York’s Conservatives urge against planned one way signalled traffic through Marble Arch

The City of York Conservative Group has said it opposes City of York Council’s plan to make Marble Arch one way to traffic at any one time with new traffic light signalling. The group believes the change will distort journeys by people being forced into taking needless lengthier diversions and leave citizens and visitors sat in congestion, with those going through the Leeman Road tunnel facing guaranteed slower journeys, which will increase pollution. It will also be seen as yet another anti car measure by the Lib Dems and Greens and will discourage people visiting the city centre, when with the effect of Covid-19, visitors are now more vitally needed than ever.

The principle of the signalled one way system was approved in theory at outline planning in 2019 but the Conservatives point out this can easily be changed. They believe at the meeting many were interested in getting the overall York Central scheme moved forward so funding was not put at risk rather than being wedded to details like this.  

Conservative Group Leader Paul Doughty said, “With the Lib Dems spend on the York Central development looking increasingly over budget and out of control and even a fallout with the Greens over the project, costs must be looked at. Plans for the tunnel are a cost that actually makes things worse. It will be seen as anti car, discourage much needed city centre visitors and is a further barrier for city businesses. It will increase journey times on Leeman Road but also adding congestion to Holgate Road, Bootham and the Station Rise / Lendal gyratory. All adding to pollution.

Paul continued, “We believe the council should stop its plans for traffic lights and one way travel. Instead, they should invest in improving the look and feel of the tunnel for those passing through, together with lighting and safety improvements for the Riverside pedestrian and cycle path, these are the issues that concern people.”

Note to editor:

On the same theme you may also like to look at other objections on the Planning Portal, in particular former York Council Leader Steve Galloway but more notably Royal Mail objects to the proposals highlighting they currently have almost 500 in and out vehicle movements at their adjacent facility on a typical working day. With a significant number of these movements arriving and departing via the Leeman Road tunnel, this is traffic that would be delayed or need to find another route. They object to the change and also the disruption the work will cause, describing plans as a ‘significant risk’ to their business.”