£1m bill for Harrogate’s roads to cope with district housing plan

Tis Traffic on Skipton Road, Harrogate.(2312033j)
Tis Traffic on Skipton Road, Harrogate.(2312033j)

Almost every major junction in Harrogate will need to be improved for the district to cope with traffic from the 4,553 new homes in the Local Development Plan which has been submitted to the Government for approval.

A traffic report commissioned by the council estimates that up to half a million pounds would need to be spent on the junction of Parliament Street and Ripon Road and that traffic on Skipton Road and Otley Road will increase by one third when houses are built at the Penny Pot Lane site.

The final draft of the sites and policies development plan has been submitted to the Secretary of State for approval and a traffic survey by Jacobs Engineering has found that 11 junctions will operate over capacity if all the houses in the LDP are built, eight of which will need special measures putting in place.

Proposals include widening Cold Bath Road, increasing the size of the Prince of Wales roundabout and widening Montpellier Road.

The estimated costs range from £5,000 to adjust signal times on the junction of the High Street and Gracious Street in Knaresborough to £392,000 to re-develop the traffic-signalled junction at the bottom of Parliament Street to improve pedestrian facilities and traffic flow.
The total cost for work on the eight key junctions will come in at more than £1 million and will be met by the housing developers.

The reporting officer at Harrogate Borough Council’s planning department, Gill Ritchie, said: “Obviously, as part of each individual application, there will be requirements to carry out a traffic survey in addition to this report.”

Coun Alan Skidmore, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for planning, transport and economic development said: “We made our views to North Yorkshire County Council very very clear and are working closely with them to look at highways issues and junctions.

“There are nine in the district that need to be looked at.”

He added: “If we can get a better system for the traffic lights it can help with the flow of traffic.

“But the present situation is in part down to the number of utilities companies working on the roads and the work at Leeds Road, there are gas works, waterworks and BT work all over the place, it’s like a patchwork quilt.”

Harrogate Borough Council has submitted its draft Local Development Framework to the Secretary of State for approval.

This includes draft plans for 34 sites across the district.