We are seeking your views and opinions, and would appreciate you reading this letter and responding.
This will enable your Parish Council to lobby and act on your behalf.
NORTH RIGTON PARISH COUNCIL
VILLAGE TRAFFIC – YOUR OPINIONS MATTER
Your Parish Council has continued to work with other councils and community groups to the west of Harrogate. The group is known as the “Western Arc Co-operation Group” You may have seen a document produced by them which incorporated ideas from cycling and environmental groups, entitled “Campaign for Sustainable Development” It is on the Parish web site at www.northrigton.org
Your Parish Council have continued with these links and have taken part in discussions with Councillors from NYCC and HBC and with our two MP’s.
The Government Inspector accepted the Harrogate District Plan provisions for new housing, and we have to accept that decision. The Inspector did however insist that a Parameters Plan had to be put in place before any further housing applications could be accepted.
Our group is working with HBC as they develop this Parameters Plan.
We are attempting to ensure that there is community involvement, and it isn’t simply developer led.
There is currently no recognition of the need for any improvement in the transport infrastructure to support the inevitable vehicle movements from these developments. We wish to ensure that agreements are put in place to address the road traffic infrastructure as the area is developed.
1. The suggested Western by-pass will not be pursued as an option. The cost/benefit of this is apparently unsustainable.
2. A new Park and Ride Facility is proposed and likely to be developed in the area around Buttersyke Bar.
3. There is lots of talk of cycle lanes being planned in the area of the Otley Road.
4. There is talk of electric bus services from the new developments to get people into Harrogate.
NONE OF THESE MEASURES WILL BE OF ANY BENEFIT TO OUR COMMUNITY. AND THERE IS NO PLAN FOR TRAVEL TO LEEDS OR BRADFORD FROM THIS WESTERN AREA OF HARROGATE.
Traffic movements through North Rigton have already increased:
Traffic movements on Rigton Hill, one day period: November 2011- 1,311 / November 2020 – 1,931
WHAT THE PARISH COUNCIL ALREADY PLAN TO DO:
• Erect a Vehicle Activated Signs in appropriate locations to alert drivers of the speed limit in the village.
• Enhance the entrances to the village to attempt to make drivers aware and encourage a reduction of speeds.
• Discuss possible initiatives with residents outside the village envelope.
WHAT ELSE CAN THE PARISH COUNCIL DO?
As a Parish Council we don’t have sufficient funds to spend on major works, and we have no powers to do many things which you as residents may regard as possible solutions. Our only course of action is to continue to lobby, together with other groups in the area to get some changes incorporated into a plan and financed to find solutions to our problems.
The Western Arc Cooperation Group are constantly being asked, “What do you want”
The group doesn’t feel it is our responsibility to offer solutions, but out of frustration have put together a document which outlines some examples of the types of actions which could improve the situation. The suggestions, although not directly affecting North Rigton, could help address the increasing levels of traffic using unsuitable roads.
In general the suggestions cover:
1. More ambitious cycling routes from the new developments along the Otley Road into Harrogate.
2. Several 15-minute bus services from the area into Harrogate, to the Business and Employment zones and a shuttle bus to the proposed Park & Ride on Leeds Road.
3. Improvements on roads in the areas around the new housing to bring them up to a standard and widths suitable for modern vehicles.
4. Small sections of new roads to get around bottle-necks where it is impractical to widen the carriageway.
5. Roads and junctions improved to enable them to accommodate the busses, which should be electric.
6. Closure of some roads in one-direction or making them access only to reduce through traffic.
WHAT WILL HELP NORTH RIGTON?
No one denies that it is inevitable that even more traffic will come through our village we need to consider what we need in our community, with or without any of the above actions.
1. Should another route be developed, as above to allow the traffic from the new developments to the west gain access to the A61 and the A658.
2. Could we improve traffic movements by widening roads and improving junctions?
3. Do we want to upgrade some of the roads in the area to enable the traffic to travel more safely and enable busses to use them regularly.
4. Do we need to propose schemes which will manage or deter traffic from using the route from Beckwithshaw and along Brackenthwaite Lane?
5. Are there any roads which could be made one way only, or access only?
6. Do we want to put traffic calming measures in place in certain areas, like speed humps or chicanes?
7. Would a regular bus service be of any help to our community?
8. Do we want to extend the 20mph speed limit throughout the village?
9. Do we want to reduce the speeds of traffic on approaching roads to 40 / 50 mph
This all comes at a cost.
This is all a NYCC Highways matter and we will have to lobby for any actions. We can do this alone, or we can do it jointly with other groups similarly affected which we hope will have more success.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
To continue to lobby and act on your behalf we need to know what you think. We would appreciate you getting in touch.
Please comment on the suggestions above and add your suggestions.
What would you prefer to see happen?
Please write to the Parish Clerk, Mike Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or speak with one of your councillors who will share your views with the other council members.
DEADLINE FOR RESPONSES/COMMENTS PLEASE:
FRIDAY 19TH FEBRUARY 2021
Mary Hopkins – Chairman
Barbara Massey – Vice Chairman