A CABLE car system should be created to prevent the huge York Central development causing gridlock, a councillor has claimed.

Green Cllr Dave Taylor spoke out in the wake of demands by York Civic Trust and York Central MP Rachael Maskell for a public inquiry into the scheme for up to 2,500 homes and 87,000 square metres of office space on land behind York railway station.

The trust claimed a new access road would attract traffic through the development, and impose undue delays on buses using the Leeman Road Tunnel, and substantially increase traffic from Clifton, Clifton Without and the A19 passing through Salisbury Terrace.

Cllr Taylor said he was pleased that the conservation watchdog and the Labour MP - who have asked Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to call in the planning application for an inquiry - were keeping up their criticism of York Central, as it was so ‘desperately uninspiring’.

He said 1,219 parking spaces were being proposed for the homes and 542 spaces for the commercial buildings, and claimed this would lead to thousands of additional vehicles crowding the roads of surrounding neighbourhoods and adding to levels of air pollution which were already known to be dangerous.

“Here was the opportunity of a generation to present a car-free development in a city-centre location, right next to a railway station, and yet the vision has not been apparent,” he claimed.

“The local residents know that their streets would be grid-locked and yet their views have largely been ignored.”

He said other cities with transport and congestion problems had attempted to find solutions in different ways, saying Sheffield and Manchester had their tram systems, while ‘tiny’ Baden-Baden in Germany had criss-crossed the town with tunnels to move the traffic underground.

However, he said these were ‘frighteningly expensive’ solutions.

Cllr Taylor cited the example of Singapore’s cable car routes as an example of a better way of bringing commuters into York through the York Central site.

He said: “Instead of overwhelming the roads of Holgate and Clifton, a cable car could ferry workers, residents and tourists from a Park & Glide site north of the city.

“What’s more, it’s cheap as chips compared to the cost of road-building and could double up as another tourist attraction.”

The York Central Partnership, which is behind the project, declined to comment yesterday, but it has said previously that it believes the scheme - which has been granted outline planning permission by City of York Council - is an ‘ambitious, transformative and sustainable scheme’.

It said in January it had changed its transport modelling for the site in a bid to allay concerns, and it had provided further information about public transport, pedestrian and cyclist accessibility.