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Current Clifton Green junction layout should remain say emergency services
PROPOSED changes to a controversial York junction have been criticised by all three of the emergency services.
The city’s leading councillors will next week decide whether to fulfil an election promise by reinstating a left-hand traffic lane at the junction of Water End and Clifton Green, three years after it was removed to create more space for cyclists.
They say the alterations would make the route less safe and cause problems for emergency vehicles.
Of the 178 people who took part in a public consultation on the move, 56 supported an option costing about £12,000 which would see the traffic lane brought back at the expense of a continuous cycle route.
Only six people backed a £35,000 scheme including a central “feeder” lane for cyclists. The authority’s transport officers say both options would be “less safe” than the existing system but would reduce congestion.
Local residents say motorists trying to avoid queues at the junction turn their streets into “rat runs”, and the ruling Labour group pledged to reintroduce the car lane before coming to power.
However, as reported by The Press on Saturday, following a Freedom of Information request by York Green Party, 106 people who responded to the consultation said no changes should be made.
A report on the issue said Steve Burrell, North Yorkshire Police’s traffic management liaison officer, believed the changes “fly in the face” of council transport policies.
The fire service said the current arrangements made it easier for road-users to safely avoid appliances and any changes would leave less room for manoeuvre, while YAS said they could lead to more crashes and greater danger for cyclists while making it more difficult for ambulances to pass.
Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for city strategy, said: “This is an important but difficult part of the road network, and this will allow the cabinet to honour the commitment given to make better use of the capacity of the junction for motorists, while still catering for other road users.”