is actually being proposed for the entire length of Station Parade, including Prince Albert Row, we can’t make a reasoned judgement.
“The plans are incredibly vague. We’re not sure if the parking bays outside our businesses will stay or go, and we don’t know if this section of road will remain as two lanes or be reduced to a single carriageway.
“And to add insult to injury, the ‘Zone Two’ survey only covers Station Square and James Street. Those who designed this questionnaire need to go back to the drawing board and include this section.
“Our livelihoods are dependent on ease of access. Our businesses occupy Listed building in a Conservation Area, and we have regular need for deliveries, from flowers to furniture and heavy linens to kitchen appliances, fittings, televisions and hi-fis. Loading and unloading takes places throughout the day.
“Our customers also rely on the parking spaces outside our shops, and if they disappear, I’m afraid our customers may well go the same way.”
“A vibrant town centre is what we all want, one that is welcoming and accessible for all. And as more than 70 per cent of visitors to Harrogate arrive by car, we mustn’t turn our back on them.”
The most contentious part of the proposals for restructuring the heart of Harrogate is expected to concern giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists over cars and parking in the new arrangements.
Coun Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council's cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability, has previously said: "This is an extremely important and exhilarating scheme for Harrogate which will improve the town in so many ways."
Details of the Harrogate Station Gateway Project can be found at:
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