York Cycle Campaign has surely issued its most unusual ever warning, as it urges people: ‘Don’t cycle’.
The message is aimed at people who are used to travelling along Terry Avenue and associated routes.
This popular route for cyclists and walkers will close from Monday, 15 March for a year, to allow work on the Clementhorpe flood alleviation scheme.
Compound construction work will start on Monday (1 March).
York Cycle Campaign fears that people face the risk of being in a serious accident if they continue to cycle in the area.
It is recommending that cyclists avoid the area during working hours and consider alternative means of transport if they need to travel between South Bank and Fishergate, or from the Millennium Bridge to Skeldergate.
‘Serious collision’ fear
A campaign spokeswoman said: “Cyclists and HGVs don’t mix and the danger to cyclists at the junction of Butcher Terrace and Bishopthorpe Road is very concerning.
“We fear that the council and Environment Agency’s failure to provide signals in this location will result in a serious collision and it is with great regret that we recommend people avoid cycling in this area during working hours.”
The Cycle Campaign are also dismayed at the failure of the council and Environment Agency to provide a safe diversion route whilst Terry Avenue is closed.
They say that New Walk is not a suitable diversion because it floods frequently and leaves cyclists stranded at Skeldergate Bridge.
And the diversion through South Bank involves crossing three busy roads. “Terry Avenue is York’s premier cycle route.
“We fear that without a safe and direct alternative York may see a real long-term drop in cycling.
“All this at a time when the central Government is promoting active travel and it seems that ‘cycling city’ York is going in the opposite direction,” the spokeswoman said..
As lockdown eases, the campaign fears that the Butcher Terrace area will become even more dangerous, with caravans, Roomzzz Hotel traffic and vehicles heading for Rowntree Park being routed down this narrow road, with weekends and evenings being a particular concern.
“It fills us with dismay to recommend that people don’t cycle, but we are deeply concerned that there may be a serious incident.”
The Environment Agency has previously said it the flood protection scheme is a “unique opportunity” to use government money to protect homes and disruption would be minimised as much as possible.