North Yorkshire Council hoping to build £20 million bypass to help reduce traffic congestion in Harrogate village
and live on Freeview channel 276
On Wednesday, the authority published a report that offers updates into three transport projects in Harrogate, including a bypass in Killinghall which has been mooted for years but is yet to move forward to a firm proposal.
An unpopular relief road scheme near Nidd Gorge was scrapped by North Yorkshire County Council in 2019 following widespread public opposition.
But the problem of congestion has not gone away and the council’s Harrogate Congestion Study in 2019 suggested a village bypass in Killinghall still had a level of support among residents.
At the time, the council’s Conservative-run executive said that it would consider developing the project further to see if it might be able to win government funding so it could be built.
Since then, officials working on the bypass have looked at a number of possible routes to reducing the impact of traffic in Killinghall.
The latest report does not offer details on possible routes, but the county council previously said the route which offered the best value for money would be one that bypasses Killinghall to the east and connects the B6161 south of the village to the A61 above it.
Several new housing developments have been built in or near Killinghall in recent years and traffic going between Harrogate and Ripon has to pass through the village.
There have also been safety concerns around the B6161/A61 junction that the council thinks the bypass could help improve.
In the report, the council argues that due to “the more rural nature” of Killinghall there are fewer opportunities to create active travel schemes that promote walking or cycling.
The report recommends that the public is asked their opinion on the bypass and that a route is eventually recommended.
Councillor Keane Duncan, executive member for highways and transport and Conservative mayoral candidate, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he believes a Killinghall bypass is “absolutely critical” to tackling congestion and improving road safety in the village.
Councillor Duncan said: “We still need to confirm the best route, but the principle of delivering new road infrastructure here is absolutely right.
“It is the only real solution to the serious safety issues raised in the recent audit of the B6161/A61 junction in the heart of the village.
“I am fully committed to delivering this long-awaited bypass and the fair deal the people of Killinghall so desperately deserve.
“Devolution gives fresh hope of finally delivering this project and if elected as North Yorkshire’s first mayor I will seek to secure the £20m needed.”