We are reaching a critical phase in our battle to prevent the destruction of the Nidd Gorge and Nidderdale Greenway. It would make a massive difference if as many of you as possible could register your views to as many relevant county councillors as possible as soon as possible. To identify who these people are and find their email addresses, please follow the information and links below.
North Yorkshire County Council employed a consultancy company, WSP, to identify measures to relieve traffic congestion. They report back by the end of November and a preferred solution (which includes the possible destruction of the gorge and greenway) will be presented to a meeting of the County Area Committee for the Harrogate District at their meeting on 7th December, which is open for the public to attend. The agreed solution will then go to public consultation. However, from this point on, opposition is likely to be a harder task so the best advice from where we stand now is to ensure that our views are heard now.
There are several layers to the decision making process with the ultimate decision likely to be made by the County Council Executive. They will be influenced significantly by recommendation from the County Area Committee for the Harrogate District who have more local knowledge and also by a Steering Group, established to provide guidance to officers of the County Council. The Executive will also receive recommendations from the Transport, Economy and Environment Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/councillors-information will help you find the email address for all councillors.
The Steering Group members are: Don Mackenzie, Michael Harrison and Phil Ireland.
http://democracy.nHAC.puborthyorks.gov.uk/committees.aspx?commid=3 if you scroll to the bottom of the page, has the email addresses for all councillors on the County Area Committee for the Harrogate District.
https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/committee-membership shows the councillors on the Executive.
https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/improvement-and-scrutiny will help you find the members of the Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Please email as many people as possible. Points which you may well wish to mention include the following:
– Numerous studies have shown that relief roads don’t relieve congestion – this shows that NYCC’s central argument for the road is wrong! The studies are summarised here:
-WSP (the council’s consultants) were tasked with looking at Harrogate congestion in a narrow context without taking account of NYCC’s stated aim of upgrading the A59 to improve East-West connectivity. As such, any road purported to benefit Harrogate may have the opposite effect by drawing in more trafic from elsewhere, resulting in the lose-lose situation of a new road and more traffic without a reduction in congestion. The evidence is in NYCC’s own Strategic Transport Prospectus – see map on page 25 here:
-effects on the local roads in Bilton, especially the likely increase on Bilton Lane, Woodfield Road and Knox from an inner “relief” road with a link into Bilton have not been adequately considered.
– effects of the destruction of Nidd Gorge and the Greenway as a vital, accessible amenity for locals and visitors -to health, recreational opportunities, quality of life, tourism, economic impact etc.
Thanks to committee member Rod Beardshall for contributing this post.
Who You Can Contact To Stop The Road