TRADERS in one of York’s busiest streets have hit out at problem pollution levels.

Businesses on Gillygate in York say they can’t leave doors and windows open and the sheer volume of traffic means high levels of fumes.

Martin Gore, owner of No8 Bistro said: “If I leave the door too far open during the day, I’ll have to wipe down the tables and menus again because of the dirt that comes in.

“There’s too many cars, the congestion and the pollution is too much, and I can’t help feeling there should be more restrictions on car access, but where does the traffic go?”

When asked about his experiences on the street he recalled times where the street has been closed for drainage works, a time he described as “so nice, it was peace and quiet”.

York Press: Martin Gore cleaning tables at No8 Bistro in GillygateMartin Gore cleaning tables at No8 Bistro in Gillygate (Image: Harry Booth)

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Further down the street in the homeware and hardware store Heima, shopworker Mabel echoed Martin saying: “We do have to dust constantly if we leave the door open” but also explained that the door is typically shut because of the noise coming from the street.

But she spoke positively about the passing trade the cars bring, saying: “We get a lot of customers telling us they saw the store driving past.”

It comes after last year The Press reported that the windows of new flats in the street had to be non-opening due to the unsafe pollution levels.

Then City of York Council granted planning permission to turn the old Wacker's Fish and Chip shop at 45-49 Gillygate, which closed in 2020 following the owners' retirement, into a block of five residential flats and a Tesco Express.

However, the permission was only granted on the condition that the residential windows facing Gillygate shall be non-opening due to the unsafe nitrogen dioxide pollution levels down the street.

Gillygate is in City of York Council’s Air Quality Management Area, meaning that the nitrogen dioxide levels are monitored.

Apart from in 2020, where air quality was atypical due to the pandemic, the nitrogen dioxide levels have breached the health-based annual levels for the last 10 years.

And back in 2015, Gillygate was named the second most polluted street for nitrogen dioxide in York, second only to York Railway Station.York Press: Congestion in Gillygate is notoriously badCongestion in Gillygate is notoriously bad (Image: Harry Booth)

Last month The Press reported that a congestion charge in York was again ruled out by the three main parties on the city council - at least for the next four years.

The affirmation came at a meeting of the full city council, adding to earlier opposition for such measures expressed by the three main parties in the local election campaign this year.

Active travel schemes are a part of the Government's wider plan to be carbon neutral by 2030, with the new department Active Travel England aiming to help increase cycling and walking in city centres. The Press contacted them for comment and we’ll add it here when we hear back