I’ve lost count of the times I’ve come out of York Magistrates Court to find Clifford Street at a standstill and traffic trailing back almost to Skeldergate Bridge. It makes me wonder how often those in charge of our roads actually drive on them.

There’s a simple solution to the problem that causes the Clifford Street standstill - and it’s not the only place where there’s a common sense solution to a traffic problem.

Take Bootham, that permanent traffic jam heading into the city centre. How often have you sat in that queue seeing a green traffic light ahead but unable to move because the first car in the queue wants to turn left and the green light is only for those waiting to go straight ahead or right.

The traffic lights at the Bootham Bar have a filter but Bootham itself does not have a filter lane. So what’s the point of having a filter light on the Bootham-facing traffic lights?

Given that Bootham Bar junction is where the main road to the north meets the Inner Ring Road where you turn left to the hospital and Sainsbury’s and right to the station, it’s probably a 50-50 chance that the car in front of you will be wanting to go left and holding up the rest of the traffic.

Take away the filter light and then the Bootham traffic will be able to use all of the allotted green light time for Bootham traffic instead of half of it.

Someone may tell me the Bootham filter is to give pedestrians time to cross Gillygate. But that can be incorporated into the traffic light cycle without the need for a filter light.

The crossroads where Water End meets Poppleton Road, Boroughbridge Road and Lindsey Avenue is another example of someone not thinking things through. Go 50 yards down Poppleton Road, and you’ll find a pelican, more or less slap bang outside the main entrance to a school, very handy for parents and children.

But it's a thorough nuisance to everyone else because it’s not synchronised with the traffic lights 50 yards away. So when children come in and out of school, there are tailbacks down Boroughbridge School as far as Carr Lane. A little synchronisation so that the green man on the pelican only shows when traffic going onto Poppleton Road from the junction is held by a red light and life would be so much easier for everyone.

Back to Clifford Street. The problem there is the bus stops on Low Ousegate. Nearly 20 buses stop there. It’s practically a bus station and one of the stops is probably the busiest stop in York.

York Press:

A bus stopping on Ousegate. Photo: Stephen Lewis

Whoever thought it suitable for even one bus service to stop on a busy road where the pavement is barely wide enough for two people to pass and the moment a bus pulls up, it blocks the carriageway?

It’s also invisible to traffic until they’re through the traffic lights at the end of Spurriergate. No wonder there is a constant tailback down Clifford Street or that cars constantly have to stop in the middle of the pedestrian crossing at the end of Spurriergate when they come round the corner to see a bus blocking the road. It’s not as though it’s the only place in the city centre for a bus stop. Every bus that stops in Low Ousegate has gone past at least one set of the bus stops on Tower Street, Rougier Street or Piccadilly. Each of the latter three places has a wider pavement and the carriageway alongside them is wide enough for a bus to pull in without blocking the rest of the traffic.

Why couldn’t buses stop there instead of in Low Ousegate? It would improve congestion - and the air quality of Clifford Street - immediately.

Please, can somebody look at the city centre map and the distribution of bus stops? It only takes a little common sense and life would be so much easier for everyone.