Disappointment as council fails in £2.7m bid for Harrogate and Knaresborough cycle paths

North Yorkshire County Council has failed in a £2.7m bid for government money that would have been spent on building new segregated cycle paths in Victoria Avenue in Harrogate and between Knaresborough and Harrogate.
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The council confirmed this morning that its bid in the fourth round of the government’s Active Travel Fund (ATF) was unsuccessful.

The announcement throws into doubt the future of active travel in the two towns after a difficult few years that has seen the first phase of the Otley Road cycle path roundly criticised and its second phase shelved.

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The council originally hoped to create a route for cyclists from Otley Road into the now-scrapped Beech Grove low traffic neighbourhood and through Victoria Avenue.

North Yorkshire County Council has failed in a £2.7m bid for new cycle paths in Harrogate and KnaresboroughNorth Yorkshire County Council has failed in a £2.7m bid for new cycle paths in Harrogate and Knaresborough
North Yorkshire County Council has failed in a £2.7m bid for new cycle paths in Harrogate and Knaresborough

This would have connected to the yet-to-be-approved Station Gateway.

The ATF bid included £1.081m for segregated cycle lanes on Victoria Avenue and £1.653m for the same on the A59 Knaresborough Road between Mother Shipton’s Cave and the golf club.

The authority also asked for £458,500 for active travel improvements to Darlington Road in Richmond, which was rejected.

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North Yorkshire County Council’s Conservative executive member for highways and transportation, Councillor Keane Duncan, said: “We are inevitably disappointed that our ambitious £3.19m bid to enhance facilities for cyclists and pedestrians through the fourth round of the government’s Active Travel Fund has not been successful.

“We believe we put forward strong proposals for the three schemes – Victoria Avenue in Harrogate, Darlington Road in Richmond and the A59 Maple Close from Harrogate to Knaresborough.

“We are seeking detailed feedback from Active Travel England so we can understand the reasons behind their decision.

"We hope to work with them to progress schemes in these areas and elsewhere in the county successfully in future.”

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Kevin Douglas, chair of Harrogate District Cycle Action said the rejected bid was “another let down for active travel” in Harrogate.

He said: “Obviously it’s disappointing and we’re waiting to hear more detail.

"We were hopeful they’d be successful so they could carry out the work but we’re not surprised.”