By Graham Chalmers
After a heated response from pedestrians and cyclists in Harrogate to the return of the issue of cycling on The Stray, the situation may be starting to become a little clearer.
It seems the new ‘no cycling’ markings which appeared on The Stray in Harrogate just recently are the work of Harrogate Borough Council’s parks department with the aim to clarify the existing situation for boths cyclists and pedestrians - not to change anything by the rules which were set after the last dispute nearly ten years ago.
Rossett Ward Coun Rebecca Burnett, who is Harrogate Borough Council’s ‘Cycling and Walking Champion’ had this to say about the situation today talking to the Harrogate Advertiser.
Rebecca said: “In 2006 it was agreed that some of the paths on The Stray would be widened for the shared use of cyclists and pedestrians on the agreement that the narrow paths would remain for pedestrian use only. for the shared use of cyclists and pedestrians on the agreement that the narrow paths would remain for pedestrian use only.
“Some cyclists have still been using the pedestrian-only paths and this might be because they are unaware of the agreement made at the time.
“Now we have good cycle signage indicating the cycle routes and shared paths the council has, in response to concerns from some older and more vulnerable pedestrians, laid markings to designate the pedestrian-only paths.
“I am the council’s walking champion as well as cycling champion and the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians is important to me. I will continue to do what I can to improve local infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians as we work to reduce congestion in the area by encouraging sustainable transport.”
“I will ensure the council is always working to promote safe cycling and can report we are making good progress on a number of initiatives.
“Those initiatives include plans for a separated direct cycleway between Knaresborough, Starbeck and Harrogate, more cycle parking across the district, better cycle links at Harrogate Station and more schemes to join up the gaps in the existing cycle network as well as training schemes for children and adults.”