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Closure is already hitting business
THE closure of Lendal Bridge is seriously damaging local businesses. It is all very well for the council to advise drivers to plan other routes, to consider “other ways” to make journeys or to simply allow more time for important trips – but they are directly suffering the effects of the closure. They have given their own refuse vehicles special dispensation not offered to other operators, who also find this crossing of critical importance.
We supply printed promotional and display material to a number of large clients just the other side of the river. These items are often time-critical and due to their size and weight cannot be carried in person, taken on bike or even sent by taxi.
Previously, a light van could make the short trip in around 20 minutes during normal traffic. But, now it can take up to an hour.
This is wasting time and money, as well as adding to congestion and pollution along the alternative routes.
More importantly, it is harming the efficiency of local businesses and consequently their viability and prospects of creating additional employment not linked to tourism.
If the council is only concerned about visitors enjoying a stroll across the river, then fine. But if it wants other commercial operations to also thrive, then it is not at all fine.
Adam Partington, Managing director, Press Green Ltd, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.
• AMID all the debate about the closure of Lendal Bridge, I have not seen any mention of the cost of the scheme on a daily basis.
I refer to staff required to issue, chase up and deal with all the appeals regarding those who have been caught on the cameras. Is this work to be carried out by present staff? If so what will they not be doing that they did before; or have extra staff been employed and at what cost?
If the council is to pursue non-payers through the courts, as they surely must, then what will be the cost of prosecuting these offenders in file preparation and employment or otherwise of prosecutors?
From my observations on two days, if the rate of offending I saw on two separate visits to the bridge on different days, they look to be catching hundreds a day. If this continues, they will soon be unable to cope.
I base this comment on knowledge gained with West Yorkshire Police of dealing with such matters.
As to the rights and wrongs of the closure, pedestrians were still crammed in on the pavements by the passing traffic, whether legal or not, so benefits in this area were not readily apparent.
Keith Woodland, Galtres Road, York.
• IF THE council is determined to continue its hare-brained scheme to close Lendal Bridge and divert traffic to other routes, can I suggest that to keep traffic flowing on these alternative routes it instigates a survey of traffic lights?
This is particularly so for those where the traffic flow in one direction is half of the ones in the other, such as that on leaving Water Lane onto Clifton Green where, if they are quick off the mark, only six cars get through when in the other three directions twice as many get through.
Also, the lights that change to red and stop the flow of traffic when no other traffic is anywhere in sight, such as Salisbury Road and Water End; and those all over the city where the pedestrian green man comes on when there are no pedestrians in sight and no one has pushed the button.
No wonder traffic flows better when the lights are out altogether.
A P Cox, Heath Close, Holgate, York.
The sign states: “Lendal Bridge Restricted Access 10.30 to 17.00 August 27.”
Perhaps this is the reason that tourists, visitors, delivery drivers, etc. are still using the bridge. They clearly think it only applied for the one day.
Chris Pearson, Almsford Drive, Acomb, York.
• MATTHEW LAVERACK is wrong about the photo of an empty Lendal Bridge. I counted more than 60 people in the photo published on page 7 on August 28, all using the bridge with less oppressive traffic and much cleaner air to breathe, and nicer views of the city.
I also disagree about building another road bridge. We need a shift in the way people get around, not more road crossings which would encourage yet more traffic. We have an excellent bus network and a cycle-friendly city with few hills. Our taxis are not that expensive. I think that if more people used bikes, taxis and buses, there would be ample road space for those people who absolutely need to use a private car. And we’d have a much nicer city centre environment.
John Cossham, Hull Road, York.
• WITH reference to Hugh Platt’s letter of August 31, crossing the Ouse can indeed be a major problem.
In researching the topography for my original history of York board game, the challenge has been not – as I originally thought – getting the characters into a city strongly defended by its city walls; it’s getting the characters across the Ouse.
The historical period in the game is composite. It’s tricky crossing the river via Ouse Bridge because of the huge traffic jams caused by the pageant waggons as they trundle around their traditional Medieval route; the Scarborough Railway Bridge is too far to the west; and Skeldergate Bridge is too far to the east.
As for Lendal Bridge, this doesn’t yet exist – the Ouse at this point is still crossed by ferry. And the ferryman needs paying.
Julie Speedie, Newborough Street, York.
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