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Oatlands Drive and Wetherby Road Crossings Consultation

Draft design for Wetherby Road crossing
Draft design for Wetherby Road crossing

North Yorkshire Council (NYC) have finally got around to publishing designs for crossings of Oatlands Drive and Wetherby Road, for people walking or cycling on Slingsby Walk. The council first announced it was to proceed with a Wetherby Road crossing in December 2022.

These crossings were to be built by 31st March 2024, which is not now going to happen. At least NYC are about to launch a consultation, which represents one step forward.

The Timing of the Lights at the Wetherby Road Crossing

Harrogate Cycle Action highlight the timing of the lights at the proposed Wetherby Road crossing as key.

Typically, NYC prioritise motor vehicles, and make people on bikes or on foot wait a very long time to cross. The cycle campaign say that at the new Toucan on Wetherby Road, the lights should change within a few seconds of the button being pushed (except if someone has just crossed the road).

Oatlands Drive

Draft design for crossing of Oatlands Drive
Draft design for crossing of Oatlands Drive

A parallel – zebra plus cycle – crossing of Oatlands Drive is planned. This will be a first for North Yorkshire. The crossing is to be on a raised table.

Double yellow lines on the east side of Oatlands Drive are included in the plan, but will be the subject of a separate consultation.

Harrogate Cycle Action support the Oatlands Drive crossing.

Wetherby Road

The crossing of Wetherby Road is to be traffic light-controlled, because this is a busier road.

If NYC adopt their usual practice, pedestrians and cyclists will be delayed for a long time for no particular reason, other than the fact they are below drivers in the council’s de facto transport hierarchy.

Let’s hope the council can be dragged from the Dark Ages up to date.

Stray Land Exchange

Stray Land Exchange Option 1
Stray Land Exchange Option 1

In order to build the crossings, some Stray grass will be lost. This means there has to be a Stray Land Exchange – a formal process of designating an equivalent area of grass part of the Stray.

Option 1 is just by the War Memorial on Wetherby Road. This is sensible.

The other two options are bits of verge by Hookstone Chase and Hookstone Drive. These options are not sensible.

For one thing, grass verges by a busy road are useless as Stray Land – no one wants to fly a kite or have a picnic there. For another thing, designating those verges as Stray would make it more difficult to build cycle tracks on Hookstone Chase and Hookstone Drive in future.

The Consultation

The consultation runs from 25th March to 14th April 2024. Responses are by email to Area6.Boroughbridge@northyorks.gov.uk.

Harrogate Cycle Action suggest supporting the proposals, but asking that the lights of the Wetherby Road crossing change to green within a few seconds when the button is pushed.

They support Stray Land Exchange Option 1, but not Options 2 and 3.

Oatlands Drive and Wetherby Road Crossings Consultation

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