Update! Latest Harrogate roadworks revealed

Improving Harrogate's water supply - Mark Allsop, community engagement manager at Yorkshire Water at the digging site near Prince of Wales roundabout.
Improving Harrogate's water supply - Mark Allsop, community engagement manager at Yorkshire Water at the digging site near Prince of Wales roundabout.

New Harrogate roadworks are putting more pressure on drivers - despite the best efforts of utility companies and North Yorkshire County Council.

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Good news that Oatlands Drive had reopened linking York Parade to the Stray area and Hookstone Drive has ben followed by the start of two new sets of roadworks.

The short single lane closure one on Station Avenue facing the Odeon near Station Bridge is the work of British Gas.

Meanwhile, this week has also seen the start of North Yorkshire County Council,s a £1.6m investment to improve road surfaces.

Partly in preparation for two huge cycling events coming to Harrogate town centre later this year, as well as repairing potholes, the first road to feel the benefit - or the pain - is Otley Road.

Specifically, pot holes repairs have now started at the Beckwithshaw end of the road.

Added together with Yorkshire Water's current roadworks at the Prince of Wales roundabout and at Kingsley Drive, and Harrogate motorists are experiencing their own 'annus horribilis' on the roads.

Yorkshire Water even took the unprecedented step recently of organising a media call to explain the situation at the Prince of Wales roundabout after the Harrogate Advertiser reported about the scale of traffic delays online and in print.

Representatives of the utility firm and its building partner Morrison Utility Services were on hand to talk about how the £3 million project to lay six miles of pipeline would benefit the town and how they were trying to reduce disruption to drivers and residents.

As the digging went on, Mark Allsop, community engagement manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “We’re working extensively with North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways Department and Harrogate Borough Council on every aspect of this essential scheme to try and minimise traffic disruption as much as possible whilst the pipe is being laid in the Stray.

“We are doing everything possible to keep disruption to a minimum and complete the work as quickly as we can.”

Mr Allsop explained that in the initial phases of the work on Otley Road in January, temporary two-way lights had been manually operated 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

But, as work had expanded, it had become necessary to close Trinity Road and two lanes on Leeds Road and install the current three-way multi-way traffic controls, leading to traffic delays in all directions.

The Yorkshire Water project, which started in Beckwithshaw and will eventually run all the way to Forest Head Lane in Starbeck, will involve laying six miles of new water pipes in the town to provide extra capacity to meet the water needs of the growing number of new developments, while improving the resilience of Harrogate’s overall water supply.

Residents in Kingsley Drive are already feeling the pain of a road closure as Yorkshire Water upgrades its pipelines.

Mr Allsop said the work the work there was ahead of schedule but that future weeks would see work move to Bogs Lane towards Forest Lane Head.

As for the Prince of Wales roundabout area, once Leeds Road is clear, the digging will move along the northern edge of the Stray near to York Place and Knaresborough Road.