The Gateway poll was a success, in that residents actively engaged in a productive tone, far less hostile than on social media, despite the poll being anonymous. The poll results show that there are two strongly opinionated groups. Those for the scheme and those against it, though there are areas of consensus. Those for the scheme believe that the new proposals will make the town more attractive and increase active travel. Those against it worry about increasingly congested roads with little utilisation of the space sacrificed. Both sides agree that better bus provision will reduce traffic and that the current scheme does not have enough flora which is not in keeping with the rest of the town.
The Gateway poll, hosted on a Harrogate-based news website, opened on 18 January, closing at 11:30am on 24 January 2022. During this time, 465 voters voted 23,733 times, with the average voter voting 51 times. In total, voters submitted 223 statements for others to vote upon. The Poll was based on the Pol.is system; it is different to normal surveys as it seeks to understand, rather than to explicitly quantify, what people think.
Areas of strong consensus
More buses and a park and ride are required to reduce traffic around town.
The scheme requires more effort to integrate trees and other flora.
Consultation on council schemes should be improved, both in quantity and in tone.
Areas of weak consensus
Strong anti-proposal views with some agreement from pro-proposal group
Strong pro-proposal views with some agreement from anti-proposal group
NYCC should experiment with the road configuration before deciding. Most of the traffic comes at peak commuter/school times and is passing though rather than visiting town. This proposal will not help that, but a by-pass would.
An attractive town will encourage people to shop. People will cycle if it is safe to do so. All local urban streets should be 20mph with traffic calming.
This poll did not hope to sample in a structured manner, rather it used self-selection sampling that allowed opinion groups to organically form through individual responses. Therefore, the size of each opinion group may not represent the percentage of the population that holds those opinions. In general, the results should be interpreted at the opinion group level and not at the poll level.
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