North Yorkshire County Council will start work next month on the creation of a new £100,000 crossing in Harrogate to improve life for pedestrians and access to the town centre from the bus and railway stations.
The works, which are due to take place at the junction of Lower Station Parade, Station Parade and Cheltenham Parade, are designed to make the junction safer for the high volume of pedestrians crossing.
The work has been subject to public consultation in the past and letters with detail of the work have been distributed to businesses and affected residents this week. It will create a simpler junction layout with the facility for pedestrians to cross at any approach while ensuring that there are no additional delays to traffic.
A ‘pedestrian all red crossing’ will be created which will enable visitors clearly and quickly to identify their preferred route across the junction to the commercial centre, visitor attractions and conference facilities in the town while all vehicular traffic is held on red.
The ‘all red’ crossing, which will cost about £100,000, is being jointly funded by the Department for Transport and through the county council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, to promote walking and cycling by improving transport interchanges in Harrogate.
At present pedestrians, and especially those with mobility impairment, find the junction of Cheltenham Parade and Station Parade particularly difficult to use. The junction suffers from a disjointed direction of travel for pedestrians, sometimes with two, three or even four road crossings to reach popular destinations.
The pelican crossing on Cheltenham Parade is often severely overcrowded and people are regularly observed walking diagonally across the junction, spilling out onto the carriageway and walking on the wrong side of the guardrail. It is also difficult for visitors arriving in town from the bus station to locate the town centre and conference facilities from this point.
“This work will improve safety and the flow of pedestrians into the town centre” said County Councillor Gareth Dadd, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways. “This junction has long proved difficult to navigate for people on foot and the new crossing will greatly improve ease of access to Harrogate’s centre and all its attractions.”
Councillor Rebecca Burnett, LSTF steering group member and Harrogate Borough Council Cabinet Member for Sustainable Transport said: “We are taking a great opportunity to improve this junction for all users, particularly for the safety of pedestrians. The new layout will allow people to cross from the town centre directly to the bus station or to the one arch and cyclists will be given greater protection at the junctions.
“The improved pedestrian facilities will also make the junction safer and more convenient for drivers, as they should no longer find people attempting to cross where there are barriers on either side of the road. Pedestrians dodging in and out of the traffic is clearly dangerous for everyone but the scheme will address that problem.
“Local businesses have long called for the barriers to be removed and this new scheme will achieve that as well as improving safety.”
In order to work effectively, the introduction of the pedestrian all red crossing will require:
- The removal of the existing pelican crossing at Cheltenham Parade nearest Station Parade/Beulah Street;
- The pedestrian island on Lower Station Parade to be removed;
- Advanced cycle stop lines to be introduced at both Cheltenham Parade and Lower Station Parade;
- Replacement paving flags on the footways throughout the junction will be installed.
The introduction of signal control at Lower Station Parade, Cheltenham Parade and the access road linking to the private parking area to the rear of the Railway Station staff car park;
The existing guardrails which restrict movement through the junction will be removed, opening up the remaining footway for pedestrians and creating a more attractive public space.
The junction experiences very little traffic queuing and has sufficient capacity to accommodate the proposed changes without any significant delays to traffic.
The construction works are planned to start on Monday 2nd February and are expected to take approximately 6 weeks to complete.
trian access will be maintained throughout the construction works with advisory signs highlighting alternative crossing points when necessary. Contractors will liaise with businesses directly to ensure access is maintained for customers, and the bus station will be open as usual.
Cllr Dadd added: “As with all works of this nature, there will be some inconvenience during the construction phase, however every effort will be made to keep people informed and any disruption to a minimum.”