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Cyclists challenge bid to change Clifton Green junction
THE scrapping of a cycle lane at a controversial York junction is to be challenged by three of the city’s councillors.
City of York Council’s cabinet decided this week to bring back a left-hand traffic lane at the junction of Clifton Green and Water End in a £12,000 scheme, three years after it was originally removed to make way for more cycling space.
The move, which the Labour-led authority says is designed to reduce queues in the area and prevent nearby residential streets becoming choked with cars trying to avoid tailbacks, has been criticised by cycling campaigners, while all three emergency services said the layout of the junction should stay as it is.
Transport officers at the council have admitted removing the cycle space would make the route less safe.
Fishergate councillors Andy D’Agorne and Dave Taylor and Huntington and New Earswick member Keith Hyman have now called in the cabinet decision for further scrutiny, claiming it failed to take on board the concerns of North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
They also said it was contrary to the council’s transport policy, could dissuade organisations from investing in “sustainable travel initiatives” in York and did not reflect the outcome of a public consultation, which saw 60 per cent of those who responded call for the cycle lane to survive.
Labour pledged to reinstate the traffic lane when it came to power last year.
Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for city strategy, has said the outcome of the new arrangements at the junction will be kept under review to assess any safety issues or impact on cycling in the city.
He told the cabinet meeting the junction’s current layout was “not necessarily safe” and it was an “extremely difficult” section of York’s road network, but the changes would still include cycling space and would not return the route to exactly the same layout as the one in place before the 2009 scheme was carried out.