DRIVERS are being warned to expect disruption while part of York’s inner ring road is demolished as part of a scheme to transform the front of the railway station.

A temporary road will be built around Queen Street bridge to ease traffic while the bridge is removed.

A City of York Council spokesman said there will be weekend and overnight road closures and traffic will be diverted on to the temporary road for at least three months.

Planning documents also say a number of residents in Queen Street could be offered alternative accommodation while some of the noisiest works take place.

James Gilchrist, the council’s assistant director for transport, said: “Some overnight and weekend closures would be required to join the existing road and temporary road. This will allow people to continue to use the road largely unaffected.

“Following this we will then be able to remove the bridge and build the new road in its place. Once the road is completed then we would need some further overnight closures to join it to the road network. As with all construction work we will aim to keep disruption to a minimum, but there will inevitably be some disruption for road users due to the size and scope of the work.”

A planning application has been submitted for the scheme and it says that, if approved, work on the first phase could start in the autumn and last about 16 months. As part of the plans, the railway institute’s band room could also be demolished, the Unipart building behind the station would be knocked down and the land used to create 274 parking spaces.

The temporary road would then be diverted into the long stay car park and past the railway institute.

Documents also say there could be up to 70 HGVs a day accessing the station site from Leeman Road while the work is carried out.

Micklegate councillors Jonny Crawshaw and Lars Kramm welcomed plans to upgrade the front of the station but said there are still concerns over the scheme and that traffic disruption must be as minimal as possible.

Cllr Crawshaw said: “It is a shame to lose an early example of a concrete railway bridge and it’s removal will inevitably have an impact on traffic in the short term. I do have concerns about the location of the long-stay disabled parking bays so far from the station entrance and I am keen that residents on Queen Street itself are not unduly impacted by the design and construction, but overall I think this project is going to be really positive for this part of the city.”

Cllr Kramm added: “The demolition of the redundant Queen Street Bridge is unavoidable if you want to open up the station front and address the multiple obstacles in the traffic flow. The current arrangements around the station fail pedestrians, cyclists, bus users and car users alike.

“We need to aim to minimise the short-term disruption during the demolition at this important traffic intersection in York for the long term benefits.”

The Press first reported on council plans to demolish the bridge in 2012.