LEEMAN Road could be re-routed and the Queen Street bridge demolished to improve traffic flows when the massive York Central development gets underway, visitors to a consultation meeting were told.
Fears that the proposed development could cause major traffic problems in west York dominated the first of a series of consultation events.
More than 150 people attended a special joint meeting of the Holgate and Micklegate ward committees at St Paul's Church in Holgate on Tuesday evening.
They were told that Leeman Road could be re-routed, so it would no longer directly link Water End and Lendal Bridge, while the Queen Street bridge could be demolished to make more space around the Railway Station.
The York Central development between Water End, the east coast main line and roads north of Holgate Road is expected to provide between 1,000 and 2,500 homes and 7,000 jobs in high class office accommodation.
The National Railway Museum may look to merge the two halves of its site if Leeman Road is re-routed
Further events will be held during the four-week informal and initial consultation over the site’s infrastructure, including roads and how the land should be allocated to housing and commercial use.
Cllr Sonja Crisp, Lord Mayor of York and Holgate councillor said: “We have a clean slate here, so if you have any ideas as to what to do with the place, say them. Once it is done, it is done.
“There are going to be some winners and some losers with a massive development like this. We cannot please everyone. As councillors we are asking officers to look at ways to address any detriment for residents.”
People attending the meeting raised questions about how the development would affect traffic in west York, with several concerned about the extra traffic it would create for Holgate Road, which would connect with the main link road into the site.
When Cllr Johnny Hayes asked what council officers estimated for the maximum traffic flow over Holgate Road bridge, he was told officers were modelling various scenarios, depending on how the site was developed.
Other residents raised concerns about the effect on bus routes if Leeman Road loses its city centre exit, the effect of the development on the nearby former British Sugar site on traffic flows, and whether there would be an increase in people from outside York parking in streets in west York and then walking to work.
The National Railway Museum hopes to unite its split site if Leeman Road is rerouted and to increase visitor numbers to 1.5 million a year.
Some residents were concerned about whether there would be sufficient school places and youth facilities and were told a new school and extra facilities could be funded through compulsory grants from the companies that construct the houses and offices.
Neil Ferris, acting director for the council’s environment department, warned “There is no plan B” if the site’s development fails to generate the business rates which will be spent in advance to fund the creation of the site’s main roads and infrastructure.
He said none of the site had flooded in the Christmas floods.
Council officers were keen for members of the public to join in the consultation by filling in an online form on the council’s website. Comments can also be submitted by post. The council currently does not plan to send out consultation forms to every resident who lives near the site.