New Marks and Spencer store set to transform bottle neck junction.

An artist impression of the Marks and Spencer site to be built on Leeds Road
An artist impression of the Marks and Spencer site to be built on Leeds Road

The new Marks and Spencer supermarket on Leeds Road is set to transform the road layout at the busy bottleneck junction.

Work has now begun on demolishing the old car showrooms to build the large new 32,000 sq ft store and developers promise they will ‘transform and dramatically improve’ the busy Leeds Road/Hookstone Road junction and radically improve the flow of traffic into and out of Harrogate on the Leeds side of town.

Road changes include:

l A third lane for traffic heading into town

l New traffic lights to remodel the busy junction

l New pedestrian crossings and refuges, to improve safety

Dan Murray construction director at St James Security Construction said: “Effectively it will be a completely new junction. Work will be done on Leeds Road, Hookstone Road, Beech Avenue, Coronation Road and Gladstone Street.

“The road will be widened on Leeds Road to accommodate a third lane of traffic travelling into town.”

“It is going to improve the flow of traffic in and out of Harrogate.

“There will also be much improved pedestrian crossing facilities, with a traffic island on Hookstone Road, allowing people to cross safely.”

Planning permission for the Marks and Spencer food only store was granted over a year ago and work began at the site five weeks ago.

Developers are currently in the process of demolishing the former Nidd Vale car showroom, leading to complaints of disruption on neighbouring streets.

“We have hit it hard from the start so this is a busy time all around the site,” said Mr Murray.

“We apologise for the inconvenience but we are doing our best to keep it to a minimum.”

The project is being development managed by St James Securities on behalf of Hornbeam Park Developments Ltd and the contractors are GMI Construction Group PLC.

It is expected that building work will be completed in May next year, ready for Marks and Spencer to fit out the 32,000 square foot store.

“The completed site will have a one way system, shoppers will come onto the site from Beach Avenue and exit through Coronation Road, with traffic lights fitted to manage the flow of cars,” said Mr Murray.

A spokesperson for Marks and Spencer said: “We are delighted to confirm that we will be opening a new Simply Food store on Leeds Road in summer 2014.

“It is still very early days and planning is still ongoing, so a definite open date has not yet been set and we cannot reveal details of the layout.”