Referral of Statements to Transport Economy, Environment and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee


1.    Clause in 20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy

The public question and officer response led to a detailed discussion about the proposals in Harrogate to introduce 20mph limits outside a series of schools and the wider policy.

In relation to the particular issue raised  it was stressed by officers that the current NYC 20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy does allow for the implementation of 20mph zones on major streets as defined in the guidance, no amendment is required, but that does not mean automatic application.  There is and always will be a requirement for officers to make decisions on what roads are suitable on a case-by-case basis. 

As part of the discussion, a series of requests were made to officers for further information. These include:

It was agreed that the information requested would be provided to the committee to assist them to consider this matter with more knowledge of the issue, and this would be added to the work programme for a future meeting.

2.    Delivery of Active Travel schemes

In response to the public question, it was noted by officers that although recent bids to the Active Travel Fund (ATF) have not been successful, overall it was felt that the Council has been very effective in capital and revenue terms to secure funding for active travel schemes, such as through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) packages, National Productivity Investment Fund and Emergency Active Travel funding. It was confirmed that the Council always seek to receive feedback from the Department of Transport as to why a particular bid at that time wasn’t successful.

As part of the discussion on this, Councillor Haslam felt that there are a number of easy wins that could be achieved, particularly in Harrogate, and they should be looked into. For example, there are lots of bits of footpaths and cycleways that are “unmade” and could be improved for a low cost into suitable paths/routes. These could be quick wins for active travel and safe cycling provision in the borough. He felt that instead of focussing on big schemes and waiting for money to be handed down from government, that carrying out smaller pieces of work in the meantime would have a beneficial impact.

It was noted that the Council has been proactively engaging with the Harrogate and District Cycle Action Group (H&D CAG) to formulate a network of cycle plans together for in and around Harrogate.

Councillor Warneken asked about the delays in forming an Active Travel team within the council and the reasons for this? In response, it was explained that following a significant reduction in integrated transport block funding around 2010, active travel delivery has for a number of years now been reliant almost exclusively on external funding from bidding opportunities and local developments. Looking forward, there is likely to be more funding available through the proposed Mayoral Combined Authority in the form of the recently announced Local Integrated Transport Settlement (LITS), which will begin in 2025. The expectation is that this will provide a greater level of funding and critically, provide funding stability, as the money will be over seven years. This will facilitate a forward programme of works over a sustained period of time and provide the Council with the funding to invest in the resources required to deliver against that programme. In the meantime, a new post has been established in Harrogate, which will be focussed on managing improvement projects and ensuring delivery of active travel schemes on the ground. Also, the development of a new Local Transport Plan will allow for a focus on low carbon transport which will steer funding towards active travel modes.

In rounding up the discussion, the Chair suggested a working group be set up later in the year, once the Mayor is appointed and in post, to look at how to establish consistent active travel plans across the county and also link to the Planning work with developing a new Local Plan for North Yorkshire. Although this wasn’t formally proposed and voted on at the meeting, it will be picked up in due course.