• Handpicked Harrogate

Harrogate Nightmare: 6 Months of Roadworks

Harrogate drivers face nearly six months of roadworks and delays on a crucial commuter route in a nightmare start to the year. The various repairs and closures scheduled for Otley Road are not, by any means, the only ones planned in the town in 2019 but they are expected to have the biggest impact on motorists.

The reasons usually involve improvements to the road itself or public utilities, linked either to major cycling events coming to Harrogate or to Yorkshire Water. But the end result will be the same for commuters. The Princes of Wales roundabout end of Otley Road is currently facing disruption until the end of April as Yorkshire Water gets to work on improving water pipes. The length of time of the repairs reflects the necessity to dig up three different roads in the immediate area.

As soon as those are completed after Easter, the authority responsible for Harrogate’s roads, North Yorkshire County Council, has the urgent task of bringing the same area up to scratch in time for two huge cycling events in Harrogate - the Tour de Yorkshire in May and UCI World Road Championships in September. The county council says its Area 6 highways team is now targeting resurfacing works on Otley Road before the Tour de Yorkshire which starts on Thursday, May 2.

Coun Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for access, said: “The Otley Road resurfacing work may involve a short term closure or temporary lights. “The condition of the road is, as we can all agree, poor. It is a heavily-trafficked road giving access to schools, the large Cardale Park employment area, Harrogate Spa Water and to the new residential construction sites further up the road. “But these are operational matters which our highways team is very experienced in deciding. “Road closures for a short period are inevitable, just as happened when Beckwith Road was resurfaced last year. “Taking off the old road surface and applying a new one is a major undertaking best done with a closed road.”

The work to improve roads to make them fit for the world’s greatest cyclists is also set to create disruption elsewhere in Harrogate. The county council has already done most of the work required to bring the important Harrogate town centre circuit up to scratch, such as the Duchy estate roads and Penny Pot Lane which was done last year. But further pre-race highways repairs have also been identified for the bottom end of Cornwall Road close to the entrance to Valley Gardens and Swan Road and Crescent Road also feature on the Harrogate circuit as does an area around the steep Pot Bank. All of these areas will be subject to repair work during the first six months of this year.

And that's not all coming up for commuters on Otley Road this perfect storm of a year in the way of road repairs and roadworks. Additional work on junction upgrades and the cycle path on Otley Road are also scheduled over the next few months. Elsewhere in the Harrogate area, Tower Street is to close from next Monday when Yorkshire Water will carry out essential works to January 18.

Long delays at rush hour are currently being experienced by commuters in Wetherby and Harrogate after Northern Gas Networks (NGN) started a £55,000 scheme to upgrade the gas distribution network at Spofforth Hill on Monday. The utility firm said the repairs would last four weeks. Chris Cunniff, site manager for Northern Gas Networks said: “We have been working closely with Leeds City Council to carefully plan these works and will be doing all we can to minimise disruption to customers.”

Don't forget that Handpicked Harrogate provides regularly updated roadworks information to help you plan a smooth journey. SOURCE

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