Residents and business owners are up in arms against the £11.2m Harrogate Gateway Project, which has been given the go ahead after it was approved by councillors on 5 May 2023 by a vote of 10 for and 3 against. This would see enforced pedestrianisation and restricted private vehicle usage in the town centre around Harrogate trains station. The North Yorkshire County Council is expected to approve the vote on 30 May 2023, with construction expected later this year.
The plans were originally introduced by Harrogate Borough Council, but are now being seen through by North Yorkshire County Council since being absolved into the unitary authority in April. At a public consultation on 5 May 2023, local resident Austin asked if ANPR cameras would be used to restrict private vehicle usage by imposing financial restrictions, which Cllr. Richard Binks confirmed will be considered.
The council’s Conservative executive is expected to approve sending a full business case to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which originally won the funding from government. The Gateway Project would see access for deliveries to shops restricted and hindered by reduced road infrastructure into the town centre, the removal of parking bays and the pedestrianisation of areas. The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is expected to make a decision on the council’s full business case in the autumn.
The council will then award a contract to a building firm to carry out the works. Construction firm Galliford Try has already been working with the council to draw up designs and has helped plan the construction phase. However, there’s a tight timescale to complete the project as the Department for Transport expects money earmarked for the Station Gateway to be spent before the end of the current financial year, although some can also be spent in 2024/25
Like many other towns and cities across the country opposing forced urban change on mass, Harrogate is being subjected to undemocratic changes to the urban landscape that have outraged many local residents whose complaints appear to fall on deaf ears.
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