A HOUSING trust has agreed to fund work to tackle flooding problems which have plagued a York cycle track for the past three winters.

But the drainage scheme at the Sustrans track to the rear of Ambleside Avenue in Osbaldwick is set to take up to two weeks, during which time it will again be closed to cyclists.

The Press reported earlier this year how the path had been repeatedly blocked by flooding, following work to bury power cables underground, associated with the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust’s 540-home Derwenthorpe project nearby.

Local independent councillor Mark Warters said the track was permanently impassable in winter and the same problems even arose in summer following rain, and pedestrians walking along the verges to avoid the flooding had turned them into quagmires. He said it was a disgrace that the problem had gone on so long.

Now Clare Harrigan, head of construction at the trust, has said that it has agreed to step in to resolve the problem, which lay outside of the Derwenthorpe site.

"Because the work will include installation of a land drain in the vicinity of high voltage underground cables, the work may take two weeks to complete, during which time the Sustrans at this point will be closed.”

Coun Warters said he was pleased that, after three winters of local residents wading through water, the trust was finally taking responsibility for the situation, but he questioned why a two week closure was required.

"All that is needed is re-instatement of a relatively short section of tarmac, re-laid with the correct camber - a day at the most!"

Andy Vose, transport planner at City of York Council, told Coun Warters that the trust had insisted that their own contractors undertake the work and Sustrans were currently sorting out the necessary licences to enable them to do this. "The path is proposed to be closed for two weeks whilst they do the work and a diversion will be put into place again."