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Long-awaited Harrogate and Knaresborough traffic consultation starts TODAY

Long-awaited Harrogate and Knaresborough traffic consultation starts TODAY

Published by Lisa Darvill at 7:01am 15th April 2019. (Updated at 11:06am 15th April 2019)

A consultation on congestion in Harrogate and Knaresborough is being launched this morning. 

  • People are being asked if they think congestion is a problem and how it should be improved 
  • North Yorkshire County is putting forward two packages of measures 
  • Ideas include developing public transport, improving the cycling and walking infrastructure AND an inner relief road near Nidd Gorge
  • The survey can be filled in online and will last 12 weeks 
  • The council is encouraging as many people as possible to take part 

The long-awaited survey will be live for the next 12 weeks.

North Yorkshire County Council is asking people if they think congestion is a problem and how it should be addressed.

The consultation can be filled in online and includes 20 questions

The council has also sent letters about the consultation to 90,000 households in the area. 

As well as residents, it's also encouraging commuters and tourists to take part. 

Levels of pollution are so high in some places there are two air quality management action areas in Knaresborough and one in Harrogate. 

The council's also concerned housing and employment growth is only adding to levels of congestion. 

The authority has put together two packages of measures, after it commissioned consultants to look into the problem. 

One focuses on managing demand and encouraging changes in behaviour. 

This plan includes: 

  • Developing public transport and cycling and walking infrastructure 
  • More pedestrian areas in central Harrogate 
  • Increased car parking it congestion charges 
  • Speed and weight limits 
  • Park & Ride 

The second plan contains similar measures plus the option of an inner relief road and a Killinghall bypass. 

Whilst no route for this potential relief road is being put forward, the council has identified a "corridor of interest", which passes near Nidd Gorge

A number of residents have previously raised concerns about this potential relief road. 

But North Yorkshire County Council says this consultation isn't just about the potential for a new road, and no firm decisions have been made. 

It says both packages are at relatively early stages of development and they are "wholly flexible". 

Councillor Don MacKenzie, Executive Member for Highways and Passenger Transport told Stray FM: 

"This engagement exercise shouldn't be a yes or no consultation on whether people feel a relief road is or isn't the answer.

"I want to take the sensationalism out of it.

"I want to hear people's views on whether they honestly believe a relief road would help.

"Some people will feel with all of the house building and increasing business going on, perhaps now is the time to consider investing in a new road. Others of course, are against it. 

"Either way, we want to hear your views.

"At this stage, North Yorkshire County Council is totally neutral on this matter." 

As well as the web-based consultation there'll also be a series of public exhibitions. 

People can give their views at www.northyorks.gov.uk/harrogate-congestion-engagement until Monday 8th July. 

The council says using the comments, it'll then produce a package of measures. 

It adds there will be separate consultations on any measures as they are developed.