Parents living in a former rat run are protesting against an access road they say will return them to the days when their children could not play out on the street.

Residents opposed to a new access road off Millfield Avenue, York, confront Councillor Dave Merritt during a site visit by members of the City of York Council's planning and transport committee.

Children join adults in the protest. Pictures: David Harrison

Residents of Millfield Avenue, off Hull Road, York, are not against the development of eight flats on the site of the former police station, but they say the access road for the development should exit on to Hull Road instead of theirs.

Millfield Avenue was closed off with bollards at the Hull Road end three years ago after several walls were knocked down by speeding motorists.

Alan Rhodes, 40, who has five children between the ages of two and 17, says the access road makes a mockery of the work done to reduce traffic problems in the street.

He said: "They spent loads of money putting bollards in so it would be safer for the kids, so why are they wanting to bring more traffic on to it now?"

Another resident, Pat Thackwray, says the 12 parking spaces provided for the development's eight two-bedroom flats is not enough and visitors are going to be blocking up residents' driveways by parking all over Millfield Avenue.

She said: "There are already days when we can't get off our drives because of people parking up at the end of them and this will make it much worse."

More than 20 residents gathered in the street to make their views known to councillors who arrived on a site visit. They parked their cars in the street instead of on their drives to illustrate the parking problem and, according to Mr Rhodes, the council minibus was forced to park on double yellow lines.

But a spokesman for the council's planning department said: "It is eight flats, we are looking at 12 parking spaces which should allow for one vehicle per flat and half as much again for visitors.

"Hull Road is a heavy traffic road and just from the point of view of safety it is preferable that we try to reduce the numbers of access roads on to it."

The road has been recommended for approval and the matter will be discussed by the planning and transport committee on Wednesday at the Guildhall, York.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.