Crunch time for £11.2m project for Harrogate town centre as councillors weigh up Gateway changes
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A revised version of plans for the troubled project is to be discussed at North Yorkshire Council after Coun Keane Duncan, the council’s executive councillor for highways, announced that the most divisive ideas involving limiting cars on Station Parade and James Street would be dropped to avoid a legal challenge by wealthy businessmen.
The more cosmetic aspects are expected to be move forward, though the council has not given up entirely on supporting more cycling in the town centre.
Coun Duncan said: "To be deliverable, we need to drop the two most controversial parts in Station Parade and James Street.
“But I believe we can still deliver first-class improvements to Station Square and One Arch, upgrade the many uncoordinated traffic signals running from Kings Road to Station Parade and provide new cycling facilities, too."
North Yorkshire Council’s long-running efforts to transform Harrogate town centre rely on spending the £11.2m of cash from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund by March 2025.
Even without the original elements which would have involved reducing traffic lanes and increasing pedestrianisation, the council is still considering devoting all of the funding to the Gateway project.
The cash comes with strict stipulations on how it is spent and the council has previously made it plain that the money cannot be diverted elsewhere in Harrogate.