Letter: New road isn’t the only option

Traffic in Harrogate
Traffic in Harrogate

Stuart Snell (letters, October 20) says ‘we need a ring road because the town is being choked by traffic’.

He assumes that a ring road would get rid of the traffic, and make possible ‘clear roads in my lifetime’. It wouldn’t. Up to 90 per cent of the traffic is local.

He says it took him a ‘ridiculous’ 20 minutes to get from Bilton to the hospital. How many minutes would he save if the road was slightly less choked?

He seems to give no weight to any harm the road might cause. He says ‘Yes, the road would encroach on the Greenway, but accommodations could be made to offset this’. Exactly what accommodations does he suggest would preserve the joyful tranquillity of the Nidderdale Greenway?

In the real world the only way to do that would be to put the road in a tunnel out of sight and sound of the Greenway.

That’s not going to happen, and anyway it would be no comfort to people living on the edge of town and in the countryside near the new road.

Finally, he says ‘This whole question should be expedited immediately’. Fortunately we live in a democracy with a lengthy process to be followed which includes a public consultation.

I suggest that no one actually wants a new road, except perhaps developers who stand to make money from it.

What everyone does want is less congestion, which means less traffic and/or better traffic management.

Better public transport, park and ride, a first class cycle network, actively encouraging people not to drive unless they really need to, are among the ‘soft’ measures which can make a real difference, preserve our green spaces, and cost a great deal less than the £70m plus required for a new road.

Malcolm Margolis

Harrogate District Cycle Action