‘Successful’ Micklegate Bar closure could lead to other changes

Micklegate Bar, York. Photograph: Richard McDougall

FURTHER changes could be made to improve Micklegate – following the successful closure of Micklegate Bar to outbound traffic.

Since the restrictions were brought in, about 1,250 fewer cars and vans use the route every day.
The temporary order closing the Bar is set to be made permanent at a meeting on Thursday.

And a council report says that because the initiative has successfully reduced the impact of traffic on the historic structure – without causing too much disruption – further improvements for the street will be looked at. But there are no details yet on what changes will be considered.

When the Bar was first closed, motorists regularly tried to drive the wrong way through the inbound arch and the council has asked the police traffic enforcement team if they can take action against drivers who ignore the restriction.

The report says: “The perceived benefits of the experiment are the reduction in traffic dominance in Micklegate overall but especially at the Bar, making a more pleasant environment”

“The experiment achieved the aim of reducing the impact of traffic on Micklegate Bar and the representations made against the experiment did not highlight issues of concern regarding how the highway network operated overall.”

“In addition, there is potential for further improvements to be made to the streetscape and appearance of Micklegate Bar and the rest of the street.”

It adds that some people will have seen their journey times increase because of the closure – but that the benefits are subjective: “Hence in traffic management terms there is no right or wrong conclusion. Instead the benefits have to be weighed up in terms of the ‘look and feel’ of the outcome on the local environment.”