Harrogate Gateway: New images reveal vision for £7.9million town centre transformation
New images of how Harrogate town centre streets could be transformed under the £7.9million Gateway project have been revealed.
A public consultation is underway on the proposals which are aiming to create a more pedestrian and cycle-friendly entrance to the Station Parade area as part of the government's Transforming Cities Fund.
North Yorkshire County Council is leading the scheme and previously shared images of how the area could look with improved access to the town's train and bus station, changes to streetspace and the potential of traffic on Station Parade being reduced to one lane.
Now, new images of the most controversial part of the project have been revealed.
There are three options on the table for the future of James Street: do nothing, partly pedestrianise or fully pedestrianise.
The potential ban on cars on the busy shopping street has sparked concerns from some business leaders who have described it as "short sighted and dangerous," while supporters of the move say it would improve pedestrian safety and attract more shoppers.
Officials at North Yorkshire County Council have stressed no decision has yet been taken and that views from all businesses and residents will be taken into account.
Also included in the plans are upgrades to the One Arch railway underpass which connects Bower Street with Station Parade, with the new images showing a new cycle lane and improved lighting.
What else is being proposed?
Under the plans still being drawn up are two new bus priority areas at Lower Station Parade and Cheltenham Parade, road junction upgrades, new cycle lanes and cycle storage facilities.
There are also proposals for an increase in safe space for people on foot, new flexible public events spaces and water features.
Once the consultation has ended the aim is to finalise designs for construction to begin by summer 2022 with completion in 2023.
How to have your say
The public consultation will run until 24 March. Residents, businesses and community groups are being invited to have their say in an online survey, with more engagement work due to be held over the spring and summer.
To find out more go to www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/northyorkshire
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter