A MAJOR York road has today been shut to traffic in one direction to make it easier for pedestrians and shoppers to socially distance.

The emergency closure of a section of Bishopthorpe Road to traffic heading out of the city centre is being trialled by City of York Council as part of its response to the coronavirus crisis.

Motorists now have to take a lengthy detour via Nunnery Lane, Blossom Street and Scarcroft Road to get back on to the road beyond the 'Bishy Road' parade of shops.

Council deputy leader and executive member for transport, Cllr Andy D'Agorne, has said he understands that the closure 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," he said.

"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.”