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Independent Harrogate responds to Harrogate Station Gateway proposal

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An organisation that represents 187 businesses in Harrogate town centre has published its response to the Harrogate Station Gateway proposal.

North Yorkshire County Council, Harrogate Borough Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, have secured £7.9m of Government funding for the scheme, aimed at encouraging more use of sustainable transport, in particular cycling and walking.

In its submission, Independent Harrogate said whilst it was supportive of the proposed ‘Station Gateway and Sustainable Transport Plans’ in general, it did have some serious concerns that it might have a negative impact on the local economy.

Before pressing ahead with piecemeal traffic interventions, it called for the 2016 Town Centre Masterplan – now severely out of date due to the impact of COVID-19 – to be renewed.

The group added The Harrogate Station Gateway proposal failed to address the need for Park and Ride schemes, provisions for a large number of electric car charging points, extensive safe cycling routes away from traffic and linking with low traffic neighbourhoods, therefore reducing congestion – especially school and rush hour traffic – and in turn reducing carbon emissions.

This would also allow good access to the town to cater for the many visitors that come by car to Harrogate from all over the North of England and beyond.

And, in a bid to prevent congestion and an increase in carbon emissions, Station Parade must retain its two lanes, with enhanced cycling facilities reserved for East Parade.

It also calls for the James Street to remain fully open whilst supporting its narrowing at the its junction with Station Parade to aid pedestrians crossing the road.

The organisation also suggested the introduction of ‘Cycle Sundays’ in the town centre as an experiment to gauge public support, and without it doing irreparable harm to retailers.

And, taking a leaf out of Leeds City Council’s books, electric vehicle owners should be rewarded by giving them permits to park for free in all council-owned car parks and on the street.

The response added: “We believe in an inclusive mix for everyone: walkers, bus travellers, cyclists, the disabled, commuters, tourists and general visitors.

“Independent Harrogate urges Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council to implement a well thought out and cautiously-phased Masterplan, that does not further damage the very fragile state of the local economy, and will be designed to avoid any costly mistakes.”

The full response can be read here:


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