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The Groves low-traffic neighbourhood trial begins

Map of new Groves traffic measures

City of York Council is introducing planned trial road closures within The Groves on Wednesday 2nd September.

The work is part of a two-year regeneration project with residents to make the area an even better place to live. Local people have said they want better air quality, less traffic and the chance to build on the existing community spirit.

These aims support the council’s priorities of promoting sustainable travel. They also help with the need to maintain social distancing during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

All through routes in the Groves area between Haxby Rd/Clarence Street and Huntington Rd/Monkgate will be closed to traffic. Alternative routes are via the main roads surrounding the estate including Lord Mayors Walk.

The works that will be carried out are:

  • The existing closure point at Neville Terrace will be removed to allow more direct access to Haxby Road from that side of The Groves.
  • Road closure points will be introduced at the junction of Lowther Street/Brownlow Street, and on St Johns Crescent, Penleys Grove Street, Neville Terrace and Earle Street.
  • Brownlow Street and March Street will become one-way streets except for cyclists, whilst Penleys Grove Street will be two-way to allow traffic to exit onto Monkgate from this part of The Groves.

Cycle routes in all directions throughout The Groves will continue and will benefit from less traffic.

A small number of parking spaces will be removed or relocated to make room for turning points at the closures, and the existing resident parking zones will merge so that local people can park more flexibly. 

Planters will be placed at the majority of the closure points and residents will be invited to help plant them up.

The measures will be introduced over two days (1st and 2nd September). The work to introduce the measure will be undertaken under minimal traffic management.

Staff on site during the installation will be operating under social distancing guidance wherever possible due to the current restrictions with permission from the local authority to undertake this essential work at this time.

Household waste and recycling collections will take place as normal.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption and inconvenience to the public while the closures are put in place. The contractor will at all times try to keep any disruption to a minimum.  Once the measures have been introduced, they will be monitored and kept under review and can continue as experimental for up to 18 months.

During this time, the scheme may be adjusted in response to residents’ experience and feedback. The scheme can be made permanent (subject to consideration of comments received) at any point as long as it has been in place, unchanged, for at least six months.

Residents will be able to observe the measures and reflect on how they are working, and pass on their comments to the council for review by email thegrovestrial@york.gov.uk

There will be a public Executive Member for Transport decision meeting on the outcome of the trial after at least 6 months prior to confirming any permanent changes.

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport, said:

“These changes have been developed as a direct response to concerns raised by local residents, particularly regarding the level of traffic travelling through the area. It is an approach being used around the country by many local councils. While the project start was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, this has given us the opportunity to secure additional funding from the government. The plan which has the support of all three ward councillors gives us a real opportunity to improve our street environment not just for this period, but for the future as well.

Our aim is to embed active travel – walking and cycling – as part of a long-term habit and reap the associated health, air quality and congestion benefits. However, it is crucial that any of the measures we put in place work for all residents, businesses and community organisations in the area. We’ve been engaging closely with residents and businesses and will continue to do so, allowing everyone to reflect on how they are working.

Streets which are less congested or car dominated lead to much improved road safety, better air quality and more walking and cycling which can improve health and wellbeing.

They can often also lead to more social interaction, community activities and less isolation, as people feel safer and more confident being out and about in the area. Some residents are preparing a programme of activities to take advantage of the changes, which I’d urge everyone to join in with.”

For more detail on the proposals, visit www.york.gov.uk/TheGroves

Published: 26th August 2020