Government announces extra £1m for new cycle lanes and walkways in Harrogate and across North Yorkshire
Major changes to make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists are to be introduced in Harrogate after the county council was awarded an extra £1m of government cash.
North Yorkshire County Council won the money as part of a second round bid to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Emergency Active Travel Fund which is encouraging more walking and cycling as the nation emerges from the pandemic.
The plans for Harrogate include £250,000 for segregated cycle lanes on the A59 between the town and Knaresborough, as well as improved road crossings at both ends of the busy road.
The same amount will be spent on pedestrian crossing improvements, cycle lanes and bike storage in the Victoria Avenue area of Harrogate.
Segregated cycle lanes and crossing improvements on Oatlands Drive which amount to £215,000 were also included in the successful bid.
The council previously said the cycle routes will connect to Hornbeam Park and improve road safety for children travelling to the St Aidans and St John Fisher schools.
Councillor Don Mackenzie, the county's executive member for access, said: “We are committed to improving active, sustainable modes of travel for people across the county wherever possible.
“Following public engagement in the summer, we submitted a strong bid to the government’s Active Travel Fund, so it’s excellent news that we have been successful in gaining this funding.
“We now await confirmation of the details of the funding from the Department for Transport.”
The council was awarded a total of £1,011,750 which comes on top of the £133,000 it was awarded in the first round of bidding.
There are also schemes for segregated cycle lanes and walkways in Helmsley and Whitby.
Before the bid was submitted, the council had launched an online tool for residents to submit suggestions and within a week 290 submissions were made.
It said it could only choose five schemes and that the Harrogate district featured highly because it suffers from poor traffic congestion issues not just at peak hours, but throughout the day.
It comes as Woodfield Primary School in Harrogate is also set to benefit from improved road safety measures as part of £20,000 from the North Yorkshire Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner's office - plus a further £8,500 from county councillor Paul Haslam as part of his locality grant.
A project will include a review of speed limits, crossing upgrades and extra traffic calming measures.
Jo Marwood, Headteacher at Woodfield Primary School. said: “This is great news for the pupils, families and wider community of Woodfield Primary School.
“Many of our families walk to school and have welcomed the news that the grant will help make Woodfield Road a safer place for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter