While much of Harrogate - apparently - is up in arms about ideas to address traffic congestion which may affect parts of the town they care about, another substantial group of residents is expressing almost the opposite feeling.
Rene Dziabas, acting chair of Harlow & Pannal Ash Residents Association, said: “We believe the potential problems arising from large-scale developments on the west side of Harrogate are being overlooked in the current congestion debate, dominated as it is by concerns over the northern relief road.”
Such is HAPARA’s concern not only about the current traffic situation but the possible impact of housing growth, it linked up with Pannal Parish Council to support their efforts to highlight the issue.
The end result was their own congestion exhibition held at Pannal Village Hall at the same time as North Yorkshire County Council’s public exhibition about its current online public consultation about traffic congestion..
It sought to draw attention to the likely increase in car use from Otley Road to Burn Bridge and Pannal of nearly 4,000 additional houses planned for the western side of Harrogate.
What alarms this particular set of residents most is being forgotten about in the county council’s current public consultation.
Rene Dziabas of HAPARA said: “Our worry with this overall process has been that little of the material being presented by North Yorkshire County Council addresses the problems of the western arc of Harrogate.
“The material presented by the county council has consisted of a number of boards covering the various incursions relating to Package B (sustainability) and Package E (sustainability plus infrastructure), with members of the county council and WSP, the consultants involved.
“While the exhibition by Pannal Parish Council largely emphasised the problems experienced by Pannal, it also served to highlight similar problems along the Otley Road, as well as other local roads.”
HAPARA ‘s overall assessment on current efforts is damning,
Rene Dziabas said: “So far we are not convinced that the measures in either Package (B and E) will relieve the anticipated levels of congestion on this side of town, and we have yet to see deliverable solutions, one of which would need to be a significant improvement in public transport.”