New plans to tackle traffic congestion at St James Retail Park in Knaresborough

Hopes that a solution may be on the cards for congestion at Knaresborough’s St James Retail Park  have risen this week.

By Graham Chalmers
Thursday, 21st January 2021, 4:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st January 2021, 5:04 pm
There have been complaints for several years over the congestion caused by the popularity of St James Retail Park in Knaresborough.
There have been complaints for several years over the congestion caused by the popularity of St James Retail Park in Knaresborough.

The submission of a new planning application from St James Retail Park to reconfiguring the car park is likely to prick the interest of shoppers and businesses fed up with long queues of cars at the site.

The application would increase the total number of car parking spaces to 399.

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Tory town councillor Phil Ireland, who represents Aspin and Calcutt Ward, said: ‘’I am delighted to note a new planning application from St James Retail Park on this week’s list which involves re-configuring the car park to provide 20 additional bays and eight new electric vehicle charging points.”

Lib Dem Coun David Goode, who represents Aspin and Calcutt Ward, said: "Traffic queuing to enter and exit the retail park has been a problem for some time, particularly at peak times when traffic from people leaving work on the retail park is added to the mix on an evening.

"At times the queues on the roundabout almost bring vehicle movement in the area to a halt.

"I would welcome improvement in the area as long as the changes can clearly demonstrate that they are reducing traffic queuing and not just attracting more cars that further compound the existing queuing problems.”

There have been complaints for several years over the congestion caused by the popularity of the retail park, combined with customers queuing for fast food chain McDonald’s ‘Drive-Thru’.

Such are the log-jams at times, visitors can find themselves unable to access the retail park, progress down Wetherby Road or travel onto the bypass.

The new plans also involve changes to entrances and exits for cars on the site, including action to improve the situation at McDonald’s.

Coun Ireland said: “Residents and shoppers will probably be pleased to note that this application also includes a new vehicle exit next to Argos and the previously approved McDonalds Drive-Thru extension designed to alleviate congestion at the roundabout.’’

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