Even if you haven’t known the name, just about all Wednesday Wheelers will have used the Nidderdale Greenway. Many parts of it feature regularly on our rides. It’s not just useful, but lovely. I have just become aware of a road-building proposal that threatens to ruin it. Despite much opposition from local residents, Harrogate’s MP and, not least, an overwhelming vote (14-2) of the North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) councillors representing the Harrogate and Knaresborough area, the NYCC Executive has ploughed ahead with plans for a “relief road”, including proposals that would ruin Nidd Gorge and the Greenway. Both of the councillors who voted in favour of the proposal sit on the relief road Steering Committee, and one of them, Councillor Don Mackenzie, is not only one of the two councillors responsible for that NYCC Executive decision but also – get the irony – NYCC’s Walking and Cycling Champion.
It is highly questionable whether any of the options would help reduce congestion in Harrogate. Of all the traffic in Harrogate, only 7% is through traffic, with 93% of journeys being into, out of or entirely within Harrogate. The more likely effect is that extra capacity afforded by any new road would generate more journeys and more congestion. See hedgehogcycling.co.uk/harrogate-relief-road.html for lots more background.
Please see, and share, the online petition.