Safety fears for Harrogate pedestrians on Station Parade

Fears that a pedestrian may eventually be killed have prompted Harrogate residents to call for new safety measures on a major town centre road.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 2:39 pm
Worried about pedestrian safety on Station Parade in Harrogate - Resident Russell Davidson.

Two concerned occupiers of buildings along Station Parade are launching a campaign to improve safety on what they say is a “racetrack” at the road section south of the junction with Victoria Avenue.

Steve Ormond and Russell Davidson have written to North Yorkshire County Council urging them to install a crossing or traffic island outside the Waitrose food store.

The county council has already said it takes residents’ worries seriously but that the possible solutions all involved major drawbacks and dangers.

But the residents say it is only a matter of time before a tragedy occurs.

Steve Ormond said: “Station Parade is for some drivers effectively a racetrack between the Library Gardens crossing and the traffic lights at the end of Station Parade.“Some drivers reach speeds of 50 or 60 mph as they approach the traffic lights.”

With nearly 40 new flats due to be built this year and next at the Southfield and Safilo sites, Russell Davidson said he is worried that lives will be put at risk. Mr Davidson said: “Sooner or later someone will be killed given the accelerating speed at which some drivers pass Waitrose.“There is effectively no safe crossing point between the junction at the southern end of Station Parade - a distance of half a kilometre.“My 83-year -old mother has been staying with me and was petrified she would get knocked over.”

Coun Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for access, said he was familiar with the location but that there were no easy solutions.He agreed that a controlled crossing facility would be very useful in that precise section of Station Parade but the results would not be all good.He said: “There are already nine sets of traffic light-controlled pedestrian crossings on the southbound A61 as it passes through the town from its junction with Kings Road as far as York Place, a distance of about 950 metres. “Whilst such facilities are essential to keep pedestrians safe, they also lead to standing traffic, more congestion and poor air quality.”

Coun Mackenzie said modern safety standards meant a new traffic island at that spot on Station Parade might not be viable because it would actually create dangers for pedestrians using it.

He advised people to walk to existing crossings instead.He said: “A pedestrian wishing to cross the A61 outside Waitrose does have the option of a short walk northwards to use the crossing at Victoria Avenue, or a similarly short one southwards to York Place.”