Controversial traffic ban begins on main route into York city centre

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Council bosses have unveiled details of how a controversial trial scheme to ban traffic from a main route in and out of York will be run and measured when they come into force tomorrow.

Councillors have approved a six-month trial which will see Lendal Bridge closed to cars and motorbikes during working hours to cut congestion and make life easier for pedestrians.

The decision led to a storm of protest amid fears it will cause gridlock elsewhere, especially around other river crossings.

During the trial the Institute of Transport Studies (ITS) at Leeds University will look at factors including how the traffic network operates during the ban and the impact upon bus reliability and journey times. Monthly updates will be published on the council’s website and an interim report will be published by ITS after three months.

Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for transport said: “Working with an independent body – the expert Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds – we are undertaking comprehensive and open monitoring of the trial so everyone can see its impacts.”

Access to Lendal Bridge for cars, lorries and motorbikes will be restricted between 10.30am to 5pm, seven days a week. Buses, cyclists, pedestrians, taxis and emergency vehicles will continue to have full access.

Susie Cawood, head of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, has raised concerns about the ban, saying: “The cars that are going over Lendal Bridge will have to go somewhere else so we think it’s going to snarl up the city centre.”