Letter: Draft plan - Town centre will be a wasteland

Harrogate town centre
Harrogate town centre

Following your article on Thursday I went to the library to see the plans; with difficulty; a second librarian directed me upstairs and a further member of staff lifted leaflets out of a file; nothing on display. I went through the plans. It will be a catastrophe if implemented.

Making James Street into a pedestrian area means that all traffic coming from Leeds Road will have to turn onto Victoria Avenue to get hopefully to the centre of town; how?; thereby cutting off access to all the parking between Albert Street and Victoria Avenue or they will choose to go down Parliament Street and up Cheltenham; planned to be narrowed and no parking adding to the current chaos of non sequential lights starting at Ripon road and continuing to Station Parade. (See last week’s letter of the rush hour journey across town from Ripon Road to the new Marks on Leeds Road).

The shopping population of Harrogate during the week consists of the over sixties; more than 30 per cent of Harrogate’s population; the mothers with very young children and hence usually with prams and the unemployed; as a group they require easy access to to town by bus or parking; particularly those coming into town from villages without buses eg Shaw Mills or Beckwithshaw.

The hilly nature of High and Low Harrogate does not help this group. In other words they need parking and roads usable by car or bus. Already there are empty shops; even Hoopers has closed its separate mens shop in the town centre.

Implement these plans and Harrogate town centre will become a wasteland.

Dr S Blackburn