The chief executive of Hull City of Culture has backed calls for a Plan B in case a crucial footbridge is not in place in time for 2017.
Martin Green said Hull Council was “absolutely right” to be pushing for alternative options for the crowds, which will be crossing Castle Street to get to events on the Marina.
The city council had hoped that the £5.5m footbridge could be completed before the £160m upgrade of the road for 2017, when as many as 12 million visitors are expected, but it is looking increasingly unlikely.
It wants a wider 15 metre to 20 metre crossing installed to replace the current crossing near Princes Dock Street, which can be used by marshalls to stop traffic lights over both carriageways to allow large numbers to cross at the same time.
It also wants the pedestrian route under Myton Bridge smartened up as an alternative way of crossing the road.
Coun Martin Mancey, who holds the transport portfolio, said they expected the Highways Agency to pick up the cost of the work “as it was their road”.
He said: “It would eliminate the risk of large numbers of people crossing and getting trapped and falling out of the central reservation, but we would only operate it on large events, because inevitably as you shut traffic down in both directions you get major traffic problems.”
Mr Green said: “It would be fantastic if the bridge was open in advance of the summer season of events in 2017 but the council is absolutely right to be pushing for the development of alternative options. We are working hand in hand with the council to ensure that the 2017 cultural programme is joined up with the plans to improve to the city’s infrastructure and public realm.”
Works to the Garrison Road roundabout the other side of the Myton Bridge, costing around £15m, should be completed by the end of 2016, said Coun Mancey, and should prevent queues sticking out into the stream of traffic as vehicles try to turn right into Victoria Dock.