A WOMAN from York who was unable to say goodbye to her mum on her deathbed because she was stuck in traffic, has criticised the closure of roads through a city suburb.

Helen Wilkinson, who lives in Fulford, said reading stories about the closure of streets through The Groves to traffic has brought back painful memories of her mother’s death.

Helen’s mum, Hilda, died in York Hospital on October 22 last year and Helen had to make a dash in her car across the city centre when she was told her mum had been rushed in.

“I was stuck in traffic and, as it turned out, when I got there it was too late. Reading the stories about the closures just made me think of other people having to try and make that journey now, “ said Helen. "With the best will in the world there are a hundred reasons why you might want to get to the hospital, and traffic round there is already dreadful. I used to live in The Groves and I used to do that journey frequently. Traffic going through wasn’t an issue for me, it’s a trade off for living close to the city centre.”

Road closure points have been introduced through The Groves at the junction of Lowther Street/Brownlow Street, and on St Johns Crescent, Penleys Grove Street, Neville Terrace and Earle Street, while Brownlow Street and March Street have become one-way except for cyclists and Penleys Grove Street is now two-way to allow traffic to exit onto Monkgate from this part of The Groves.

James Gilchrist, City of York Council's assistant director of highways, said: “I’m very sorry to hear of this lady’s experience last year and can understand her distress. Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of car journeys are not for such urgent situations. Our ongoing work – which includes this trial – aims to encourage more people to travel by public transport, bike or foot to help ease congestion which can delay journeys.

"Our https://www.itravelyork.info/ website can help people find other ways to travel around York. Ahead of this trial, we have notified and reminded the emergency services of the changes, and are adjusting timings of traffic signals on the surrounding roads in response to traffic flow and we will keep them under review.”