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York's heavy haul of traffic prompts talks
MORE than 10,000 lorries and vans travel through York city centre a day according to new figures which have prompted council bosses to consider steps to cut congestion.
A study by City of York Council found on an average 12-hour day more than 10,000 lorries and vans travel through the city with more than 1,200 rigid lorries and almost 4,000 vans crossing the three city centre bridges during a working day.
Businesses are being asked their views to help reduce congestion caused by loading and delivery vehicles during peak times.
Next week, transport officials will meet businesses to establish levels of freight activity, identify patterns and trends in delivery servicing and understand problems which will lead to recommendations being put forward for any improvements and to inform future proposals.
One proposal is whether to introduce a Freight Consolidation Centre (FCC) on the outskirts of York.
This has been introduced in Bristol and London and helped to reduce vehicle numbers in shopping areas, improve air quality, and making the streets better for pedestrians.
A centre would be created on the outskirts of York where goods are delivered then transported via smaller low emission vehicles into the centre.
Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability, said the council wanted to improve the shopping and living experience in York, cut congestion and vehicle emissions and improve air quality.
“A Freight Consolidation Centre (FCC) could well be a solution.”
Frank Wood, chairman of the Retail Forum, said retailers would be supportive of a plan to cut congestion but warned there were many hurdles to be considered before any version of an FCC was introduced.
He said the system would reduce the numbers of large trucks entering the city, but would mean more smaller trucks carrying the freight.
Other issues to consider were the liability and insurance cover for the transfer of goods from one truck to another and who was responsible for any damages.
“Most retailers are in favour of extending the pedestrian hours (and thereby the perceived trading day), this would squeeze the available time for deliveries thereby exacerbating the problems we already have.
“I will be consulting the Retail Forum members. The viability and health of the city centre retailers is vitally important, any solution would need to consider this very carefully before any proposed remedy is commissioned.”
For more details visit york.gov.uk/transport/freight/