The experimental Groves traffic ban came into force today – and one of its leading proponents told YorkMix that it is likely to be made permanent.
Deputy leader of City of York Council Andy D’Agorne said that by the end of today (Wednesday), only local traffic would be accessing the Groves.
He accepted that not everyone would be happy with the new arrangement but said the changes had been planned for some time.
“It’s perhaps important to say that this project started before the new administration even got in place, so local residents have been working with council officers to try and regenerate the housing and community – and traffic was seen as the biggest obstacle to that project,” Cllr D’Agorne said.
He accepted there were challenges. “Inevitably, whenever you make changes, there will be some impact, which is why it’s down as an experimental order to be able to adjust it – and we’ve already made some adjustments.”
Will it be made permanent? “I think it will. In time, people will get used to it. People who choose to walk or cycle will find it more attractive and safer. Local people will find it more attractive.
“Obviously there’s a downside. But it’s like everything in life – you have to make those choices.
He said the changes would not be like the ill-fated traffic ban on Lendal Bridge, which was overturned before the trial ended.
Why not? “Because we have a number of other projects coming forward which this will complement.
“Over time there will be changes around the city centre if we are going to achieve that objective of being largely car-free by 2023.”