A trader has hit out at the "horrific traffic" on a York street after the council changed the opening hours of a nearby waste recycling centre.

And he claimed his business was 90 per cent down in trade as a result of the shake-up.

At the start of this month City of York Council introduced earlier closing times at Hazel Court household waste recycling centre (HWRC), which is just off James Street, and an all-day closure every Wednesday.

Dominic Shortle, the owner of Fully Furnished in James Street, claims that since the changes came into effect there has been traffic "chaos" in the road.

The council said the changes were a bid to reduce running costs and it expected traffic problems to subside as people got used to the new opening hours.

York Press:  Traffic outside Fully Furnished Traffic outside Fully Furnished (Image: Harry Booth)

He said Thursday, May 16, was "absolutely horrific".

"It took our van 50 minutes to get from Lawrence Street to the depot at Hazel Court," he said.

York Press: Traffic queuing both ways to get into Hazel CourtTraffic queuing both ways to get into Hazel Court (Image: Harry Booth)

He added that it had been taking him around 20 minutes each day to get to his store from Layerthorpe, which is just over a third of a mile.

Dominic said that he's "very concerned" by the disruption, saying he believes trade to be down by as much as 90 per cent.

"I think it's got to be looked at, you've got people on social media saying don't go down James Street because of the traffic, but we need people to come down here - we're a destination store," he said.

York Press: Dominic Shortle, owner of Fully FurnishedDominic Shortle, owner of Fully Furnished (Image: Harry Booth)

"The traffic has never really been a problem, it's no different to anywhere else, but now it's just chaos."

The recycling centre previously closed at 7pm between April and September, but  now closes at 6pm. Between October and March the centre had closed at 6pm, but now closes at 5pm. The changes came in on May 6.

The centre opens six days a week at 8.30am, and closes at 4pm on Sundays all year round.

Dominic mentioned that other businesses in the area were facing the same issues, with many being based near the waste recycling centre itself, in Yorvale business park.

At the time the new opening hours were announced, City of York Council said the changes were an effort to reduce running costs and the council would work to "ensure there are no adverse effects".

It said the decision came after automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras at both the Hazel Court and Towthorpe recycling centres revealed that the usage times were "exceeding low" between 6pm and 7pm over the summer months.

Responding to the latest claims of traffic chaos, City of York Council's James Gilchrist, the director of environment, transport and panning, said: "We closely monitor visitor numbers to the HWRC along with the operators YorWaste.  

"The decision to close on a Wednesday was widely publicised. We have had notices on site for four weeks, promoted changes via social media and the website, and written to all those regular users who we had details for.

"We are aware that visits to HWRC vary for a number of reasons and warm weather is also a factor in the number of visits. 

"We are aware of a spike of visitors on the Thursday following the first Wednesday closure. Those numbers noticeably reduced for the second week of Wednesday closures and we would expect that to further settle down as people get used to the new arrangements."

Hazel Court's waste recycling centre still opens on bank holidays, although City of York Council warns it could be even busier than usual.