When you see Gillygate like this, it makes you wish York would ban traffic for good

Gillygate, York. Photograph: Richard McDougall

This is Gillygate pictured on a busy Monday.

Normally choked with traffic from Bootham to Clarence Street, today it was quiet and peaceful.

Residents were able to walk down the centre of the deserted road, and breathe air free of exhaust fumes.

This is only a temporary affair. Yorkshire Water has shut the road to undertake sewer repairs.

And all the businesses are open as usual, including the fine range of cafés, restaurants and bars on the street.

If all goes to plan, Gillygate could be reopened to traffic on Friday.

But seeing it like this gives York a glimpse of what life might be like if we permanently banned traffic from the city centre.

Gillygate has some of the worst air pollution in York, and has levels of nitrogen dioxide which breach the World Health Organisation guidelines.

After the city declared a climate emergency, perhaps it is time for the city to look again at removing the traffic gridlock.

After all, imagine the whole city centre like this – every day…


6 thoughts on “When you see Gillygate like this, it makes you wish York would ban traffic for good

  1. Er, no. It looks sterile and devoid of life. And if you really think that’s a good look, then just consider the knock-on effects of increased traffic everywhere else. Note: Gillygate is not ‘unpopular’ because of the traffic. It’s less attractive to tourists and other visitors because it’s on the fringe of a small historic city – you can’t artificially create a tourist mecca by banning vehicles.

  2. I wish, Black Douglas, but there is little hope, Blue Badges are deterred from the existing foot street areas in spite of pleas for Blue Badge Access: we see no reason fro the council to to start getting nice again.

  3. I’ve often thought Gillgate should be pedestrianised as it has some lovely businesses and the traffic only detracts from the area, I also find that it makes the road less accessible as the pavements are so narrow.

  4. Of course if we used cars less and used active and public travel models more we would see much quieter streets and much better air quality. I like seeing the street without cars. You can easily allow access for blue badge holders, as goes on already. Time to push the council to act. More space for people, less space for polluting private travel.

  5. Except of course to make York inaccessible to the disabled folk. And of course, the rest of York was choked with traffic giving off even more fumes than normal. As it is those of us living in the NW are cut off from the East central by the footstreets. And to cap it all, the full service post office is now behind the footstreet barriers and at the back of an awkwardly shaped shop. Shame on someone for such idiotic planning.

Comments are closed.