Coppergate in York city centre will continue as a one-way street, the council’s transport chief confirmed.
City of York Council will now ask Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, for a temporary traffic regulation order for another six months from December, with the possibility of another six month extension after that.
The one-way restriction on Coppergate was introduced in June 2020 to give pedestrians more space to socially distance.
It allows buses and taxis to travel from Parliament Street to Clifford Street along Coppergate, but not in the other direction.
The council recently consulted people on whether the changes should be made permanent, with 49 per cent of people backing the move but 51 per cent of people calling for the return of the two way system.
They say the changes have resulted in a better environment for cyclists and pedestrians, with improved air quality and no accidents registered.
But bus journey times have increased and it may be that air quality has decreased in other streets, according to a council report.
The council’s executive member for transport Andy D’Agorne welcomed a proposal to widen the cycle lane, which some cyclists felt was too narrow.
At a decision session on Tuesday, Mark Warters, the independent councillor for Osbaldwick and Derwent, objected to the extension of the one-way scheme.
He said: “You’ve run a consultation, however you describe it, and there’s a majority in favour of reopening Coppergate to two-way traffic again.
“There is only one course of action to take – and that’s to open the road back up again, otherwise don’t ever pretend to consult again on any subject at all.”
Coun D’Agorne approved the one-way extension.
He said: “It’s certainly encouraging to note the reduced traffic on other streets in the area such as Pavement, Stonebow and Peaseholme Green, as well as the improved safety and air quality, although it’s obviously only an 18 month period.”
Coun D’Agorne said bus priority measures could mitigate the delays to bus journey times.
A bus routing study will need to be carried out before a final decision is made on whether to make the road one-way for good.