Preparation ongoing for winter months

NY Highways, the County Council’s new arm’s length company, which has been awarded the roads maintenance and repair contract, is already thinking ahead to the start of the winter service in October.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 3:32 pm

Keeping the county’s huge highways network open, available and safe for our residents and businesses throughout the winter months remains our highest priority.

We routinely grit a greater proportion of our roads in wintry weather than any other highways authority in England.

NY Highways has just taken delivery of 18 state-of-the-art gritters.

The order, worth £2.2m, was placed with Ripon-based manufacturer Econ.

The new vehicles feature the latest GPS tracking systems, conform to the highest emission standards, and provide maximum visibility in all weathers and at night.

North Yorkshire County Council spends between £6m and £10m on winter gritting and ploughing, and salt accounts for one-third of that cost.

The new vehicles incorporate technology which allows very accurate spread of the grit in precise accordance with weather conditions, leading to annual savings of up to £120,000.

NY Highways’ fleet of gritters is one of the largest and most modern in the country.

No vehicle is more than eight years old, and the average age of the fleet is less than five.

The County Council is currently investing in new and upgraded weather stations using Vaisala RWS2000 technology, and now has the most up to date network of such technological equipment across the country.

There’s a new trial to boost active travel in Harrogate.

As a further indication that the County Council is responding to the overwhelming support shown for active travel in the Harrogate Congestion Study public engagement, a new trial will take place.

A one-way filter will be introduced at the junction of Otley Road and Victoria Road under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order to come in to effect early in September.

A consultation with residents has already started, and views will be received and collated over the next six months.

The ETRO is effective for up to 18 months.

While the whole length of Victoria Road is still open in both directions for local householders and their visitors, emergency vehicles, refuse collections and taxis, the filter at the junction will permit access only to vehicles entering Victoria Road from Otley Road, preventing access in the opposite direction.

The filter will simplify vehicle movements through the junction, ahead of work that is due to start next month on the Otley Road cycle path, and on improvements to the junction at Harlow Moor Road close by.

There’s to be a bid for more electric buses in Harrogate.

Following the County Council’s confirmation of an Expression of Interest to the Department for Transport’s Zero Emissions Bus Scheme, we have now been invited to submit a bid in partnership with Harrogate Bus Company, which is part of Transdev.

The project will cost almost £20m, involving the purchase of 20 single-deck and 19 double-decker electric vehicles, and, if successful, will convert the whole Harrogate Bus Company fleet over to electric.

The value of the County Council’s bid will be £8m, whilst Transdev will invest £11.5m.

A decision is expected from the DfT by March 2022.