Agenda item

Receipt of Petition "Remove the barriers blocking Beech Grove and Lancaster Road, Harrogate and stop this proposed LTN"

Report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services).


Purpose of the report:  To advise of a petition and ask the Area Constituency Committee to respond.


Considered –


The petition entitled “Remove the barriers blocking Beech Grove and Lancaster Road, Harrogate and stop this proposed LTN”.  The petition included a list of 15 reasons why the removal of the barriers was requested.  The petition was brought before the Committee in accordance with the County Council’s Petitions Scheme.


The petition was presented at the meeting by Lucy Gardiner and Anna McIntee (petition organisers) who spoke for 5 minutes.


A statement by Kevin Douglas (Chair of Harrogate and District Cycle Action) was read out at the meeting on his behalf.  The statement asked the Committee to reject the action requested by the petition and to retain the modal filter until August 2022.  (Notice of this statement had been received in accordance with the item of business “Public Questions or Statements”.)


Members debated the petition.  Points raised during the debate were as follows:-


·         The Beech Grove Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) had been introduced as an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.  It was a very modest step towards carrying out what had been sought by the vast majority of respondents to the Harrogate Congestion Study Public Engagement carried out in 2019, namely, to introduce a system of better facilities for walking and cycling in Harrogate town centre and also to encourage people out of their cars and instead to walk, cycle or use public transport.  There had been 15,500 responses to this Public Engagement.  Members commented that they recognised that any changes brought about, subsequent to the massive response to this Public Engagement, would be controversial.


·         Members wanted to see the trial Beech Grove LTN continue and, as such, allow the public the opportunity to object/comment, as had been planned.


·         This trial was important because the County Council wanted to learn the best ways of tackling traffic congestion and “rat-runs”.


·         The Beech Grove LTN would link into cyclepath works to be undertaken in Otley Road and Victoria Avenue.


Members also made the following comments:-


·         They recognised that each of the 15 bullet points within the petition was either mistaken or flawed.  A briefing note from Melisa Burnham (Area Manager – Area 6) had been emailed to Members on 15 September 2021 setting out officers’ comments on the 15 bullet points within the petition.


·         Members had received letters from residents who supported the Beech Grove LTN.


·         The majority of signatories to the petition were from the Harrogate district area.  However, some were from outside North Yorkshire.  Very few signatures were from the Beech Grove/Victoria Road area.


·         A Member criticised the use of online social media from outside the area and highlighted that this impacted detrimentally on local democracy.


With the Chairman’s agreement, Ruth Gladstone (Principal Democratic Services Officer) undertook to email Members, after the meeting, with a copy of the comments which the petition organisers had put in the MS Teams Chat facility whilst Committee Members had been debating the petition.


Resolved -


That the action requested by the petition be not taken in order to allow this pilot LTN to continue for the reasons put forward in the debate.


Note:  Notwithstanding the Committee’s decision, the petition content/objections will be considered in line with the statutory process for traffic regulation orders when this Experimental Traffic Regulation Order is reviewed and objections considered between June and August 2022 by the BES Corporate Director and BES Executive Members.

Supporting documents: