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Lendal Bridge traffic figures confirmed
COUNCIL bosses have released the first details of how the controversial Lendal Bridge trial has affected traffic - with about 1,800 fines a week being issued for breaching the new rules.
City of York Council figures showed that since the bridge was closed to cars, motorbikes and vans between 10.30am and 5pm, Foss Islands Road and Clifton Bridge have seen the biggest traffic increase on schooldays.
The Outer Ring Road, Leeman Road, Malton Road, Hull Road and Boroughbridge Road saw less traffic between 11am and 5pm, although it also increased on Shipton Road, Tadcaster Road and Fulford Road in the opening weeks of the six-month experiment, which began on August 27.
Up to September 21, about 1,800 penalty-charge notices were issued weekly to drivers illegally using the bridge, although some are likely to succeed with appeals. Fines are £60, or £30 if paid within a fortnight, meaning revenue for the council of up to £108,000 a week. Motorists were not fined during the trial’s first week.
The figures showed the average hourly number of vehicles using Foss Islands Road between 11am and 5pm on September schooldays rose year-on-year by 186, with Clifton Bridge’s increase being 162 (both around 13 per cent). Leeman Road and Malton Road saw an average hourly decrease of 29 and 26 vehicles respectively.
Average journey times for three Park&Ride services slightly shortened year-on-year during September and slightly increased for two other routes, with five services staying the same. The report said information about service times from bus operators would be published as it becomes available.
It said there had been "localised queuing" between Clifton Green and Salisbury Road and on Leeman Road despite the overall traffic decrease, early-evening queues on Fishergate and more queuing on the turning from Blossom Street into Nunnery Lane, but congestion had not increased elsewhere.
Ruth Stephenson, the council's major transport projects manager, said: “York’s traffic network has responded well to the trial and preliminary results indicate it is fundamentally unaffected by the restriction.
"We are continuing to closely monitor the trial as it progresses and signal timings will continue to be adjusted to optimise the timings and help the flow of traffic."
Conservative councillor Chris Steward said the “staggering” level of fines showed Lendal Bridge had become “the world’s most expensive toll road”, saying: “The data predictably shows some routes are busier, but many are simply going elsewhere and there seems no improvement of note in bus times.’
Liberal Democrat councillor Carol Runciman said the trial had caused more congestion on Clifton and Skeldergate Bridges and signs had been “inadequate”, saying: “Crucially, this data does not tell us what effect the closure is having on city-centre businesses.”
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