A city centre shortcut is set to be closed to traffic – as council leaders look to make the route safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Part of Navigation Road, which is used by drivers as a cut through between Walmgate and Foss Islands Road, is set to be made one-way.
Cyclists have been hurt in a number of accidents around the Foss Islands Road, Navigation Road and Morrisons junctions – according to council traffic experts.
They say there has been a “cluster of casualties” in the area and most accidents involved vehicles turning into the path of a cyclist.
Under the plans Navigation Road will be made one way just after the junction with Rosemary Place and the entrance to Rowntree Wharf car park, with traffic only allowed to travel southbound. The change will be carried out on a trial basis.
The scheme “will cause some inconvenience for some car users with increased journey times at peak times and a slightly longer route,” according to council officers.
But York’s local transport plan puts the needs of cyclists and pedestrians above those of private car users.
And the projects could significantly help to reduce traffic in the city centre by 2023, according to the council.
Cycle route improved
There could be around 1,300 fewer car journeys a day on Navigation Road under the plans.
People were asked to have their say on the scheme. Many said they were against the closure of “rat runs” and that the scheme was not needed. But others said they thought it was a “great idea”.
“Complaints have been received for some years from local residents living in the Navigation Road area and from other residents who pass through the area either on foot or by bike about the volume and speed of traffic using the road as a means of bypassing part of the inner ring road rather than waiting at the traffic lights on Walmgate,” the report says.
The cycle route at Hungate Bridge and Navigation Road will also be improved under the scheme. The bollards on Hungate bridge will be changed, as cyclists said they forced them to ride through a narrow gap.
Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, said: “Safe routes for walking and cycling are essential if we want to support residents getting around sustainably and promote healthy lifestyles.
“Any changes must provide the residents in the Navigation Road area, and frequent users of this popular route with a safer experience of travel, whether they walk, scoot, cycle or drive and I am pleased to see these proposals have got a broad level of support in the consultation.”
The scheme will be discussed at a meeting on Tuesday. You can watch it live on the City of York Council YouTube page