A plan to close Micklegate Bar to outbound motorised traffic, first put forward by Labour’s Micklegate councillor Johnny Crawshaw, comes into effect this Monday, December 10th. Cllr Crawshaw proposed the plan to help preserve the structural integrity of the historic gateway.
Speaking at a council meeting in July, he said “The shameful truth is Micklegate bar stood for 800 years undamaged, through the siege of York in 1644, but it’s being damaged now for the sake of our convenience. If you go and look at the bottom part of the gateway the oldest part you’ll see scrapes and scars from a century’s worth of vehicle collisions.
“The time has come to look after it a bit better so that it can stand for another 800 years and more as the gateway to our great city.”
The new rules coming into force next week closes the bar to all traffic heading in the direction of Blossom Street except for bicycles and pedestrians. At the July council meeting, Cllr Crawshaw’s motion was amended to allow for a consultation period, and was eventually approved by the planning committee in September.
The decision was to conduct an 18 month trial period, although councillors have expressed the hope that this will be made permanent before that time has elapsed. The hope is that the closure will also help local businesses, with the reduction in traffic encouraging more pedestrians into the Micklegate area.
Speaking after the closure was announced, Cllr Crawshaw said: “Micklegate Bar is a jewel in York’s heritage crown so it’s great to know that this important scheduled monument will be protected from any future damage by motor vehicles. The closure also represents a great opportunity to re-imagine Micklegate as a more people-friendly street. I have been and will continue working with the Micklegate Business Initiative and local residents to ensure that both Micklegate and the wider area benefit from this change”.