Popular riverside route to close for three months for flood defence works

To be replaced: the flood gate near the Perky Peacock. Photograph: YorkMix

A city centre route popular with walkers and cyclists is to close for three months for delayed flood defence work to take place.

The flood gate on riverside route Wellington Row at Lendal Bridge, next to the Perky Peacock, is set to be replaced in spring 2021.

The route under Lendal Bridge, between the Arriva building and the Perky Peacock, will be closed for three months with people diverted up towards The Maltings and across Station Road.

Ben Hughes from the Environment Agency told a council meeting: “We have to understand what we are allowed to do in the location because the bridge is historic.

“We have to dig down and create a U-shaped structure and hang the gate on that.

“We are looking at next spring to start and to be finished in June.”

He said the organisation is looking at how to time the work so it does not clash with the closure of Terry Avenue.

18 months behind

Cllr Paula Widdowson said she was disappointed by the delay to the work, adding: “That’s 18 months behind when it was originally stated and that means that that isn’t as resilient as we want it to be. It’s quiet at the moment so it would have been good to have that work done now.”

Steve Wragg, the council’s flood risk manager, said the current gate is able to defend against some large flood events.

He said: “I understand your frustration with the delay, however the gate that’s there now is of a good defence standard already.

“It’s not significantly low and can defend against some large flood events, it’s not a huge point of weakness, but we will do everything we can.”

Long-term benefit

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We understand that this could be a short-term inconvenience, but it’s for the long-term benefit of better flood protection.

“We have worked hard at trying to find a solution to keep the route open but due to the nature of the site this isn’t possible.

“We are aiming to avoiding school holidays as much as possible, following discussions with City of York Council.

“We’ll be speaking to cycling groups about the best diversion routes.”