Gerard Tall, of Scarborough (Letters, November 5), wrote ‘There is an easy way to solve your congestion problem - a park and ride scheme...It works in York and here in Scarborough’.
By coincidence, the same issue was raised at the Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce meeting just three days previously and was reported in the same edition of your paper.
Because of the consequent greater absence of town and city centre cars, such schemes have three main advantages:
1) Businesses whose employees need to drive within the area bounded by the park-and-ride schemes find it much easier to travel.
2) Shopping experiences, whether within pedestrianised areas or not, are much more pleasurable (Coney Street in York and Cambridge Street in Harrogate, for instance, are teeming on 364 days per annum, thus completely disproving the theory that people won’t shop unless they can park nearby).
3) Car parking spaces - such as the 55 on Cornwall Road - which are provided free of charge and currently all occupied by workers by 8.30am would be available for local resident shoppers.
It was stated at the HCTC meeting that park-and-ride buses would just get stuck in the same traffic that the car drivers had just left.
There is no logic to that statement whatsoever; if, say, 200 people used the buses then there are would probably already be 100-150 fewer cars on the road (Of course, successful park-and-ride schemes attract far more passengers than that exemplar number).
Improving road junctions may provide short-term solutions but would soon be negated by the increase in traffic caused by Harrogate’s massive house-building programme; a by-pass, although also very necessary, is a long-term solution.
The only obvious short and medium term answers consist of major park-and-ride schemes and it is up to Coun McKenzie, in his role with North Yorkshire and as a Harrogate resident, to set the ball rolling.
York’s scheme had very humble beginnings; it started life in a supermarket car park and gradually expanded, because of its financial success, to five (yes, five) sites.
Harrogate should follow its example or grind to a halt at certain times of day. The time to act is now.
Rutland Drive, Harrogate