A TRANSPORT boss has sought to reassure cyclists about their safety, following the closure of York's Terry Avenue to allow for the construction of new flood defences.

James Gilchrist, assistant director of transport at City of York Council,was responding after York Cycle Campaign yesterday urged cyclists not to cycle in the Butcher Terrace area because extra lorries would make it too dangerous.

A spokesperson said the campaign recommended cyclists should avoid the area during working hours and consider alternative means of transport if they needed to travel between Southbank and Fishergate, or from the Millennium Bridge to Skeldergate.

“Cyclists and HGVs don’t mix and the danger to cyclists at the junction of Butcher Terrace and Bishopthorpe Road is very concerning,” they said.

“We fear that the council and Environment Agency’s failure to provide signals in this location will result in a serious collision and it is with great regret that we recommend people avoid cycling in this area during working hours.”

Mr Gilchrist said the authority recognised how well-used and popular Terry Avenue was by pedestrians and cyclists.

He said that to understand the temporary impact of Terry Avenue's 12 month closure while the flood alleviation measures were built for Clementhorpe, the agency had carried out two independent road safety audits, which had informed the development of its Construction Traffic Management Plan and the selection of diversion routes.

"This has taken account of predicted traffic levels (vehicles and cyclists) and anticipates that although traffic will increase on Butcher Terrace, steps will be taken to ensure traffic is kept separate from pedestrians and cyclists as much as possible," he said.

"Alternative routes have been identified on the existing off-road riverside route between Millennium Bridge and the city centre (using New Walk), or on the existing signed Nunthorpe Grove route to the city centre. Additional measures to improve these routes for cyclists are being considered.

"Meanwhile, people who usually use Terry Avenue are encouraged to explore alternative routes and travel options at https://www.itravelyork.info/ .”