The transport column with Don Mackenzie

Work on transforming Bond End traffic management continues under lights.
Work on transforming Bond End traffic management continues under lights.

Beckwith Road – finally resurfaced

NYCC had scheduled full resurfacing of this heavily-used access and bus route in 2017, but delayed work when Yorkshire Water announced plans for extensive mains replacement in the Harlow Hill area.

Once the utility’s contractors cleared the highway, the county’s contractors moved in and completed the resurfacing at the end of August. Residents have expressed their satisfaction with their new road.

A number of other key access roads are included in this year’s increased expenditure on highways repairs by the County Council, including Bower Road, Dragon Road, Otley Road, Penny Pot Lane, Skipton Road, Station Parade, Wetherby Road and others.

Bond End Air Quality Improvement Scheme

Work on this scheme, which involves removal of all traffic lights, the construction of two mini-roundabouts, the introduction of four zebra crossings, realignment of kerbs, removal of a planter and re-location of telecoms equipment, commenced on Monday 10 September. Progress has been very good and the contractor reports positive comments from residents.

Two crossings have been installed to help pedestrians. Progress throughout the two-month period of construction can be followed online at: www.northyorks.gov.uk/bond-end-junction-improvements

Harrogate Congestion Study

Since early this year, the County Council has been working with consultants and with Harrogate Borough Council officers to develop more details of two packages designed to reduce congestion on the roads of Harrogate and Knaresborough.

A key part of this has been the formation of an Engagement Group comprised of local organisations and representatives, and whose remit is to ‘check and challenge’ the approach taken by the project team, and to put forward suggestions and comments of their own. The Group has met four times, the last occasion on 11 September, and its discussions, which have been frank and open, will be incorporated into a Final Options Assessment Report to be published in October. County councillors in the Harrogate area will have an opportunity to consider the report at their Area Constituency Committee in November.

A decision on whether to consult with the general public and on which packages is expected to be taken by the NYCC Executive early next year.

Kex Gill update

The A59 at Kex Gill has been subject to single-lane operation controlled by temporary lights following short-term stabilising works to the retaining wall and slope below the road carried out earlier in the summer. Longer-term measures to secure the highway will begin within the next few days. Every effort will be made to avoid closing this trans-Pennine route. In the meantime, good progress is being made with the business case to present to central government to fund the construction of a diversion away from Kex Gill.

Smart Parking comes to Harrogate

NYCC will begin an 18-month trial on town centre roads of AppyParking, an App-based system which allows users to identify free spaces, remain parked for an open period within the maximum stay allowance, and pay automatically through the App by the minute rather than in 20 or 30 minute blocks. This trial is a partnership with Harrogate Borough Council, who will introduce the scheme into its surface-level, off-street car parks.

This smart parking system trial forms part of the Borough Council’s ambition for Harrogate to become a leading, digitally-connected towns to benefit residents and visitors alike.

Smart parking is a relatively new, but fast-growing solution to the challenges of town centre traffic management.

It is highly likely to become much more commonplace in other towns as automotive manufacturers integrate smart parking technology into their vehicles. Readers will have noticed that small sensors have been installed on roads throughout the town.

Each sensor identifies whether its space is occupied and relays this information in real time to drivers’ smart phones.

The cost of the trial will be £45,000 for each council, whilst the cost of infrastructure (sensors, installation) has been funded by Visa in collaboration with AppyParking.