Bishopthorpe Road temproary Social Distancing measures to end for now

Bishy Road with part of the road coned off to make space for pedestrians and cyclists

The temporary traffic measures on Bishopthorpe road are to be discontinued for now.  In part this is because there will be roadworks on Nunnery Lane and Blossom Street that make them impractical for now. Also, there is a need to reverse the one way flow of traffic to make it work better, but the council’s transport department has been unable to prioritise the planning for this and therefore the reversal could not go ahead.

The temporary measure was introduced as to keep the city safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The local councillors and council has been constantly reviewing these measures to take into account the views of residents, shop keepers and motorists using the area in the light of changing national guidance and York’s local recovery.

Cllr Rosie Baker, councillor for Micklegate Ward said:  “As a councillor I feel extremely let down by Highways that we didn’t get quick or effective enough changes to make this scheme work at its best and be continued. I asked several times for the worsened rat-running to be immediately stopped and for the one-way to be reversed so it had less impact on traffic. The rat-running will no doubt continue as it always has since it was not a stand-alone result of this one-way system. The road re-opening both ways will leave all those people who appreciated the social distancing measures and those who could see the benefits of a move towards a reduced-car high street, demoralised, yet perhaps hopeful, that we tried something radical and however fleeting, its successes will be remembered. The thing I like to remind people is that our national transport secretary stated the benefits himself

“…. a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a lasting transformative change in how we make short journeys in our towns and cities. According to the National Travel Survey, in 2017-18 over 40% of urban journeys were under 2 miles – perfectly suited to walking and cycling.

“…. a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a lasting transformative change in how we make short journeys in our towns and cities. According to the National Travel Survey, in 2017-18 over 40% of urban journeys were under 2 miles – perfectly suited to walking and cycling.

“Active travel is affordable, delivers significant health benefits, has been shown to improve wellbeing, mitigates congestion, improves air quality and has no carbon emissions at the point of use. Towns and cities based around active travel will have happier and healthier citizens as well as lasting local economic benefits.”

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport at City of York Council, said: “We continue to recognise the important role played by the retailers and thank you for your co-operation and support throughout this difficult time.  Over the last few months, the coronavirus pandemic has created a situation unlike anything we’ve ever experienced.  But throughout the pandemic, we have seen York doing what it does best – residents and businesses rising to the challenge, pulling together and supporting each other.

“As the city is reopening and we are starting to get back to normal, we all have a role to play in supporting our city and local businesses. Now more than ever, as a resident or York business, we are urging people to shop local and buy local.

“I would like to thank all the residents and businesses for providing their valuable feedback on the temporary traffic measures in Bishopthorpe Road, which has been taken into account in this decision.”

“As we talk about recovery, we do not ignore that coronavirus is still with us and our primary focus remains protecting the health of our residents as far as possible. We will continue to be guided by public health advice and if the situation changes locally, we will review the measures and may re-introduce them again in the future.”

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