This weekend we launched a new, traffic-focused initiative: : The Harrogate & Knaresborough Alliance for Less Traffic (HALT) – to argue the case against an inner relief road as a solution for congestion relief.
The central message for the HALT campaign is: “say No to an M62 Relief Road between Harrogate and Knaresborough”
Set out below is our evidence that supports this claim. It was prepared last year for the ‘stakeholder engagement’ phase of the Harrogate Congestion Study.
All the evidence is taken from North Yorkshire County Council’s own documents. The bold, underlined statements are two of our main arguments against the road.
East-west connectivity is an established commitment and the Green Belt between Harrogate & Knaresborough is wrong place for M62 alternative that will induce traffic and will damage towns’ tourist economy.
(Extract, below, from Harrogate Relief Road Review – Options Assessment Report, November 2017 – produced by NYCC’s transport consultants WSP)
The local transport network is often identified as a barrier to the growth that is proposed for the district; characterised by localised congestion on key routes, and the resulting delays and unreliable journey times, it is recognised that these issues will need to be addressed if growth and inward investment are to be achieved – particularly that of high value employment. There is a recognised risk that, should the trend of low value employment continue, the district will be vulnerable in times of national and global downturns. There is therefore an aspiration, both locally and regionally, to build a more resilient and sustainable economy and to grow the amount of high value employment in the district and specifically in the urban areas. The impact of this targeted growth, if left unmanaged, is likely to deter the further inward investment and diversification of the economy that is considered critical to ensuring resilience of the district and achieving economic growth projections, both locally and regionally.
With further aspirations of economic growth across the North, and the identification of logistics as a key enabler to unlocking this, freight movements on the A59 will continue to increase as east-west connections become more of a focus. Transport for the North’s emerging work on Strategic Development Corridors, looks at the case for improving east-west connectivity in the Central Pennines corridor, which covers North Yorkshire (and the Harrogate Borough area). This work identifies congestion in Harrogate as a contributor to a lack of resilience on the A59 and includes a Harrogate Relief Road as a potential complementary measure. East-West connectivity on the A59 will be facilitated through proposed improvements to the route both east and west of Harrogate; there is a risk that the benefits of these improvements will not be fully realised if congestion on the A59 through the study area is not addressed.
Source: p10 WSP Options Assessment Report for NYCC, Sect 3.4
Harrogate Relief Road will be an alternative route to the M62 that will induce more traffic.
EXTRACT FROM NYCC STUDY OF EAST-WEST CONNECTIVITY
1.13 Overall, there is considered to be a robust and compelling quantitative and qualitative
economic case for enhanced East-West Connectivity across the Central Corridor as
demonstrated above. Much of the qualitative case is focused upon the economic potential of
the Corridor and this is considered to be a wholly valid approach given that the economy and
its growth potential is currently constrained by poor transport connectivity on an East-West
axis. Improved connectivity would not only address the economic ambitions of the Corridor
itself but it could also enable the Corridor to provide an alternative route to the M62 corridor
to provide additional resilience to Trans-Pennine connectivity more generally, a key pan-
Northern objective in terms of road and rail, passenger and freight movements.
Source: North Yorkshire County Council, Business and Environmental Services, Executive Members
31 March 2017, East West Connectivity Study, Report of the Assistant Director – Highways and Transportation