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Key cycle route reopens – a month after being closed for two years due to construction work and cyclists diverted onto “accident black spot”

Last month LNER announced that the gates to the cycle path would be shut until 2025, forcing local cyclists to use a lengthy diversion on an “unsafe” road – but the railway company has now relented following pressure from the council

A popular cycle route is due to reopen following pressure from local cyclists and the council – just over a month after it was closed by LNER due to construction work on York railway station, forcing cyclists to use a lengthy diversion featuring a road locals described as “dangerous and unsafe” and “one of the worst roads in the city for cycling”.

In March, LNER closed the gates at the Lowther Terrace entrance to the York Station cycle path, a key route for cyclists and pedestrians from the station to the south of the city.

The closure – which was due to last for around 18 months – was deemed necessary by LNER thanks to construction work on the York Station Gateway development, a £25 million scheme designed to improve access to the station and create new public squares, with the railway company noting “safety concerns” concerning the bottleneck at the station building end of the car park.  

A notice attached to the closed gate at the entrance to the cycle path read: “From Thursday 14 March these gates will no longer be in use until late 2025.

“This is due to the increase in construction work around the station car park and for the safety of all station users. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The lengthy closure did not go down well, however, with many local cyclists, who branded it a “nightmare” and noted that the nearest route, Blossom Street, is a notoriously dangerous one for people on bikes.

> Mayor promises to reassess “risky” cycle route diversion on busy “unsafe” road – but says making cyclists use narrow pavement will not create conflict with pedestrians

“It’s ridiculous,” one local told York Mix at the time of the closure. “This is the fastest way from the train station to the south of York – it probably adds an extra ten minutes on my journey, going all the way around.”

“As you have decided to close bike access to the station from Lowther Terr for almost two years what have you put in place for cyclist safety on alternative routes?” Sarah Opie asked Network Rail, York Central, and City of York Council on X.

“It’s a black spot for accidents with virtually no cycle infrastructure.”

“Active travel reduces pollution and improves health, but the LNER closure of station access, and proposed closure of Leeman Road, will stop many people cycling,” added the York Cycle Campaign.

“Blossom Street is one of the worst roads in the city for cycling and urgently needs a safe route through this black spot.”

However, this week, following discussion with council officers, LNER have agreed to reopen the route from Friday 19 April.

Pete Kilbane, the deputy leader of York City Council, told York Mix: “Our thanks go to residents for their patience while we worked with LNER to find a way to safely reopen the Lowther Terrace gates at around 8pm on Friday April 19.

“The gates were initially closed due to safety concerns around the bottleneck at the station building end of the car park. These new arrangements will allow all pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to move safely through the car park.

“For the arrangements to operate successfully it is incumbent on all users to follow the set routes. We continue to work with LNER and Network Rail to try and ensure active travel routes through the car park during the works, though we acknowledge this may not be possible when construction activity is at its height.”

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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