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York Lendal Bridge Closure Date Set for 27th August

Lendal Bridge Exhibition Square 220713

5:28pm 22nd July 2013

City of York Council is inviting residents and businesses to learn more about the York city centre vision and its latest chapter of development – the repriotisation of vehicles on Lendal Bridge - through a series of drop-in sessions.

This vision for York’s future can be seen in a new video below:

The latest plans to boost the city’s world-class status will trial the reduction of traffic in the corridor from the rail station to the heart of the city, supporting improvements for bus users, cyclists, and pedestrians. Running for an initial period of six months from 27 August, the trial will test how the transport network operates.

Cars, lorries and motorbike access on Lendal Bridge will be restricted inline with the existing footstreet hours between 10.30am to 5pm, seven days a week, which were extended throughout the city centre as part of an experiment to improve access within the city’s walls. Buses, cyclists, pedestrians, taxis and emergency vehicles will continue to have full access over Lendal Bridge at all times.

Approximately £170k will be invested into the trial using Government funding awarded to the council through the Better Bus Area Fund (BBAF), in addition to contributions from the council’s capital programme.

Providing advice and information ahead of the trial, there will be a number of drop-in consultation events taking place on Parliament Street in the city centre on 7- 8 August, 11-12 September and 5 October in a public exhibition unit (opposite Marks & Spencer).

The i-Travel website (www.itravelyork.info) will advise on journey planning and alternative modes of transport. This advice will also be available in person from the iTravel team in Parliament Street on Saturday 10 and Saturday 17 August.

The proposals also align with the plans outlined in the Draft Local Plan report (announced on 12 April), which will see further investment into York’s economic, cultural and recreation offer which will support wider economic growth and create an environment which enables city centre retailers and businesses to thrive.

Feedback gained during the consultation will be used to inform any decision to make restrictions to 10.30am to 5pm permanent and/ or aspire to further restrict hours from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week in the future.

Buses, cyclists, pedestrians, taxis and emergency vehicles will continue to have full access over Lendal Bridge at all times.

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “In the 1980s bold and extremely controversial decisions were taken to implement the foot-streets area and close Deangate, removing 10,000 vehicle movements a day from in front of the Minster. It proved to be very successful, and was rapidly supported by retailers, residents and visitors alike, it now defines the way in which everyone accesses and uses the city centre and the Minster.

“These new public realm improvements and the removal of the bulk of traffic from the Minster / Exhibition Square /Lendal Bridge area is the next phase of improving the pedestrian environment and boost York’s world-class status, it will also help to reduce daytime congestion in the area and will be an important first step towards improving public transport reliability through the city centre.”

The trial will build on planned improvements to pedestrian access through the heart of York’s city centre and aim to reduce traffic congestion from York’s railway station, through to Exhibition Square and Duncombe Place.

Cllr James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council, said: “City centre congestion results in public transport which is less reliable and less efficient. These plans will begin to tackle an issue which was first formally recognised by the council over 10 years ago and identified in transport studies as far back as the 1970’s. This trial is being carried out to help people move around the city more easily and ultimately allowing for a quicker flow of goods and services through York. We will closely monitor and review traffic movements throughout the trial before any future decisions are made on making this scheme permanent.

“People prefer to shop and do business in a more attractive environment. By reducing traffic through the heart of York’s city centre we aim to make pedestrians feel safer, make our city look more attractive and entice even more residents and visitors to shop.”

The scheme will work side-by-side with Reinvigorate York and the BBAF programme supported by £3.5 million funding awarded to the council in 2012, aimed at generating an 18 per cent increase in bus passengers in York over the next two-years.

The trial period will commence during August when traffic volumes are relatively low and pedestrian movements are high. York’s highest prolonged footfall period is throughout the summer months of August and September, with on average 3.5 million visitors.

The traffic network will be closely monitored throughout the trial to understand and monitor the redistribution of traffic on the network. This will enable the council to ensure signal timings can be manually changed and help manage traffic flow throughout the city centre. The council will install automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) to enforce the restrictions.

Members approved plans in April to progress with the trial with an extensive period of consultation with residents and businesses planned over the next six months trial period.

For more information, visuals, FAQs and plans of the proposals please visit www.york.gov.uk/citycentreimprovements

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