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Roadworks bringing York to a ‘standstill’
TRAFFIC in York is being brought to a standstill because of poor planning of the city’s roadworks, a senior councillor has claimed.
Ian Gillies, who leads City of York Council’s Conservatives, criticised a lack of “cohesive thinking” by transport chiefs amid a series of schemes he said were causing huge queues on major roads, including some through work connected with a new Park&Ride site at Poppleton Bar.
He said the authority needed to “get its act together” as a six-month part-closure of Lendal Bridge loomed.
The bridge will close to private cars and motorbikes between 10.30am and 5pm from August 27.
The council said £32 million was being spent on York road improvements and some disruption was unavoidable.
Coun Gillies also highlighted Micklegate and Green Dykes Lane as areas where roadworks were causing problems.
He said closing Landing Lane from Boroughbridge Road during maintenance work at Clifton Bridge, with traffic diverted through the A59/A1237 roundabout, was leading to gridlock, including tailbacks on Beckfield Lane.
He said this roundabout was already congested because of single-lane working.
Coun Gillies said: “I have had reports that, even during mid-morning, it has taken up to an hour to travel along Beckfield Lane, Boroughbridge Road and the bypass to Rawcliffe Park&Ride because of the roadworks and extra traffic.
“There is little evidence of cohesive thinking and let’s hope the council gets its act together quickly, recognises the difficulties and prepares in advance, particularly with the closure of Lendal Bridge on the horizon.”
The council said work at Clifton Bridge should be completed by August 22, and “utility works” at the Outer Ring Road’s junction with the A19 were due to finish on Friday, both before Lendal Bridge closes.
Work at the A59/Outer Ring Road roundabout will be completed next May, with lanes now closed only overnight until the Clifton Bridge scheme ends.
Tony Clarke, the council’s transport manager, said: “All roadworks are co-ordinated and planned, but if emergency changes have to be made, there are unavoidable knock-on effects.
“This may cause some short-term disruption, but will achieve long-term benefits to maximise the city’s appeal for residents, businesses and tourists.”
He said some disruption was inevitable.
Council leader James Alexander said Coun Gillies had been part of a cross-party campaign to secure Government funding for new Park&Ride facilities. He said: “He can’t then complain about inevitable temporary disruption from building them.”
The racecourse said some roadworks would be completed before the festival starts next Wednesday and many racegoers did not arrive by car.
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