Cycling in Yorkshire & Beyond

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Responses to the Victoria Avenue Consultation

Victoria Avenue, Harrogate
Victoria Avenue, Harrogate

North Yorkshire Council (NYC) has published the results of the consultation on their latest proposals for Victoria Avenue.

Only six people (10% of responses) support the planned scheme, which has had all the cycling elements stripped out of it.

In its report, the council included sample responses, some of which were coherent and convincing.

Sample Responses in Favour of Better Cycling Infrastructure in Harrogate

This response is particularly impressive.

‘Thank you for your work on the configuration and plans for the Harrogate area. I am e-mailing to express my disappointment of the lack of safe cycling lanes within this proposal.

I cycle to work at the hospital and a GP surgery daily and am frequently nearly run off the road by drivers that disregard rules designed to protect cyclists. I used to feel safer when Beech Grove was blocked for cycling and regularly use the “cycling lights “, both at Victoria Avenue and also behind Waitrose.

As a doctor I chose to cycle for health and environmental reasons but am often left wondering why as there are very few safe cycle routes in Harrogate, very few dedicated cycle lanes (which often only extend a short distance) and lots of drivers who feel that it is their right to get annoyed and scare cyclists. I do use pavements and ginnels (getting off and walking) for my own safety but appreciate that pedestrians have priority and do not want me to do this but I feel there is no safe option.

I am disappointed that for every development it always seems to be the cycling lanes that get revoked as with Victoria Avenue.

My brother recently visited Harrogate and was surprised that we had ever hosted cycling events describing it as the least cycling friendly town he had visited.

Please can the council consider keeping cycle lanes to enable people an alternative to driving in this and future proposals?’

sample response 3

Another comment makes the case for utility cycling.

‘The bicycle continues to shine as the most efficient, practical, green and reliable solution to urban mobility. Many cities and towns are taking note, building infrastructure and expanding facilities to accommodate the bicycle as an everyday mode of transportation while improving urban liveability.

Overall I am asking the council to amend its proposal and honour its duty to invest the funds for the purpose they were awarded and deliver on its promises’.

sample response 10

Sample Response Against Cycle Infrastructure in Harrogate

One person has taken Harrogate Cycle Action’s suggested consultation response in favour of better cycle infrastructure and twisted it to say the opposite of its original meaning.

The result is a childish, selfish and sarcastic response.

‘I do support the council’s proposals for Victoria Avenue.

The ATF2 funding was won for four pointless cycling schemes. North Yorkshire now plans to deliver none of them, which is acceptable.

There is no need to improve cycle facilities so that everyone from 8 to 80 years old feels safecycling into town.

North Yorkshire don’t need to deliver its original suggestion of dedicated cycle tracks on Victoria Avenue – supplementing the ATF2 money with its own transport funds if necessary.

Beech Grove also doesn’t need to be made safe for cycling, it already is for the single annual cyclist who uses it.

Drivers shouldn’t be prevented from making movements from Beech Grove to Victoria Avenue, and I do not support a modification of the Beech Grove/West Park/Victoria Avenue junction to achieve this.

Overall the council’s plans for Victoria Avenue are of great benefit, and are likely to result in more walking into town.

Keep spending cycling money on a bus stop and car parking ticket machines. I have never seen a cyclist on Victoria avenue or Beech grove and don’t wish to. A concerned walker and actual Harrogate resident’.

sample response 2

Is this really the level of debate we want to see about transport in Harrogate?

There is a very stark contrast between the well-informed, reasonable and decent responses in favour of better cycling infrastructure in Harrogate, and the sarcastic and selfish response against.

Responses to the Victoria Avenue Consultation