City of York Council hopes that allowing people to cycle in High Petergate will help “raise the profile of York as a cycle tourism hub” by linking cycling tourists up with a route outside the Minster.
Cycling will be allowed in High Petergate in pedestrian hours if a temporary order is made permanent at a meeting next week. But people will only be allowed to cycle in one direction - from Bootham Bar towards York Minster
High Petergate is a narrow street leading to York Minster and as a result is often crowded with up to 850 pedestrians an hour, a council report says.
A trial launched in March 2020 has allowed cyclists to bike down the street during pedestrian hours between 10.30am and 5pm - and the council is crediting the change with a rise in cycling in the city centre.
Transport experts say the number of cyclists using the High Petergate route rose during lockdown and is set to rise further - to 42 per hour when restrictions lift, compared with the 30 illegal cyclists using the route before the trial.
They say: “In 2010 the Way of the Roses coast-to-coast route was launched. This route passes through the centre of York using both Bootham and Minster Yard. Allowing cycle tourists to use High Petergate at any time of day would enhance this route and help raise the profile of York as a cycle tourism hub.”
They add that police and neighbours support the move and that there have been no collisions during the trial.
But city centre councillor Fiona Fitzpatrick is concerned about conflict between pedestrians and cyclists and fellow councillor Denise Craghill suggests the council could create a defined two-way cycle lane on the road in future if needed.
The route is due to be discussed at a transport meeting next week.