MOTORISTS heading into York this morning were affected by road side surveys on several key commuter routes.

The traffic census is being organised by City of York Council in a bid to improve its understanding of why journeys are being made, where people started their journey and where they are going.

The council says the information gleaned will help it plan improvements to manage traffic in the future.

"The survey will involve stopping drivers and asking them voluntary questions about their journeys," said a spokesman.

"All information is collected on a strictly confidential basis. We’re only using roads which can accommodate an additional lane, so the surveys can take place without disruption to the normal flow of traffic.

"Police officers will manage the traffic at the survey sites, and trained specialist staff will carry out the surveys."

The surveys appeared to be causing traffic to back up even more than on a typical weekday on some roads.

The authority has asked the media not to publicise the specific locations of the surveys because it needs the day’s traffic to be as typical as possible.

"If we told people when and where the surveys would take place, we know that some would plan a different route," said the spokesman.