£7.8m Skipton Gateway project set for approval after survey results revealed

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 7:25pm

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter

The £7.8m Skipton Gateway project has been recommended for approval at a meeting next Tuesday after the results of a latest public survey were revealed.

The project has been described as Skipton’s “biggest investment in decades” and aims to create a more attractive entrance to the town with improved public transport links for pedestrians and cyclists.

It has been through several design changes after public consultations, with 66% of respondents to a latest survey saying they felt positive about the project.

However, only 125 responses were received, representing a small proportion of the district’s population.

Around 22% of those who took part felt negative about the plans and the remaining 12% said they didn’t know.

A report to a meeting of North Yorkshire County Council’s executive next Tuesday has recommended the project for approval ahead of a final business case being submitted in April.

The report said: “The consultation responses indicated good levels of support for all the scheme elements.

“Given the continued positive response to the proposals it is recommended that the proposals be taken forward for detailed design and implementation.”

The proposals had included a cycle lane on Broughton Road between Skipton train station and the town centre, however, this was scrapped after concerns were raised over the safety of cyclists and loss of a taxi rank.

Instead, widened footpaths and a 20mph speed limit are now planned for a stretch of the road.

Other plans include transforming the entrance of the train station with a new public plaza, as well as widened footpaths on Carleton Street and improved pedestrian crossings on several streets.

There will also be a new 300m footpath connecting the canal footpath to Craven Leisure Centre and resurfacing works on more than 1km of footpaths between the train station and Craven Auction Mart.

The proposals are being funded by the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, with similar projects being brought forward for Harrogate and Selby. And if approved, it is anticipated that construction will begin in spring 2022 for approximately 12 months.

Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access at North Yorkshire County Council, said in a statement: “These proposals represent the biggest investment in Harrogate, Selby and Skipton town centres in decades and aim to increase productivity by making it quicker, easier and safer for people to travel around and connect with economic opportunities.

“We want to encourage more people to travel by foot, bike and public transport because it is good for health and the environment by promoting fitness and reducing congestion.

“The spending will also provide a welcome boost for our town centres after two difficult years of trading during the pandemic.”

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