York cyclists will continue to push for a segregated cycle lane on Piccadilly after the city’s transport chief said he agreed with the “broad principle” that campaigners put forward.
York Cycle Campaign lodged objections with City of York Council over its planned redesign of the city centre street – aimed at turning it into a ‘city living neighbourhood’ – as it is not set to include a segregated cycle lane.
The new-look Piccadilly would see pavements widened with new trees and shrubs in planters, with loading bays kept in place.
Council officers have said cycle lanes would prove difficult as the road would be too narrow near the city centre.
York Civic Trust’s Tony May, a transport expert, said it was “clear that consultants…have decided to sacrifice provision for cyclists”.
Cycle campaigner Andy Shrimpton said: “Many of us are livid that council officials have managed once again to engineer an outcome that’s written cycling out of the script in this, one of the widest streets in York.
“The whole saga is emblematic of a piecemeal approach to planning transport that has become a congenital feature of this city’s government in recent years – no strategy, no plan, no idea.”
Two-way bus route
York Green Party’s Robert Gordon said: “It is unacceptable to propose a new bridge that brings cyclists across the Foss to this part of the city without providing a clear plan for how they will continue their journey supported beyond Piccadilly.”
Coun D’Agorne, executive member for transport and Green Party leader, said: “There’s a lot of detail to look at, but the broad principle point I completely agree with is the design of an attractive cycle route across a new bridge over the Foss needs to then link on to a clear network beyond it, notwithstanding the constraints that we have to work with.”
At his decision session on Tuesday, he asked officers to look into whether an alternative cycle route through quieter streets or segregated cycling provision on Piccadilly would be possible, though campaigners remain sceptical of the council’s commitment to a segregated route on Piccadilly.
He also asked officers to look into providing more public seating, bringing in a 20mph speed limit, maximising blue badge parking in the street, and to investigate cutting the amount of through traffic on the street.
According to the council report, it was not the case that loading bays and space for outdoor seating were prioritised over segregated cycle lanes.
“The need for a two way bus route, a desire not to reduce the width of busy footpaths, meeting the open brief aspirations for the street, and needing to work with existing planning permissions were the context that influenced the design,” the report said.
A York Cycle Campaign spokesperson said after the meeting: “It’s outrageous that City of York Council still can’t find space for cycle lanes on one of the widest roads in York.
“We’ll continue to push for cycle infrastructure that enables everyone to cycle and await with interest to see what Active Travel England makes of this decision when they arrive in York this summer.”