Letter: Transport - How would a bypass help?

I have to respond to Paul Ashfield's letter (December 15) '˜So out of touch with reality' as unfortunately I think it is he who is out of touch.

Tuesday, 27th December 2016, 10:30 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:00 pm
Traffic congestion in Harrogate.

It is a shame but many people believe what Paul said is true but it just isn’t borne out by the facts.

I don’t believe the traffic survey makes any clear statement about the impact of bypass proposals. However what all the recent surveys have shown is that the majority of traffic at peak times is local people making local journeys.

It is highly questionable how a bypass would reduce this to any significant extent. To call walking, cycling and public transport alternatives naive is also the opposite of reality - recent sustainable transport initiatives in other parts of the country (not abroad!) have shown reductions in traffic volume of up to 40 per cent. Now that is definitely significant.

And finally talking about these modes of transport as time consuming, unpleasant and less convenient becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I find cycling for most local journeys to be almost always quicker and more convenient than the car as I can park right outside my destination and never spend time in traffic queues or looking for a parking space.

If everyone believed public transport was unpleasant, demand would reduce and services would reduce accordingly, making it much less convenient. Just looking at the opposite scenario, take the No.36 service where there is a good level of demand, the service is very frequent and a pleasant experience.

I’m not saying that our councillors don’t have a long way to go in driving a strategy that will really address our traffic woes but letters like Mr Ashfield’s are really unhelpful.

John Rowe

Leadhall View, Harrogate