Published — 29 April, 2019

Relief road consultation: Harrogate MP backs sustainable options

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has published its consultation in to Harrogate’s congestion problem and is encouraging the public to take part.  One of the options is for a so-called relief road linking Thistle Hill in Knaresborough to Ripley.  There are also other measures such as bus priority lanes, park and ride and improved cycling facilities.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones has congratulated NYCC on putting forward a wide-range of measures for public consultation which include a relief road but also give prominence to sustainable measures.

“My view on the proposed relief road is clear.  It is not needed because it would have little effect on journeys to, from or within Harrogate.  That is 93 per cent of all journeys.  On the contrary it will attract more cars to our area using a new road as a short cut from East to West.  We will be creating the biggest rat-run in the North of England.

“The proposed road will also have a significant, and to my mind unacceptable, effect on the Nidd Gorge.  Eighty species of birds, 30 kinds of mammals, reptiles and amphibians and plants, fungi and flowers have made their homes in the ancient woodlands along the Nidd Gorge.  Why would one put these amazing natural habitats at risk from tarmac, litter and exhaust fumes not to mention the housing that will almost certainly follow the road.

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough

The relief road proposal has attracted widespread opposition from community groups, local residents and councillors.

“The sustainable measures will require investment and they will also require a change in the way we think about travel.  It is not the first time our attitudes to the environment have changed as we realise the damage pollution is doing.  Forty years ago few people recycled yet now we recycle half our household waste, five years ago we used ten times as many plastic bags as we do now.

“Our next shift has to be in our attitudes to how we get from one place to another.  Watching TV documentaries like Blue Planet and David Attenborough’s latest documentary about Climate change – the facts and lamenting the state of our environment is simply not enoughWe need to take what we learn from those documentaries and put that learning in to practice.

“Supporting the sustainable measures in this consultation is one way in which we can all do this.”

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough

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