THE Council has decided to extend the controversial Bishopthorpe Road one-way system for another eight weeks. 

The trial, which came into force last month, will continue in order to support social distancing outside shops as footpaths are expected to become even busier from June 15 as more shops and businesses reopen.

The decision - which sparked outrage from some and led to a petition calling for it to be cancelled - is currently in place to widen the pavement to provide more space for pedestrians to socially distance from each other whilst also maintaining a route for cyclists in both directions.

But a subsequent petition has also been launched to reallocate some road space from vehicles to people on foot and cycles - and has received over 3,000 signatures. 

The changes to the highway layout will also help to encourage people to walk or cycle to the local shops on the street, the council said. 

The Press reported last month that despite the lockdown, traffic was queuing in Nunnery Lane as far back as the Victoria Bar junction from the Micklegate Bar traffic lights - while a Sainsbury's worker at the Bishopthorpe Road store said the decision has caused a reduction in the shop's takings.

 However, a councillor said that the traffic has reduced since the Blossom Street roadworks were completed.

A spokesman for the council said the trial can be amended at any point if guidance changes and the council continues to welcome feedback from residents and businesses.

It added that nearly 90 individual responses have been submitted which will help officers to consider the impact and any possible changes.

The arrangement will continue to divert all southbound traffic, except for bicycles, via Nunnery Lane, Blossom Street and Scarcroft Road.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for Transport, said: “When the scheme first started extra delays were caused by essential utility repairs on Blossom Street.

"Any changes to the highway will have an impact but this scheme is very much in line with government advice to councils to reallocate road space to walking and cycling in the light of the changes resulting from coronavirus, and to help keep people safe.

“Cycling and walking have noticeably increased since March this year, with residents aware that exercise significantly improves our physical and mental wellbeing. This trial supports safe social distancing and encourages more active travel.”

Please share your feedback on the trial by emailing