DISCUSSIONS will take place over tackling congestion in notoriously gridlocked market towns.

Following analysis of feedback received during a 12-week public engagement, the next steps in tackling congestion in Harrogate and Knaresborough will be discussed by county councillors later this month.

Earlier this year, the public was asked to give their views on a range of measures to combat congestion, from improvements to encourage more people to walk, cycle or use public transport, to larger infrastructure projects, such as park and ride services and an inner relief road for Harrogate.

The responses have now been collated and analysed by North Yorkshire County Council officers and the findings will be presented to members of the Harrogate and Knaresborough Area Constituency Committee on August 29 for their comments.

More than 15,500 responses were received to the County Council’s survey and possible next steps have been outlined taking these into account.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said: “We went into this engagement with open minds.

"We genuinely wanted to find out, first of all, to what degree people perceived congestion as a problem, and then what types of measures they would support to address the issue.

“In total, 84 per cent of respondents said they did view traffic congestion as an issue in Harrogate and Knaresborough, which supports our own findings.

“We have now listened to what people have told us and the report produced by our officers reflects that.”

In total, 78 per cent of respondents did not support the option of an inner relief road between Harrogate and Knaresborough. For that reason, the report recommends that this proposal should not be taken further at this time.

Measures with the strongest support included improving cycling and walking infrastructure, while a congestion charge or increased parking charges received little public support.