Public events offer chance to hear of £31m travel options for towns

This story was published 26 February 2021

Consultation is now under way on £31m proposals to transform the gateways to three North Yorkshire towns.

Transforming cities fund graphic

New entrances to railway stations, new public spaces linking stations to town centres and better access to education and employment sites are among options for Harrogate, Selby and Skipton after a partnership of local authorities succeeded in a bid to the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF).

The TCF aims to make it easier, safer and quicker for people to travel on foot, by bike and by public transport. Transformational projects in the three towns will be delivered by a partnership of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, North Yorkshire County Council, Craven District Council, Harrogate Borough Council and Selby District Council and are scheduled to be completed by 2023.

Public consultations on the proposals for each town run until 24 March 2021. People can read more about the proposals and complete the surveys.

In addition, a series of online public events begins next week, enabling people to hear more about the projects and to ask questions before completing the survey. The events are:

  • Harrogate project: 3 and 10 March
  • Skipton project: 2 and 11 March
  • Selby project: 4 and 12 March.

All will start at 6pm. Find out how to join the online public events.

Proposals include:

  • In Harrogate, improved railway station frontage with better access for walking and cycling; improved facilities for walking and cycling in the town centre; and improvements to public spaces.
  • In Selby, improved station frontage and links to the town centre, Abbey and bus station; improved walking and cycling links to major redevelopment sites, including a new cycle and footbridge over the River Ouse to the Olympia Park site.
  • In Skipton, improved access for walking and cycling from the railway station to the bus station; improved railway station frontage and improved access to education and employment sites.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “It is estimated TCF schemes will improve journeys by bus, rail, bike and on foot for up to 1.5 million people, and take up to 12 million car trips per year off our roads. Our region deserves a transport system which fills people with pride, with optimism and, above all, with the confidence we have a clear direction of travel towards future prosperity for all, while helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “Improving the gateways to these towns will not only make them more attractive, but will also provide infrastructure for sustainable travel. We have looked at barriers to people accessing public transport, cycling and walking and devised schemes to address these. I hope people will have their say through the consultation and take advantage of the online events to learn more and to ask questions.”

Councillor Simon Myers, Craven District Council’s Lead Member for Enterprising Craven, said:

“These proposals will make walking, cycling and public transport more attractive for our residents, which is good news both for the environment and for the health and wellbeing of our communities. The scheme also aims to attract younger people and families to Craven, and improve access to employment and training opportunities. We are keen to hear your views as we develop and finesse these plans, to help us provide the best possible environment for our residents, businesses and visitors.”

Councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability, said: “Through the Harrogate Congestion Study, it was clear the community wanted to see improvements to walking, cycling and public transport prioritised. The TCF project is the first step to delivering this and I’m pleased that the hard work and determination of council officers has paid off, and helped secure around £8million for the Harrogate bid.”

Cllr David Buckle, Lead Executive Member for Communities and Economic Development at Selby District Council, said: “This is a once in a generation chance to totally re-design this part of Selby town centre. Selby district is the fastest-growing in North Yorkshire and we're seeing lots of new investment in Selby town centre. Setting out bold and ambitious plans like this is a way in which the District Council can support this new investment and continue this transformation.”

Public feedback will help to shape the next stage of the project plans.