Work on replacing gas mains on Blossom Street and next to Micklegate Bar were completed 2 weeks ago it has emerged today.
Micklegate Bar was due to reopen to traffic today and the two lane closures on Blossom Street were also due to end.
Sources at Gas Networks are now suggesting that the closures could remain in place for another 3 weeks as the York Council is apparently struggling to coordinate carriageway resurfacing works.
An expected closure for further gas main replacement works on St Helens Road was due to start today, necessitating a bus route diversion. There is no sign of such a closure which was originally scheduled to start two weeks ago.
No updates have been issued on social media by either the Council or Gas Networks.
The closure, ostensibly to free space for “social distancing, has prompted opposition from residents who point to higher pollution levels on alternative routes, cyclists who feel their “contraflow” route is unsafe and motorists who have been facing a 1 mile detour plus higher journey times.
Bollards placed along the edge of the footpath have actually made social distancing for pedestrians more difficult in places.
Lack of consultation with residents has been highlighted as a major concern, while the decision to coincide the closure with road works taking place on the detour route caused particular anger.
The scheme has led to a petition being gathered which calls for the scheme to be abandoned. It has already gained 900 signatures.
Traffic queues are lengthening on Blossom Street and Nunnery Lane as we begin the first tea time “rush hour” since lock-down restrictions were eased.
The traffic is tailed back from the British Gas roadworks near the Holgate Road junction.
The Council said they would suspend the road closure on Bishopthorpe Road until the gas main replacement works were completed later in the week. This doesn’t seem to have happened, even when the shops on Bishopthorpe Road are closed.
Most other roads in the City currently have low congestion levels.
Congestion is expected to grow as more people return to work and take government advice to avoid the use of public transport.
Ageing and outdated traffic signals on the Blossom Street pedestrian crossing are set to be replaced this month by City of York Council.
Works will start on Sunday 30 June and are estimated to finish on Thursday 11 July.
New, more reliable, traffic signals will be installed and improvements will be made to the pedestrian crossing outside the cinema too.
The new technology being installed will help to improve journey times and reliability on Blossom Street and ease congestion in the area.
The new traffic signals will also be cheaper to run and more reliable. It will also enable the new systems to link direct to the council’s Traffic and Control Centre, so that the Network Monitoring Officers can manage the flow of traffic better in busy periods by adjusting traffic lights to best suit traffic conditions.
To help minimise disruption work will be carried out from 9.30am – 4pm during the week and also will take place on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am – 4pm. Temporary signals replicating, as closely as possible, the current operation of the junction will be in place throughout the works.
To allow for the works to be undertaken safely it will be necessary, at certain times, to close lanes. This will only be undertaken outside the peak periods to limit traffic disruption and delay.
During the works it is anticipated that there will be significant delays when travelling through the junction.
A temporary signalised crossing will be provided during construction to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. Pedestrian route, cycle routes and access to all businesses and properties will be retained throughout the duration of the works.
Those using the route are urged to plan ahead, allow more time for journeys on these routes and to consider alternatives and to use public transport where possible. Bus services will be operating as normal for the majority of the works but passengers are requested to visit www.itravelyork.info/for more information.