City council begins trial to limit vehicle access to Lendal Bridge, with air quality impact among areas being monitored
York council has today (August 27) begun a six month trial to restrict cars, lorries and motorbikes from crossing Lendal Bridge, in order to improve air quality in the area, as well as reducing congestion in the city.
Buses, cyclists, pedestrians, taxis, and emergency vehicles will continue to have full access over Lendal Bridge throughout the length of the trial, although other vehicles will be restricted from 10.30am to 5pm seven days a week.
Experts from Leeds University’s Institute of Transport Studies will monitor the effect of the closure on the city’s traffic network, while the effect on the city’s air quality will also be monitored separately.
Among the aims of the trial is a reduction in pollution around what is described by the council as a ‘growing pedestrian route into the heart of the city’.
And, while the council has acknowledged that by dispersing traffic to other areas of the city it may worsen air quality elsewhere, the overall air quality effects of the trial are being tested to see whether a full time restriction on traffic would be beneficial.
Councill Dave Merrett, cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability, said: “The traffic restrictions on Lendal Bridge are an important first stage trial to improve the environment at the north end of the city centre by reducing its congestion, as well as improving the reliability and timekeeping of bus services all the way between Blossom Street, Bootham and Gillygate, and Stonebow and Piccadilly, without unacceptable side effects.
“Working with an independent body – the expert Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds – we are undertaking comprehensive and open monitoring of the trial so everyone can see its impacts.â€?
Data will be collected throughout the trial and monthly updates will be published on the council’s website. Meanwhile a consultation with residents and businesses will also be carried out, to feed back on the results of the trial.