Residents have 28 days to challenge the plan to permanently close Leeman Road

9 Jun 2020 @ 5.36 pm
| Politics

If you want to keep Leeman Road open, you’ve got less than a month to have your say.

A 28-day ‘objection period’ begins today (Tuesday, 9 June), and runs until midnight on Tuesday 7 July.

It comes after City of York Council applied to the Department for Transport to permanently close the road with a ‘stopping up order’, to enable the National Railway Museum (NRM) to extend their site and connect their two buildings across it.

Three councillors have urged residents to make the most of their “last chance” if they want to stop Leeman Road closing.

Holgate Ward councillors David Heaton, Rachel Melly, and Kallum Taylor say the plans have raised a range of strong concerns with residents and workers about the impact this will have on their access to and from the city centre.

‘Force a re-think’

Holgate councillors David Heaton, Rachel Melly and Kallum Taylor

According to the Labour councillors, shutting Leeman Road would force pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists to travel through a longer route as the development is being built.

Alternatively they could use the “pretty-but-problematic riverside route from Jubilee Terrace, which is poorly lit of an evening, too narrow even for current traffic, and regularly prone to flooding”.

Car users “would either have access via Kingsland Terrace onto a longer ‘spine road’ running through the new development or, much more significantly, only have access in and out of this area via Salisbury Road onto Water End”.

Cllr Taylor, who lives within the Leeman Road ‘island’ area, said: “After over two years of the community’s concerns being raised in workshops, consultations, meetings, and committees – on top of our ‘Keep Us Connected’ petition of over 1,600 signatures being ignored by both the NRM and CYC – this is now residents’ last chance to stop the current plans to close Leeman Road and force a re-think.”

‘A big deal’

The NRM plans to extend. This shows a view from when you come out of Marble Arch, without Leeman Road but with some public spaces

Cllr Heaton said: “The NRM and CYC have played a dangerous game to take it up to this critical point without committing to alternatives that would have dealt with some of the opposition they’ve had.

“If this leads to the stopping up order getting rejected – then forcing a review of the overall York Central plans – they’ll only have themselves to blame for not listening to the community earlier on.”

Cllr Melly said the ongoing pandemic means this isn’t at the forefront of people’s minds “so we’d urge everyone to do what they can to spread the word.

“This is a really big deal and is a decision which will impact on thousands of people for years to come.”

Residents can object to the Stopping Up Order to close Leeman Road by emailing their reasons to the DfT on [email protected] or by writing to them at National Transport Casework Team, Tyneside House, Skinnerburn Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7AR. They are advised to quote the reference “NATTRAN/Y&H/S247/3854” so it is recorded properly.