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Crowdfunding for Harrogate cycling feasibility study

9th June 2014

Cycle lane on East Parade, Harrogate

LibDem councillor Helen Flynn has told the Harrogate Advertiser that money for a feasibility study on making Harrogate a cycling town is to be raised by crowdfunding.

As we reported on 15th March, Mrs Flynn suggested a feasibility study be carried out, after consulting with the local Sustrans office in Leeds. Sustrans had advised that it was necessary, so as to be in a position to apply for government funding when it is available. At that stage, the figure mentioned was £50,000. The Conservatives on the council were against the idea.

The Advertiser quotes Helen Flynn on the crowdfunding idea. 'What is exciting about this project is that it is the first time that project of this type has been crowd sourced, and it is particularly exciting as the Tour de France is upon us. There really never has been a better time to launch this kind of initiative, and it promises to eventually give us a strong legacy of utility cycling from the Tour having visited us.'

'Anyone who lives or works in Harrogate is well aware of traffic congestion around the town. It is also the case that over 80 per cent of traffic in Harrogate is local. Most damning of all, we also have one of the lowest rates of young people cycling to school in the country.'

'I feel it is important that as a town we do have an ambitious and joined up approach as to how we can achieve the aim of becoming a cycling town.'

Malcolm Margolis of Wheel Easy told the Advertiser, 'We fully support the proposed feasibility study. In London the cycling campaign is called 'Love London, Go Dutch'. Local campaigners have a similar vision for Harrogate, already a beautiful town, but with a Dutch style cycling infrastructure it would be a very much better and healthier place to live. The study will provide the basis for this transformation.'

The council's Cycling Champion, Conservative Councillor John Ennis, has launched a cycling forum. 'We have had our first meeting and we are pooling our expertise and planning to do a feasibility assessment ourselves. I think it is a good group, and we have a lot of different expertise. I'm not saying we won't need a study at some point, but not at the moment, and the money isn't there right now.'

Around £4,000 has been raised so far. To contribute, email helenflynn@me.com

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