A Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed that an extra 300 vehicles an hour will be diverted onto Clifton Bridge, and its approach roads, when Lendal Bridge is closed to cars in August.
This is likely to have a much greater effect on congestion levels than the recently discontinued “on road” cycle lane at Clifton Green.
The biggest problems are likely to arise between 4:00pm and 5:00pm although the effect on weekend traffic volumes is currently unknown.
The FOI request asked the Council to reveal the forecast hourly volumes of traffic which would cross York’s 6 river bridges both before and after the Lendal closure.
The Council responded with estimates but failed to distinguish between volumes during school holidays and at other times of the year.
It also appears that the model they have used, to inform the Councils decision, could not provide an indication of the increases in average journey times that motorists would face.
The Council did, however, admit that junction queues on Foss Islands Road would add around 2 minutes to an off peak journey.
Further research has revealed that drivers could see their journey times double.
Those living closest to the City centre will face the longest increase in journey times. They will have to divert to use either the Clifton Bridge or the inner ring road.
It is estimated that a resident who drives from Monks Cross to the Railway Station and back – during the closure period – will incur additional fuel costs of £87 a year as a result of the 5 extra miles that they will complete each day
The Council spent around £300,000 a couple of years ago updating its traffic forecasting model. It is deeply worrying that the model apparently cannot provide more detailed information, about the effects on queue lengths, that a Lendal Bridge closure will have.
Even more worrying is the fact that it appears that the decision to advertise the plan, was taken without those responsible being given figures which indicated the additional time that journeys would take and the costs of the extra mileage that residents would incur.
It is expected that the proposal will be debated again by the full Council at its meeting on 18th July