SOME say it would be better to close Ouse Bridge than Lendal Bridge; but Ouse Bridge is already inaccessible because of traffic restrictions in Coppergate and obstructive light sequences at Micklegate Bar.

To all intents and purposes we already have two closed bridges.

In Roman times there was just one crossing where Ouse Bridge now stands. There is no evidence the Romans were daft enough to ban carts or chariots to make life easier for pedestrians.

They built a bridge to transport both people and goods from one side of the river to the other. They understood that’s what bridges are for.

Ouse Bridge was for centuries the principal cross-town route and remained so when I passed my driving test in 1967. Stonebow had been created to make the eastern approach to this central crossing more practical.

Before this, double-decker buses struggled through St.Saviourgate.

But then planners and traffic engineers lost the plot.

Instead of allowing people to get directly from A to B the objective became to make everyone go via Z because they decided private wheeled traffic was no longer to be accommodated but penalised.

Ouse Bridge, which had historically been the main artery, was isolated and traffic displaced to Skeldergate and Lendal. Now it is displaced again. Nothing is solved; the misery is just expanded outwards.

Matthew Laverack, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.