A BUSY York road is to close in one direction to give pedestrians more space for social distancing.

City of York Council revealed last night it will be trialling the emergency closure of the southbound lane of Bishopthorpe Road, following feedback from local residents, ward councillors and businesses.

"A temporary traffic restriction will be introduced on Bishopthorpe Road from Thursday restricting southbound traffic," said a spokesperson.

"A point closure for all southbound vehicles except cycles will be put in place close to Darnborough Street restricting traffic on this section of Bishopthorpe Rd down to Scarcroft Rd.

"Diversion routes will be put in place for southbound vehicles via Nunnery Lane, Blossom Street and Scarcroft Road.

"City of York Council will keep this short-term trial under constant review. We encourage residents and businesses to share their feedback on this trial, so we can continue to monitor, understand and respond to these challenges."

They said other measures being investigated to provide more information/space for pedestrians and cyclists in York included:

• Provision of signs at key cycling/walking pinch point locations across the city to provide advice on how to adequately socially distance at those locations.

• Writing to the Police and Crime Commissioner to highlight speed issues across the city and surrounding villages

• Reviewing the potential to remove barriers on cycle routes where possible without creating safety concerns.

Council Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Transport, Cllr Andy D’Agorne, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed everyday life in many ways. One key difference is we have seen a large reduction in traffic on the city’s roads and an increase in walking and cycling.

“In response to the increase in people walking and cycling, and in line with social distancing guidance, the council has worked to review the use of pavements, roads and public spaces by all users, to ensure everyone in York is kept as safe as possible.

"Following feedback from local ward councillors, businesses and residents, we will be trialling changes to Bishopthope Road to allow social distancing where pinch points occur.

"We understand that they may not be convenient for all road users, which is why this will only be a short term trial and will be under constant review.

“I would encourage people share their feedback on the trial so we can see how best to respond to these challenges in the medium to long term. We are keen to identify opportunities to maintain the health benefits of low traffic and improved air quality in whatever the new normal looks like following the pandemic for communities.

"We will be writing to residents and businesses close to Bishopthorpe Road over the coming days to get feedback on the emergency trial measures. People can contact us to provide feedback, the email address is highway.regulation@york.gov.uk"