City of York Council is considering introducing radical new traffic measures in the Groves to improve the community and cut air pollution.
The cut-through from Monkgate to Clarence Street would be sealed off in both directions. The idea is to stop rat-running but still allow locals access.
It would see Penleys Grove Street closed at its junction with St John’s Crescent. The stretch of Penleys Grove Street between that junction and Brownlow Street would become two-way.
St John’s Cresent and St John Street would be turned one-way, in the direction of Lord Mayor’s Walk. Brownlow Street would be made one-way in the same direction.
Lowther Street would remain one-way but be closed at its junction with Brownlow Street.
Council modelling acknowledges that this would increase traffic on Clarence Street, Lord Mayor’s Walk, Haxby Road, Haley’s Terrace – and a 37% increase on Dodsworth Avenue.
But delays on the network would not change materially – and on balance it could be of overall long term benefit making walking and cycling safer and more attractive in the area.
Start in 2020
The proposal follows a regeneration project which has identified through traffic as a barrier dividing the community, contributing to poor air quality and road danger close to a primary school.
A report detailing the work, which would close local streets to through traffic for a trial period, is being taken to a public councillor decision session meeting on Thursday 24 October.
If given the green light, the trial would be introduced after roadworks planned on Lord Mayor’s Walk/Monkgate area are complete in spring 2020.
The changes would ensure local access to properties and local shops is still maintained – ‘although some trips to/from the Groves would become more convoluted’.
If approved, an experimental traffic regulation order (TRO) could be put in place over an 18 months period to determine whether or not to introduce this on a permanent basis.
Adverse effect of cars
Executive member for transport Cllr Andy D’Agorne said local residents were very concerned about the level of through traffic down narrow roads like Lowther Street, Penley’s Grove Street and Neville Street.
It was having “a significant adverse impact on the local community”. Cllr D’Agorne added:
Residents feel that there is a barrier dividing the community which threatens safety both in terms of risk of accidents and poor air quality.
It also puts people off getting out and about and meeting up with neighbours – particularly families with children and older people with limited mobility.
We don’t want to stop people from accessing their homes or local shops by car. It’s important that we all support local businesses and having access for all is key.
Equally we also need to consider safety, particularly as this route is located next to Park Grove Primary School.
The meeting discussing the changes takes place on Thursday 24 October at West Offices from 2pm. You can read all the details here.