Plans to improve a cycle path in York have been axed by the council - in a move branded as "shocking" by a campaigner.

The narrow two-way cycle path, which runs adjacent to Tadcaster Road - between Old Moor Lane roundabout, outside Tesco's, and Sim Balk Lane - had been due to be widened as part of a broader scheme to resurface Tadcaster Road, which started in January 2023.

But City of York Council has now cancelled the cycle path plans, saying early work on the scheme had revealed it would cause unacceptable damage to the roots and therefore the stability of several mature trees. It added that there was a projected overspend of £600,000 for the entire Tadcaster Road scheme.

The council confirmed in a report on January 18 that the cycle path scheme had been dropped, just three days after work started on the stretch of Tadcaster Road adjacent to the path.

Chair of York Cycle Campaign, Robyn Jankel, said: "This was one of the most significant improvements of the whole scheme, so to drop it now makes a mockery of the whole scheme as a measure to boost cycling while making walking safer."

York's Green Party spokesman for transport, former councillor Andy D'Agorne, said: "It's shocking to learn that all the road resurfacing is going ahead yet the dangerous corner is not being tackled, despite the vegetation having been cut back a year ago in preparation for widening this narrow two-way shared path.

"This was one of the most significant improvements for pedestrian and cycle safety on the whole project, so it makes no sense to have completed other less critical changes elsewhere on Tadcaster Road, but not this work."


City of York Council's director of transport, environment and planning James Gilchrist said: "We will be returning the cycle path next to Tesco on Tadcaster Road to its original route and condition, as unfortunately we are unable to complete the planned works to widen it.

"After initial digging, our contractor found that further work would cause unacceptable damage to the roots and therefore the stability of several mature trees.

"The ambition is still to improve this section of active travel network, any future works will need to consider how this can be done without disturbing or removing trees."

Speaking on behalf of York's Labour group, City of York Council's deputy leader and executive member for transport, Cllr Pete Kilbane, said: "This is far from ideal but our consistent approach in administration is to make the best of the poor hand we have been dealt to try and maximise the benefit for residents.

"We will take these setbacks as an opportunity to look again at the route to see what we can do to make it safe for pedestrians, wheelchair users, wheelers and cyclists."

The current stretch of works is set to finish on the morning of January 25, the original budget for the entire scheme of £7.28 million is forecasted to reach £7.9 million when it ends.