FROM reading the many articles, letters and comments in The Press recently, one might be forgiven for thinking that traffic flowed freely across the city until The Groves' trial closure.

Yet traffic around the hospital, as in many parts of York, has been terrible for years and won’t go away by itself.

The Groves' trial closure is a local example of what needs to be a much bigger, city-wide discussion. And until we start looking at that big picture and properly engaging with communities right across the city, this cars vs people culture war will continue.

Last December, council backed Labour’s motion calling for a joined-up plan to reduce car dependency across the whole of York. Sadly, the council leader declined the offer of establishing an all-party working group and little has yet changed.

To my mind, a first step would be to stop pitting motorists against residents, cyclists against pedestrians, the suburbs against the centre: whether on feet or on wheels, we’re all people.

So let’s stop closing roads to cars and instead start opening streets to people. Let’s make York as accessible and people-friendly as we can. But let’s do it together.

Cllr Jonny Crawshaw

Labour, Micklegate Ward,

Wentworth Road,