One of Harrogate’s most frustrating problem junctions is to be revamped to the potential relief of hundreds of rush hour commuters.
Ever since traffic lights were first installed at Harlow Moor Road junction more than a decade ago, drivers have complained that Otley Road was too narrow to allow easy right turns.
Now the sight of heavy traffic and lengthy queues stretching all the way down Harlow Hill may become a thing of the past.
A junction upgrade involving the possible widening of part of Otley Road is to take place as part of a recent £3.2m grant from the Government Government to North Yorkshire County Council.
The junction upgrade is only one of several major NYCC road improvements in the pipeline to support housing and jobs growth in west Harrogate.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “This will be greatly welcomed by many people in Harrogate, because Otley Road has been suffering from congestion.
“The pinch point is the Harlow Moor Road junction, which is not wide enough to permit the right turn lane for westbound traffic to work properly.
“A large number of houses are going to be built further out along the road, so to have the main access route upgraded will be a huge benefit.”
The funding is part of a national £345.3m package from the Government’s National Productivity Investment Fund to improve roads and public transport announced by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling last October.
Other NYCC traffic measures planned for this part of Harrogate include a controversial cycle path from the Stray up Otley Road which has prompted concern from the Stray Defence Association.
But Coun Don MacKenzie said the Otley Road cycle path could be achieved to everyone’s satisfaction.
He said: “NYCC Highways officers and I will be attending a meeting of the Harrogate District Cycle Forum on March 12 to share with its members emerging plans for the Otley Road cycle path.
“We remain confident that concerns expressed about Stray land and verge trees on Otley Road can be overcome.”