Work on £7.8m Skipton Gateway project to improve railway station and boost cycling and walking could start next June

Detailed designs for the project, which includes revised proposals for a cycle lane on Broughton Road, are currently being drawn up after a public consultation showed good public support.

The project will improve the entrance to Skipton Railway Station

The proposals also include transforming the entrance to Skipton Railway Station with a new plaza and public space improvements, as well as better cycling and walking links to the bus station and Craven Auction Mart and Craven College Campus.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, councillor Don Mackenzie executive member for access at North Yorkshire County Council, said concerns raised over the impact on traffic flow and access for cars would be addressed in the new designs.

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He also said a government requirement for the project to be completed by March 2023 would be a challenge.

Councillor Mackenzie said: “We are looking at alternatives for Broughton Road by putting the cycle lane on the highway as opposed to it being segregated from traffic and we are also taking steps to calm traffic.

“The project has had good support overall and what it is aiming to do is improve cycling and walking options not just for residents but also visitors because Skipton is the gateway to the Dales after all.

“When people arrive by train or bus we want them to feel like they are right in the centre of an area with improved facilities for all.”

Under the next stages of the project, a further public consultation is planned for September after which detailed designs will be completed and a planning application submitted.

It is anticipated that the final proposals will be taken to the March 2022 meeting of the county council’s executive for a final decision before construction gets underway.

North Yorkshire County Council and Craven District Council are behind the project and are working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority which recently confirmed extra funding to increase the project cost up from £5.8m to £7.8m.

The project is being funded mostly by the government’s active travel fund which is aiming to increase cycling and walking as the nation emerges from the pandemic.

Similar projects are being planned for Harrogate and Selby.

A consultation on the Skipton scheme held in February and March showed good levels of public support with all elements of the scheme receiving 54% or greater positive responses.

This was out of 193 respondents.