HIP HIP hurray and three cheers for City of York Council for standing by their decision to keep Lendal Bridge closed. Surely this is a great piece of forward-thinking for an already successful pedestrianised city, an example to many, and we should be proud.
If anyone has made the mistake of driving in restricted zones they should have consequences to pay. Lendal Bridge’s closure has massive benefits. It is safer, calmer, cleaner and generally a more pleasant space without the old congestion.
Let’s keep moving forward, not backwards on such changes.
Karin Wild, (car driver, cyclist and pedestrian), Hempland Lane, Heworth, York.
• THE Institute of Transport Studies in Leeds will imminently be providing an independent report to City of York Council on its evaluation of the Lendal Bridge trial.
While the implementation of the trial can be criticised for its failure to provide adequate signage, not implementing a randomised camera enforcement process and poor communication in not advocating sufficiently strongly the rationale behind the trial (clearly any coherent growth strategy cannot operate without management of congestion), none of these issues should be used to deflect away from the evaluation of the trial.
Policy must be evaluated through evidence and we should wait to see what the report says.
On an anecdotal basis, increased pedestrian and cyclist activity in the surrounding areas combined with an improvement in the air quality and environment certainly seems evident.
Other issues such as traffic flows and bus timings are clearly more complex – for example, increased economic activity can distort comparisons.
Whatever the report says, I hope members, and more specifically the cabinet, will be brave in following the evidence and therefore the broader interests of York itself and not be swayed instead through selective interpretations (my own included!) that often reflect aspects of self-interest.
Richard Bridge, Holgate Road, York.
• SO THE Lendal Bridge trial, which we were informed originally would end in February, has now been extended until May.
No surprises there then. Did we honestly think the council would stick to its plans?
As usual the council does not take into consideration the loss of revenue to traders and the obvious congestion for drivers.
The council must have acquired vast amounts from the fines collected from visitors (where is this money going?).
I am sure those tourists who have been fined for crossing the bridge will avoid visiting York again and no doubt will pass the word around to other tourists about being penalised for using the city’s main bridge.
Why doesn’t the council come clean and be honest with us?
Does it ever intend reopening the bridge? Where is the money going? Do the opinions of residents matter?
S McClaren, Boroughbridge Road, York.
• THE PRESS (March 29) reports that City of York Council’s cabinet has deferred a decision on whether to reopen Lendal Bridge.
Notwithstanding the fact of eight months experience and with the views of of people from all walks of life, including visitors unwittingly trapped into heavy fines, amounting to many thousands, the cabinet member for transport stated that a decision would be made in May when “all evidence” was available.
Surely after nearly eight months, sufficient evidence is already available.
It appears that the delayed decision to wait 10 months is a flagrant effort to seek public acceptance that the closure is already permanent.
J Beisly, Osprey Close, York.
• IT WAS scandalous that Liberal Democrat attempts to debate the Lendal Bridge closure were blocked by the ruling Labour group last Thursday (The Press, March 29).
Our motion called for a full debate and vote on Lendal Bridge. What we got instead was Labour shutting down the debate and putting off the decision for another six weeks.
This means that the six-month closure Labour promised residents will turn into a nine-month closure by default. It means six more weeks of fines, lost business and increased traffic congestion.
This is not the first time Labour has used underhand tactics to try to stop public discussion of their policies, but it is one of the most blatant.
So, after ducking the issue last night I repeat my challenge to Coun James Alexander. We think the trial was botched, has failed to achieve its aims, and therefore Lendal Bridge should reopen immediately.
Coun Keith Aspden, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, City of York Council.
• A BRIDGE too closed. Open!
Keith Massey, Mill Lane, York