York is split over whether to keep the one-way system for traffic on Coppergate
A survey on the one-way trial for traffic on Coppergate in York is over – and the results are very close.
The consultation ran from Thursday 21 October to Thursday 4 November.
Letters were sent to local residents and businesses, and contact was made with the stakeholders groups such as taxi and bus operators and York Cycling Campaign to raise awareness and invite participation.
A total of 290 responses were received.
Of these, 51 per cent wanted the one-way restriction to be removed whilst 49 per cent preferred the one-way arrangement and supported an application to the Government to extend the scheme.
City of York Council says the impact on taxi services was the most popular reason people wanted the one-way system removed, followed by the impact on bus routing/journey times.
This view was also supported by the bus operators and taxi companies.
A better environment for pedestrians and cyclists was the most popular reason for keeping the one-way restriction in place. This was a view also supported by walking and cycling stakeholder groups and the York Civic Trust.
Response to the pandemic
The restriction was introduced in Coppergate in June 2020, as part of an Emergency Active Travel scheme responding to the pandemic. It provides additional space for pedestrians on the narrow sections of footway.
The one way arrangement allows buses and taxis to travel from Parliament Street to Clifford Street along Coppergate, but not in the other direction.
As part of the temporary restriction, a contraflow cycle lane was provided to enable cyclists to continue to travel along Coppergate in both directions.
The restrictions to vehicle type permitted between 8am and 6pm (buses and taxis only) remained in place, although outside these times the one-way restriction applies to all the traffic types on Coppergate.
The trial will come to an end in December 2021.
It has reduced vehicle levels in this area of the city centre by about 40 per cent, improving the environment for cyclists and pedestrians.
The reduced traffic levels and increased space for vehicles also appears to have made the route safer, with no pedestrian-vehicle accidents recorded on Coppergate close to the Piccadilly junction over the last 18 months compared to 14 accidents in the previous ten years.
However, the restriction has had an adverse impact on bus and taxi services and their users owing to the longer distance travelled for services diverting via Clifford Street and Tower Street to Piccadilly.
Bus stops and shelter provision is also poorer, with a number of bus services needing to use the bus stop by Banana Warehouse on Piccadilly, which has no shelter or seating, in place of using stops on Piccadilly which are of better quality.
Following the consultation a decision will now be taken by the Executive Member for Transport next Tuesday (16 November), on whether to submit an application to the Secretary of State to extend the Temporary TRO.