A PUBLIC inquiry into plans to close Leeman Road as part of the York Central redevelopment scheme will take place in April remotely.

Holgate councillor Kallum Taylor said he had been told by the Department for Transport (DfT) that the inquiry will start on Tuesday April 27 and last for six days.

He said it would be conducted online via Teams video-conferencing, but with people who wanted to contribute their opinions able to speak over the telephone if unable to go online.

He said he and other ward councillors planned to make their views known to the inspector.

The inquiry was ordered after more than 300 people objected to a permanent ‘stopping up order’ for the road where it passes through the middle of the two National Railway Museum sites.

The inspector will make a recommendation before the Secretary of State makes a final decision.

The road closure will be required if the museum is to be able to go ahead with a proposed major project to build a new central gallery across the road to link the two existing sides of the museum.

However, local residents have complained about the inconvenience and delay they would face in going along a diversionary route around the side of the NRM, particularly on foot and by bicycle.

A huge wave of opposition was mobilised by local councillors during a 28 day “objection period” last summer.

Cllr Taylor has said that he hopes the inquiry will finally force the council, Railway Museum, and wider York Central Partnership to take the community’s concerns seriously.

He praised residents who sent objections off during the first lockdown and stood their ground when consultants allegedly piled on pressure to remove them.

Fellow councillor Rachel Melly has claimed that residents are tired of developments in York proceeding without proper thought given to the knock-on effects elsewhere.

She said that, at last, residents’ voices would be heard at the inquiry.

A spokesperson for the York Central partnership said last year it was aware of and had planned for the DfT process and its potential stages.