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Bridges were built for heavy traffic
PHIL CROWDER’S letter of September 9, regarding Skeldergate and Lendal Bridges is misleading. It is irrelevant that tolls were initially imposed.
The fact remains both bridges were intended primarily for commercial wheeled traffic. The Victorians were far sighted in their design specifications and had in mind very heavy steam-driven road vehicles, which was the technology of their time.
The axle weights of such machines were no less than diesel buses today.
References to repairs and maintenance are not a valid argument. Lendal Bridge is not under structural stress because of the lightweight cars and vans which have been banned.
The 1970 inner ring road plan is a red herring. It was abandoned after Anthony Crossland, then Secretary of State, refused to accept his planning inspector’s recommendation to agree a plan which involved massive demolition and the destruction of Gillygate. For more than 30 years, Lendal Bridge has officially been the inner ring road route, as indicated on all maps and road signs. The traffic plan Mr Crowder refers to (with only buses and cycles on Lendal Bridge) is not only obsolete but also, as he rightly points out, incorporated an alternative convenient road bridge.
There is no getting away from the fact that Lendal Bridge is an essential commercial cross route.
Matthew Laverack, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.
•WITH reference to D Coid of Huby Court, Walmgate, regarding Foss Islands Road (Letters, September 3), getting worse for traffic.
I also live in the Navigation Road area and too many cars are using shortcuts from Walmgate into Percy Lane and along to Foss Island Road.
Traffic is too busy for children and residents of that part of York. It has increased three-fold since Lendal Bridge was closed.
There is going to be an enormous accident sooner or later in this neighbourhood.
Mrs B Pettitt, Navigation Road, York.
•REGARDING recent letters about Lendal Bridge: there is no way of predicting how many drivers will contravene the restriction and there will always be drivers who ignore them. Experience from other councils suggests that once a scheme has started, compliance rates rise and continue until a plateau is reached. This takes into account those who contravene the restrictions intentionally or accidentally.
While there is a comprehensively signed and legally compliant scheme in place, the council is looking at how it can improve advisory signage as we want to reduce drivers numbers crossing the bridge in order to achieve the objectives of the scheme, i.e. improved bus journey times and reliability, reduced traffic and improved city-centre air quality.
We have said from the outset that the purpose of the trial is not to generate revenue, but to reduce traffic over the bridge and through the city centre to create a more attractive and thriving city centre.
It was never the intention that the trial would be an income generation scheme, so any income will be supplementary to existing budgets and ring-fenced for transport schemes such as highways maintenance, consistently a top priority for residents.
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