Harrogate's 'road from hell' leaves unhappy residents calling for action

Thirteen months of building hell which residents say is making their lives a misery has forced new action by the authorities.

Friday, 21st February 2020, 3:18 pm
Updated Friday, 21st February 2020, 4:04 pm

Both Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council have responded to complaints over the amount of heavy lorries using the narrow residential streets of Kingsley Road and Bogs Lane with mud, grit and dirt, as well as impacting on traffic with a series of temporary road closures.

Three enforcement orders have now been drawn up by Harrogate council to the main developers in the area which is facing the construction of nearly 700 new homes.

And the county council is now planning new road calming measures in an attempt to bring order to the chaotic situation.

These will include constructing new speed platforms at three junctions on Kingsley Drive and introducing a ‘no entry’ restriction from Kingsley Road into Kingsley Drive and a similar arrangement on Wreaks Road.

But residents themselves say it is not enough and they have lost all confidence in the future thanks to the piecemeal growth of housing at seven different locations in the area.

Resident Brian Souter, said: “It is absolute hell in Kingsley Road. Several of the roads here are narrow and have cars parked on both sides yet this is also the route that large lorries are using to access the development sites.”

Residents in the Kingsley Drive area of Harrogate have had enough of the disruption caused by construction traffic outside their homes. Picture: Gerard Binks

Gary Tremble, a member of Kingsley Ward Action Group, which has been talking to the local authorities in an effort not only to reduce existing disruption but block new plans for more housing, said he feared the action being taken would bring no real benefit to the community.

Mr Tremble said: “It’s always the same. Once the land has been purchased the developers just bulldoze their way through planning.

“The simple fact is our area cannot accommodate one more house. As for the new traffic measures, blocking off Kingsley Road from Kingsley Drive is utter madness. It will only push more traffic straight on to Knaresborough Road creating utter chaos on an already congested route.”

The Kingsley Road area of Harrogate has been described as the 'Road from Hell' by residents due to all the construction traffic that uses it.

The three house builders involved - Barratt Homes, Persimmon and Stonebridge - told the Harrogate Advertiser they had been working together to take all necessary measures to keep the roads clean and keep disruption to a minimum.

A statement issued this week on behalf of Barratt Homes, Persimmon and Stonebridge - the three developers building in the Kingsley Drive area - has promised to support the community in the wake of angry protests from residents.

“As part of an ongoing commitment to support the communities in which it builds, Barratt Homes, Persimmon Homes and Stonebridge Homes have responded to resident’s complaints regarding the Kingsley Road area in Harrogate.

Following a meeting last year with both the North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council, the three housebuilders have been working together to ensure a high standard of cleanliness is maintained on Kingsley Road.

“Processes have been put in place to respond to residents’ complaints, including regular road sweeping, and an additional high-pressure water jet service each Friday to prepare the road for an increase in traffic over the weekend.

"All three housebuilders have made a request for heavy goods vehicles to take an alternative route, avoiding Bogs Lane Bridge.

“Significant contributions to local infrastructure, including education, highways and public open space have been made by each housebuilder as part of an agreement to ensure the local community benefits, not only from an increase in homes and jobs but also from a substantial investment in the area.”