York Green Party

Green Councillors call in for further scrutiny the decision to remove a controversial cycle lane at Clifton Green.

10 April 2012

York's ruling Labour Cabinet took the decision to replace the cycle lane with a left turn lane for general traffic. The call-in for scrutiny was made by both Green Councillors, supported by a Liberal Democrat.

The issue will now be considered by the council's Scrutiny Management Committee on Apr 23rd. Cllr Andy D'Agorne said "All three emergency services oppose the change, officers say it will be less safe and the cabinet member responsible acknowledged it will have little or no impact on peak time congestion. Leaving the short cut on The Avenue and Westminster Rd open means this plan will please no-one, solve nothing and undermine efforts to boost cycling in the area."

The decision goes against the council's declared aim of boosting the use of non-motorised transport and risks damaging the appeal of the orbital cycle route. It sends out the wrong message to potential funders of sustainable travel initiatives in the city. Moreover, Cllr Merrett admitted to cabinet that the junction will continue to be overloaded at peak times even after the proposed change is made. Nor does it address the concern about 'rat running' through Westminster Rd/The Avenue which will continue unless a trial closure is introduced at the same time as any increase in capacity at the junction.

Back in July 2008, Labour councillors from Holgate and Clifton "warmly welcomed" the proposal for the junction improvements because they would reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries (see Labour's original press release). Four years later, is cyclist safety no longer important?

The meeting on April 23rd will give the Labour council one last chance to review the decision to spend £12,000 replacing a cycle lane with two narrow traffic lanes at a busy junction in York.

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