Yorkshire cycling website
In this section I look at the existing cycle infrastructure in the town of Harrogate, and make suggestions for improvements.
Some of the routes are shown in yellow on the map attached to Harrogate Borough Council's Cycling Implementation Plan, meaning that they are regarded as cycle routes. The routes are also shown on the map above - click at the top left of the frame to see the key to the map, and on an individual route in the key for notes on that route.
Slingsby Walk is a shared use cycle and foot path across the Stray. This is a very useful route, which allows cyclists to avoid some busy roads. Slingsby Walk is named after Sir William Slingsby, who discovered the first natural spring in Harrogate. Read more about Slingsby Walk.
East Parade has a cycle lane in each direction. The lane going uphill (south) is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. See photos, my description of the lane and its problems, and my suggestions for improvements. The lane going downhill (north) is just painted white lines in some places but not all, and it is of no help to a person riding a bike; it often feels dangerous riding north. Read about cycle facilities on East Parade.
Victoria Avenue is an important route to cycle to bike parking at Princes Square, near the town centre. There are a couple of neat little innovations, where only cyclists can turn right or go straight on. Some dangerous close passes are likely on Victoria Avenue itself, and I identify one spot in particular where changes to the road layout would help. This page also covers the good adjoining routes on South Park Road and Stray Rein. Read about Victoria Avenue.
The B6162 Otley Road from the Prince of Wales roundabout towards Harlow Carr and Beckwithshaw is shown as a cycle route on Harrogate BC's Cycling Implementation Plan, even though there is no cycling infrastructure here, and it is a busy road. A lot of cyclists use the pavement, suggesting that they find the road intimidating. How could the Otley Road be made better for cyclists?
There's a new (2017) shared use path on Beckwith Head Road, running past the side of Cardale Park business park. It's really disappointing, giving way to all the side roads, and even future entrances to yet-to-be-built parts of the business park. It seems that no lessons have been learnt from failed cycle infrastructure designs in the UK in recent decades. Read about Beckwith Head Road cycle route.
There's a route from the Co-op garage on Ripon Road, via Luchon Way, then on back streets, which arrives close to the station, so avoids the busy A61 Ripon Road coming into the town centre. It's quite promising, and signposting was improved in early 2015, but it could still be made better. This is a guide to the Luchon Way route, and ideas for improvements.
Jennyfield Drive has, arguably, one of the better cycle facilities in Harrogate. What's wrong with it and how could it be improved to modern standards?
The Rapid Cycleway Prioritisation Tool suggests Leeds Road as a top ranked new cycleway, so I went to see why it's suitable.
Read about the Leeds Road, Harrogate.
There's a route from Leadhall Lane via Leadhall Drive, through the cricket ground, and via Park Avenue and Beech Grove to the town centre. There's also a route from Leadhall Lane via Rossett Drive and Parson's Intake, which leads to a couple more cycle and footpaths. Read about these south Harrogate routes, and see maps and photos.
A look at these roads, which are by several schools. West End Avenue is more hostile for cyclists than a residential road should be. Arthurs Avenue is fairly quiet, but has a terrible surface (autumn 2018). Pannal Ash Road has a 20mph limit, but it is not enforced. Read about West End Avenue, Arthurs Avenue, and Pannal Ash Road.
This route links the junction of West Park & Victoria Avenue, in town, with Otley Road. Beech Grove is better than the alternative on the main roads, but there is still a considerable volume of traffic. I look at the problems, and how to solve them. Read about cycling on Beech Grove.
A 'cycle route' is being built in 2017 on Harlow Moor Road, with funds from the developers of two new housing estates. Unfortunately, it just amounts to resurfacing the pavement and allowing cycling on it. It is incredibly disappointing that we are building to a failed design, and I doubt it will be used except by existing pavement cyclists. Read about Harlow Moor Road shared use path.
I tested this route in November 2013, starting west of the Leeds Road, and using South Drive, St James Drive, the path across the Stray, then Oatlands Drive, Hookstone Drive, and Hookstone Chase, to get to Plumpton Park. There are comments on the cycle lanes on Oatlands Drive, and Hookstone Drive & Chase. Now the Yorkshire Showground Greenway is open, I would use that route instead. Read about the cycle lanes on Oatlands Drive, and Hookstone Drive & Chase.
There's a Spofforth-Wetherby route on an old railway trackbed, called the Harland Way, and a route to get to Spofforth by bike from Harrogate.
Harrogate to Spofforth is well signposted, but poorly-surfaced in places, and doesn't always feel safe. The Harland Way is poorly surfaced in Harrogate Borough, but it is otherwise pleasant and safe.
These are potentially very good routes, but with problems that need to be addressed. Read about Harrogate to Spofforth & the Harland Way.
The Nidderdale Greenway is the best cycleway in Harrogate, and goes about 4 miles to Ripley. It may eventually be extended as far as Pateley Bridge. It follows the route of a dismantled railway (the Leeds to Northallerton railway, which closed in 1969), so it's largely flat. The official opening was on 25th May 2013.
See a map of the route, photos and descriptions, a guide to Ripley, advice on how to get to the Nidderdale Greenway, a video, and suggestions for improvements to the route.
Read more about the Nidderdale Greenway.
The Yorkshire Showground Greenway opened in spring 2014. It takes cyclists (and pedestrians) from Hornbeam Park to the Yorkshire Showground and the Wetherby Road.
Part of the reason for creating it was to provide a good route for sustainable travel from Hornbeam Park, the nearest station, to the Showground.
The route from Hornbeam Park goes over Hornbeam Beck, through some trees, to the Showground and Sainsburys on Wetherby Road. It's possible to get to the Wetherby Road end of the Greenway, from Hookstone Chase and Plumpton Park commercial centre, via Stonefall Park.
This guide to the Great Yorkshire Showground Greenway has photos, a description, a map, and information about how to get to it from either end.
Read more about the Yorkshire Showground Greenway.