Lendal Bridge traffic ban: My vision of a drive-thru York

Look at those pedestrians, cluttering up the bridge. Ban them! Photograph: Richard McDougall
5 Dec 2013 @ 4.04 pm
| Opinion
Look at those pedestrians, cluttering up the bridge. Ban them! Photograph: Richard McDougall
Look at those pedestrians, cluttering up the bridge. Ban them! Photograph: Richard McDougall

Lendal Bridge Week

lendal-bridge-weekWe’re halfway through the six-month ban on private vehicles using Lendal Bridge between 10.30am to 5pm. This week YorkMix is running a series of articles from people with very different responses to the trial. What do you think? Comment below, Tweet us @theyorkmix or go to our Facebook page

For Pete Kilbane, reopening the bridge to cars around the clock is not enough. It’s time to clear our streets of people

We love our cars. No matter their expense, environmental impact or time spent in traffic jams, we just won’t give them up.

The so called war on motorists is futile. We are determined to win, no matter what the consequences. The sooner everyone accepts this, the easier it will be.

We may be a minority but our confidence is growing and we are getting louder. Getting our cars back on Lendal Bridge is only the first step – why stop there? Let’s do away with all these No Right Turns and rising bollards, one way systems and traffic calmed streets.

The scent of total victory is in the air.

So open up the roads and let us drive through the city once again. We can stop at the shops on Coney Street then past Bettys and straight down Stonegate.

It’s not that long since Deangate closed. It’ll be good to have it back full of traffic, especially across that lovely new smooth piazza. And there are lots of parking spaces around the foot of the Minster.

In fact we could park all over York’s broad pavements and plentiful squares – how many could we fit in Newgate Market? Imagine a petrol station on Parliament Street and Shambles as one long drive-thru.

Punish pedestrians

Only one problem with this plan. There are too many pedestrians in the town. How can we drive down streets that are clogged up with people? How can we motor where we want when kids keep getting in the way?

Window shoppers with sense will avoid the city once the cars dominate. But there will always be a hard core of fanatics who insist upon their “right to walk” wherever they like.

No matter how much we encourage them to get off their feet; no matter how easy we make it for them to drive into town; these anti-social ramblers will not change their ways until forced to do so.

Fortunately, face recognition technology is now so advanced that unauthorised pedestrians can be identified. All we need is a few strategically placed cameras and these malcontents can be fined until they learn to change their selfish ways.

It may be harsh but some people only seem to learn the hard way, and it’s for their own safety. Traffic wardens will, of course, be banned but essential personnel, such as shop assistants, car valets and drive thru staff will have full foot access at all times.

People arriving by train or bus from out of town will be informed that the city is closed to walkers. Fining them may seem a little draconian but York is for locals, not tourists.

Money raised from visitors who walk unwittingly into town will contribute to the remodelling programme, as we knock down a few old buildings and straighten the streets. They will be helping to create the fantastic futuristic city that we all dream of, just like that one in the film Blade Runner.