Active Travel Funding : Park-and-Ride scheme (2020) status finally revealed

Whitby : Cycling

In 2020, North Yorkshire Council (NYC) bid for and received just over £1m for 4 active travel schemes. One of these was from Whitby Park-and-Ride down Guisborough Road towards 4-lane-ends. This scheme did not originate from residents, NYC simply came up with it. It would have provided very little benefit for residents, and in terms of relative priority would have been very low on any priority list of schemes to be developed in this district. After initial consultation about what they were proposing it all went silent. And stayed silent, about what was happening or what happened to the money.

Now we know. This is from an email from Carl Les to the Harrogate cycle campaign group.

With regard to Victoria Avenue, NYC was awarded  £1,011,750 in 2020 towards 5 distinct active travel schemes including Victoria Avenue. Of the £1,011,750 above, Active Travel England (ATE) set out that this should be split in an 80/20 ratio between Capital (scheme delivery) and revenue (scheme development).

The scheme delivery was to be allocated as below:

  • A59 Maple Close Harrogate to Knaresborough (£250k) 
  • Victoria Avenue, Harrogate (£250k)
  • Guisborough Road, Whitby (£250k)
  • Oatlands Drive, Harrogate (£261,750)

Approximately £200,000 was spent on development work against the above schemes in line with ATE’s requirements. Following dialogue with ATE, it was agreed that since the funding allocated was not enough to deliver any of the schemes on the ground, that NYC should submit a “change control” request and instead allocate all of the remaining funding to one scheme – Victoria Avenue.

So there we have it, £50k spent on design, and the rest of the funds sent to Harrogate. It has to be mentioned that NYC have still not delivered the one scheme they have diverted the funding to (£810k transferred but the scheme would apparently now cost £1.5m+).

One day Whitby may get some priority and investment. The hope is that within 6 months Whitby area will have a Local Cycling Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) document defining which schemes are provided … hence reducing the chance of NYC going off on one and picking some random scheme that is not needed. We have to hope that by that point NYC have gained the necessary skills (and set up an Active Travel department) to actually deliver schemes.

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