TRAFFIC is to be banned from one of York’s main bridges in a bid to cut congestion and make the city more pedestrian-friendly.
Councillors approved plans for a six-month trial during which Lendal Bridge will be closed to cars and motorcycles during weekday working hours.
Only buses, taxis, bicycles and emergency vehicles will be permitted to use the route between 10am and 5pm when the trial begins in August.
Public talks will be held throughout the trial and feedback will be used to decide if these hours work, or whether they should be extended to between 7am and 7pm.
The council said the proposals would make the city more attractive and entice more residents and visitors to shop there.
But the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce fears it may have the opposite effect and has urged a rethink.
City of York council leader James Alexander said: “It is a trial and towards the end we’ll be able to decide whether it has been a success or not and what we should do next – whether to extend it, pare it back or not go ahead with it at all. But at least we will have an evidence-based case on which to proceed.”
Coun Alexander (Lab, Holgate) added: “The decision was taken many years ago for pedestrianisation of the city centre, which was controversial, and people wouldn’t look back now.
“I’d like to think this scheme will be looked at in a similar way to build on that success.”