City of York Council has deferred a scheme to raise the pathway at the Millennium Bridge to stop it from flooding until it gets approval from the Environment Agency.
High levels of the River Ouse consistently lead to pathways by the Millennium Bridge in York being blocked by water.
Plans to raise the pathway “have certainly been talked about for around seven years” according to deputy leader Cllr Pete Kilbane.
Funding has been allocated to carry out the improvements to the section of National Cycle Network Route 65 that runs through York, which includes work to raise the level of the existing paths on the approaches to Millennium Bridge.
Due to the length of time required for the Environment Agency to approve the work, implementation of this scheme was deferred by a year to 2024 as it cannot be carried out during the winter flood season.
“This essential link is now flooded pretty well every winter,” said former council deputy leader and transport executive Andy D’Agorne of the Green Party.
“Unlike Fordlands Road in Skeldergate, no temporary footbridge is provided presenting families travelling to local schools with the choice of a muddy detour in wellies, a much longer car trip via the A64 and Fulford Road, or two bus journeys via our congested city centre.
“It’s not exactly a complicated project but it urgently needs completing.”
Mr D’Agorne asked his successor as deputy leader and transport executive Cllr Pete Kilbane to commit to securing an Environment Agency-approved design by March to start work by summer next year.
Cllrs Kilbane said: “It’s been sitting around for so long and we need to progress with it.”
A council officer told the deputy leader that any work concerning flooding from the River Ouse “raises concerns about flood storage capacity.”
The Environment Agency said it requires a site plan, environment and flood risk assessment, technical drawings and other documents from the City of York Council.