The proposal for a new ‘relief road’ is enticing, until you are aware of and consider the consequences.
Something does need to be done to relieve Harrogate’s traffic congestion, but a new road is the wrong solution.
The map provided by North Yorkshire on their website (search ‘Harrogate relief route NYCC’) is not easy to decipher, which I expect is deliberate. I have mapped the ‘indicative corridors’ as the council describes them as accurately as possibly on computer and the implications are clear, even if the final ‘preferred route’ proves to be somewhat different.
As Coun Mackenzie says, an inner relief route from Thistle Hill to Killinghall would be most effective in reducing congestion. The innermost ‘Green route’ would cross Forest Moor Road near Calcutt, and pass very close to houses on Fairways Avenue along the western edge of Harrogate Golf Club, crossing the A59 Knaresborough Road at or near the junction with Bogs Lane.
It then appears it would have to go behind houses off Bogs Lane and pass close behind Henshaws before turning slightly west towards the Nidderdale Greenway, joining it alongside the Bilton Triangle. It would then be built on or by the Greenway until just beyond Tennyson Avenue, and then turns west passing just north of Knox Mill Lane.
The more northern inner route, the ‘Blue route’, crosses Forest Moor Lane and then the A59 nearer to Knaresborough. It then appears to cross the Beryl Burton cycle path close to Bilton Hall nursing home, and continue just north of the Bilton Park caravan site. Turning west it crosses the Nidderdale Greenway south of the Nidd Viaduct.
The ‘Yellow route’, which is really a bypass, starts at the A59/A658 roundabout near Goldsborough, goes through Hay-a-Park, crosses the A6055 Boroughbridge Road just north of Scriven, skirts the Kingfisher caravan park between Scotton and Farnham, passes south of Brearton and Nidd and crosses the Nidderdale Greenway.
All three routes would join the proposed Killinghall bypass (‘Purple route’) near Killinghall, the Green and Blue close to Grainbeck Lane, and the Yellow a little further north.
As a campaigner for the Nidderdale Greenway I am appalled by the potential impact of these roads on this wonderfully tranquil path used and enjoyed by thousands of local residents and visitors of all ages, walkers, cyclists, wheelchair users and horse riders.
It is not possible to build any of them without crossing the Greenway.
The effect of the Green route would be the most severe.
I hope that by the time this letter is published the map (which also shows the proposed Killinghall and Western bypasses) and other information will be available on the Harrogate District Cycle Action website.
The NYCC proposal states ‘alongside a relief road, a package of complimentary sustainable transport measures is also required.
This will likely include improving passenger transport facilities, providing improved cycling and pedestrian links and exploring opportunities for park and ride.’
The focus should be on these sustainable measures. The relief road is, I hope, a non-starter.
Harrogate District Cycle