Roads in the Groves will close to traffic within weeks after radical traffic plan approved

Much of The Groves will close to traffic after councillors approved the radical change.

Routes will be shut in the next two to three weeks – initially as an experiment.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, said the plans are “flexible” and can be changed in response to any problems.

Residents speaking at a council meeting expressed mixed views on the proposal.

A pupil from Park Road Primary School told Cllr D’Agorne at the virtual meeting that he supported the plans.

Resident Daryl Martin’s young son told council officers: “I’ve observed that the fumes from the cars are highly damaging to the school community and not just during school hours but throughout the rest of the day as many children stay after school to play on the playground.”

Another resident, Ann Stacey, told the meeting the neighbourhood is used as a cut-through, adding: “I know there are a large and growing number of people who support the plans and some who think they do not go far enough.

“This is an experiment that could benefit everybody as long as people know their views will continue to be taken into account.”

Family charity plea

Door 84 on Lowther Street, York. Photograph © Google Street View

But Brian Houghton, chair of trustees at charity Door 84, which supports young people and their families, warned the closure could make it difficult for vulnerable people to get to their base on Lowther Street.

He said: “We are currently supporting 50 families. We need access for deliveries and collections.

“The proposed development would have a huge impact on the success of the club. It will have a huge impact on our income, possibly causing job losses.”

He said the youth service has been going for 80 years, adding: “We are desperate for the closure scheme not to go ahead in its current form.”

Hilary Platt, chair of Bell Farm Community Association, also raised concerns about the impact of extra traffic on surrounding roads and neighbourhoods. She said: “The main roads are high traffic areas with queues most of the day.”

Cllr D’Agorne approved the scheme for 18 months saying: “This is a trial so there is flexibility if what we put in place is not seen as the best solution it could be moved, following discussion with residents and councillors.”