THE closure of Micklegate Bar to outbound traffic has improved the street for residents, businesses, tourists and cyclists - a council meeting heard.

And it has helped boost the number of people who shop or visit cafes and bars in the area, according to a resident.

Now the closure has been made permanent - and further improvements could be on the way.

Jonathan Nyman, a resident living near the Bar, told a City of York Council transport meeting that improvements include better air quality and less noise because of a reduction in queuing traffic.

Mr Nyman said: “The area is definitely far more tourist friendly - people are sitting outside bars and cafes and restaurants because it’s quieter.

“I have spoken to several businesses and they are all in favour of making it permanent.

“There has been a rise in footfall for businesses. And some, with the exception of one, would like to see both lanes of traffic closed and the area turned into a pedestrian precinct. That could be really good for the area.

“Closing Micklegate would bring more businesses to the area.

“Personally I would like to thank the council for putting this into place to see how it would work.”

But he added: “Cars continue to defy the restriction - they drive the wrong way down the road and they risk meeting another car head on.”

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, said the authority will keep track of any drivers ignoring the restrictions.

He added that he welcomed the success of the scheme but said: “I do accept that there are some concerns about the extra distance some people have had to travel as a consequence of this.

“We will need to continue to monitor any abuse of the restriction that is taking place.”

Micklegate councillor Pete Kilbane thanked officers for making the closure happen and praised Cllr Jonny Crawshaw for initiating the plans in the first place.

He said: “As somebody who cycles for a living [as a courier], the improvements for cyclists have been significant - not just on Micklegate but also on Blossom Street.

“I’m very pleased that Cllr D’Agorne has endorsed the permanent closure and I look forward to working with the council to see how we could further improve Micklegate and that area in general.”