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Ripon could get ‘transformational’ hub to boost transport

Ripon bus station

A feasibility study is set to explore how a mobility hub could improve walking, cycling and transport connections in Ripon.

Councillors in the Skipton and Ripon area agreed to spend £50,000 on the document at a meeting on Thursday.

It’s hoped it will lay the groundwork for a future bid to the government, for significant funding that could be worth millions.

A report said the hub would help reduce dependence on cars in the city’s clogged streets and boost active travel.

It reads:

“Delivering a mobility hub would offer greater transport choice, better connections to key services centres, decarbonisation benefits and improved health and wellbeing.”

The study would also look at how residents in Ripon can better access Thirsk railway station, which is around 20 minutes away up the A61.

Ideas for the hub include a reconfigured and refurbished bus station, a new high-quality public space for welcoming visitors to Ripon and a new building providing access to sustainable and green modes of transport like cycling.

Cllr Andrew Williams (Conservative and Independents Group, Ripon Minster & Moorside) said he was strongly in favour of the proposals.

He said improving access to Thirsk station, which is easier to get to than Harrogate’s station from the city, would take cars off the road.

Cllr Williams added:

“If I were a fitter person I’d be doing cartwheels and handstands about this.”

Cllr Barbara Brodigan (Liberal Democrat, Ripon Ure Bank & Spa) said investment into Ripon’s transport infrastructure was “long overdue”.

She said:

“I welcome focus on all forms of transport so it’s not just car-centric.

We have some narrow streets that are dreadful to walk or cycle down.”

Concerns were raised by Cllr David Staveley (Conservative, Settle & Pennyghent) that investment into Ripon’s bus station could lead to more large coaches entering the city.

He said:

“The coach industry isn’t what it was.

Are we creating a 1980s solution to 2020s problems?”

But Cllr Williams said the investment would not lead to more spaces for coaches but rather help facilitate alternatives like active travel.

The feasibility study is expected to take between six and eight months to complete.

 

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