THE controversial closures of The Groves continues to divide residents, as revealed in The Press' reader poll.

The Groves is part of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial introduced by City of York Council last September, designed to promote road safety, better air quality and reduce traffic. 

We asked you 'Are you for or against the closure?' - and 1272 readers responded.

The results show that just over half of York residents - 51 per cent - are "against" permanent closures.

Rawcliffe resident Kath Marshall believes the scheme is "pushing traffic elsewhere causing long delays", particularly on Lord Mayors Walk and Haxby Road.

While Steve Edison, who lives in Osbaldwick, said: "I support residential areas being places where everyone can have a good quality of life but transport in all forms is essential to that quality of life. It is essential that York Council consider all residents and the economy of the city and plan accordingly.

"Time and again the Council behaves in a piecemeal way. Like it or not, our way of life is due to a vibrant economy with well paid jobs. We just need to get the balance right. Outright bans serve no one, why not a restricted access or a low emission zone?"

But, as we've seen throughout the trial, many people are relishing in the positives, including the York Cycle Campaign.

Audrey Atkinson, who lives on The Groves, told The Press: "I can now sit in my garden without the noise and fumes. And the quiet is wonderful - we an now hear the birds!

"It was a rat-run - the roads were not made for the volume of traffic - and why should families have their children's health put at risk especially when the vast majority of them do not have a car?!

"My only complaint would be the signage - too many people end up at the March St/Penley's Grove St intersection and have no guidance as to where to go. I've seen two cars turn down Penley's Grove St then back up knocking cyclists off their bikes."

This sentiment came through in the poll and saw 46 per cent of people back permanent closures.

Just to mix things up, we added in another option - 'I support the idea but I want changes to be made to the original plans' - and it won two per cent of votes.

Kevin  McCarron, who lives on Park Grove, said the closures had "transformed" the area.

He explained: "Firstly this seems a very unrepresentative poll: the Groves Community vs the entirety of York. From the closures outset the Groves has been transformed from a hellish incessant rat run that has plagued and dominated life in the Groves to a calm clean and safer environment in which to live.

"Aggressive speeding unrelenting traffic has been for many decades. The Groves is a Heritage area now with great potential for the lives of residents to expand into Community Building and creating safe streets where children can play and cyclists can feel safe.

"There had to be a resolute push back against the dominance of vehicles. Keep this successful scheme and extend it to other areas."

Neil Ferris, corporate director at CYC, is inviting people to share their experiences and submit thoughts via

Mr Ferris added: "All comments will be welcomed and considered as part of the ongoing experimental order process and future decision making.”