Should the Groves Low Traffic Neighbourhood be made permanent?

Following two years of consultation with residents of the Groves and people who use the roads through the Groves the City of York Council introduced experimental traffic calming in the Groves in September 2020. The Council now has to decide whether to make the changes permanent.

York Green Party welcomes the huge improvements that there have been for the residents of the Groves. Before the changes Lowther Street and Townend Street were often choked with traffic and it was vey unpleasant and dangerous for children going to Park Grove Academy, with streams of traffic past their playing field.

Whilst there has been some inconvenience for some drivers the Groves is a much better place for the people who live there and a much pleasanter place for people who may be walking or cycle through it. The Groves area has seen air quality improvements, a reduction in traffic levels, noise and pollution and increased levels of cycling and enhanced community activities in the neighbourhood.

We hope that the Council will endorse the recommendations and make the changes permenant.

Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Transport said:

“Three years of consultation with residents of The Groves has shown their ambition for a new approach to their local area and community. Before the implementation, The Groves had been used as a through-route for cars, causing much traffic, noise and pollution, which were overwhelming concerns expressed by residents.

“This low traffic neighbourhood trial follows similar schemes across the country, with the aim of reducing traffic flow and its associated concerns in a local area. It is generally accepted that to achieve this reduction, traffic flow has to be focussed on the main distributor roads.

“The scheme has demonstrated a significant reduction in motorised traffic in The Groves in general, increases in the number of cyclists travelling through the area and a general reduction in annual mean NO2 concentrations, within the wider context of improvements in York’s air quality in 2020.

“While such trials often impact on the traffic flow in surrounding streets, as is the case here, the significant improvements brought about by these restrictions have directly addressed the concerns expressed by the local residents and also given us valuable insight which will be used in the development of the future transport plans for the city.

“I look forward to discussing the evaluation and the best ways we can support local communities whilst building on our sustainable travel and carbon reduction ambitions.”

Ann Stacey, a local resident and chair of The Groves’ Residents’ Association, said:

“The difference in the quality of life for residents since the trial began has been very obvious: we are seeing less traffic, less noise and less pollution, and people are more able to stop and chat when they meet in the streets which is good for everyone’s health and wellbeing. The majority of objections have been from people who use the roads as a short cut. Most people who live in area are appreciating the improved quality of life.”

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