A TRIAL to allow cyclists to bike down High Petergate in York when the road is closed to traffic during the day is set to be given the green light.

But some readers said cyclists already use the street during pedestrian hours. Others said the move will mean people on bikes will “be constantly ringing their bells getting people to move” at busy times.

And a City of York Council report says there is already a “significant level of illegal cycling” on the street - with around 30 cyclists an hour biking down High Petergate.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, will look at lifting the ban on cycling down the road during pedestrian hours - 10.30am to 5pm - at a meeting on Thursday.

A report prepared for the meeting says: “High Petergate attracts high volumes of pedestrians, and was made part of the city centre footstreets scheme back in 2000.

“Under this restriction, the alternatives for cyclists wishing to travel from Bootham into the city centre or to join the cycle route in front of the Minster are to either dismount and walk along High Petergate or to cycle along St Leonard’s Place/Duncombe Place.

“Many cyclists find these alternatives unattractive, and there has continued to be a significant level of illegal cycling along High Petergate during footstreet hours. Several requests have been received since it became a footstreet for cycling to be allowed.”

The Press first reported on the plans in August, when readers raised concerns about safety.

But the council report says there is not a problem, adding: “Although the current cycle movements during Footstreet hours are illegal, they do not appear to be creating a problem of pedestrian safety. Indeed the Police accident database has no record of casualties linked to cycling during the footstreet hours since their introduction in 2000. During the recent surveys no significant conflicts between cyclist and pedestrians were observed.”

One reader commenting on the story on Facebook said: “This would be a bad idea. The street is a popular route for large parties of tourists walking from Union Terrace coach park and making their way towards the Minster.”

Another said: “It’s only a short walk pushing the bikes. It isn’t a problem if they have their own bike lane but mixing bikes and pedestrians sounds wrong to me.”

But another reader said: “You do realise cyclists use it anyway, whether you plan to allow it or not?”