York transport boss abused by some drivers over road closures

HUGE concrete blocks are now being deployed to bolster road closures in a York neighbourhood after planters installed yesterday were damaged. York transport boss Cllr Andy D'Agorne was out today in The Groves for the second day running to supervise the installation of the blocks, despite him being abused by some drivers yesterday. He said it had been thought the planters would be sufficient to prevent traffic cutting through the area - as part of a City of York Council trial road closure scheme aimed at improving air quality, reducing traffic and strengthening community spirit - until some were struck and damaged.

He said the blocks were available in a council depot and so a decision was taken to bring them in and create stronger barriers across the streets. He said some drivers unable to drive through The Groves had abused him yesterday but this didn't worry him. "If they want to be abusive that's their problem," he said. He stressed that some drivers simply did not understand what was going on, despite pre-publicity about the road closures, leaving many to drive up roads such as Penleys Grove Street and then have to perform a three-point turn to go back again, and he believed the problems would settle down in time.

An angry resident has contacted The Press to say the scheme was hugely supported by local residents but vandals had removed and upturned planters which had been 'lovingly prepared by local disabled people and placed at the junction of Park Grove and Neville Terrace.' He said:"The plants have been discarded and ruined. Presumably the vandals are those same criminals who for years, unhindered by the Council and the Police, have blatantly driven through the No Entry sign in order to use the cut through as a rat run...

"How naive not to have placed permanent concrete bollards for the length of the trial."

The road closure points have been introduced at the junction of Lowther Street/Brownlow Street, and on St Johns Crescent, Penleys Grove Street, Neville Terrace and Earle Street, while Brownlow Street and March Street have become one-way streets except for cyclists and Penleys Grove Street is now two-way to allow traffic to exit onto Monkgate from this part of The Groves.

The council is encouraging drivers to cycle or walk for local journeys where possible, in line with its priorities of promoting sustainable travel.

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