21st May 2021
The Otley Road Cycleway has been delayed again. There is now no firm date for work to start - not even for Phase 1.
The timetable shown in the image above is from Hapara's May 2021 Newsletter.
It shows the Northern Powergrid works taking place this month, then raises the new matter of further utility works by BT, Virgin Media, and Northern Gas. Note:
If these further utility works are needed but not scheduled, it raises many questions. Why did North Yorkshire previously announce that work on the cycleway would start in:
When did they realise these further works were necessary? Why aren't they scheduled?
If they know utility diversions are required for Phase 2, are they getting on and scheduling them now? Or just waiting until they are the next thing holding up work on Phase 2, so we get more months or years of delay?
Why is there no Phase 4, Cardale Park to Beckwithshaw? Around a thousand houses are going to be built either side of Otley Road there. Why isn't this an urgent priority? Or are they just going to allow the houses to be built and think about a cycleway months or years later? And how will that affect congestion on Otley Road?
From the outside, the central problem seems to be a failure to anticipate problems and plan to resolve them.
The result is that an obstacle is only dealt with when it is the next obstacle standing in the way. It takes months to resolve, which means months of delay. Then they think about the obstacle after that, which results in more months of delay.
It needs someone to get a grip, anticipate obstacles, and plan to resolve them concurrently, starting now.
One aspect of this would be to plan and begin on utility diversions for the other phases of the project now.