PART of York’s historic bar walls could be closed to outbound traffic under a new plan.

Micklegate Bar is the last of the city’s gateways which has no restrictions on vehicle access.

But this week Labour councillor for Micklegate ward Jonny Crawshaw will call for the road to be partially closed to traffic - with an eye to completely closing it to traffic if successful.

Cllr Crawshaw said he wanted to preserve the archway, and prevent future long-term damage, following positive responses to a trial closure last year while £1.5 million repairs were made to the structure.

That work could be undermined by the continued impact of vehicles beneath the gateway, said Cllr Crawshaw.

He said: “Micklegate Bar is one of the jewels in the crown of our historic city. Its heritage value is hugely significant not only to York but nationally too, and we cannot afford to put that at risk.

“We want the council to move quickly to assess the implications for closing the bar to outbound traffic - which travels underneath the bar itself - before considering the possibility of closure to inbound traffic - which travels under the bar walls - in the longer term. This would protect the historic structure and minimise cost to the council taxpayer in the future.”

Micklegate Bar is historically the royal entrance to the city, where the Queen is received when she visits York, and Cllr Crawshaw said the closure would affect traffic travelling west or southbound out of the city, and many drivers “already choose not to use Micklegate to leave the city due to the short phasing of traffic lights from this direction”.

Cllr Crawshaw also said tourists and visitors to the city “often remarked with some surprise at the fact that the historic bar is open to traffic”, considering its heritage and cultural significance.

The motion will be discussed at next week’s full council meeting, and would potentially go before the next Executive meeting to consider when the closure could take place.

He said he was confident that other political parties would support a proposal which looks to preserve the bar, whilst also considering longer term options on traffic management in the immediate area.