Why I object to extra crossing points on Oatlands Drive near Slingsby Walk in Harrogate - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Mrs Beryl. E. Dunsby, Fulwith Avenue, Harrogate.

I strongly object to the installation of extra crossing points on Oatlands Drive. Slingsby Walk is a pleasant, historic tarred pathway along the edge of the Harrogate Stray, parallel to the A6040, and runs from the Tewit Well on the A61, through to Saint John’s Well on the A661.

Many houses, such as those on St Winifred’s Road, have been built with their rear garden fences butting up against this ancient path, as does a portion of St Aidan’ High School, where the Walk crosses Oatlands Drive.

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The small portion of the OS layout map implies that Oatlands Drive is straight, but it most certainly is not. Just past the proposed crossing, near the Bus Stop, there is a one of the many bends and crossing places which occur, and which enable students to safely negotiate their way between their own school and their partner school of St. John Fisher. Bicycles speeding along there could be highly dangerous when lessons are changing.

Slingsby Walk at the side of the Stray in Harrogate. PIC: Simon DunnSlingsby Walk at the side of the Stray in Harrogate. PIC: Simon Dunn
Slingsby Walk at the side of the Stray in Harrogate. PIC: Simon Dunn

Currently the Slingsby Walk footpath is wide enough to take a mother with a push-chair and walking toddler alongside, with just room for another walker to carefully overtake without damaging the turf of The Stray alongside.

A moving cyclist would be bound to damage our precious Stray edge if mounted on a bicycle, so should also be counted and behave as a pedestrian at all times. Monopolisation of this route by just one community section should not be allowed.

There is also an implication that preferential use of this path is to be in compensation for the loss of personal use of a similar path along the Otley Road, but this, too, was and is shared by all types of users, and so hardly a leisure route for moving cyclists.

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In conclusion, this selfish appropriation of part of our town’s heritage must be stopped, as must any decisions made by any single person or officer who believes that their present job-title allows them to make irreversible decisions without adequate research or local knowledge.

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