In 2016 the NRM produced a public consultation document entitled “York Central and our future vision”. This outlined the NRM’s proposals for its future expansion. In parallel, proposals for the development of the York Central site were being developed, including options for a transport network serving the site. These included proposals for either closing Leeman Road completely or restricting it to public transport only. Both proposals would affect the operation of the NRM.
In November 2017 City of York Council voted to support a direct access into the York Central site from Water End to the north, passing through the Millennium Green, a legally protected area. It is not yet clear if this option could be funded and progressed within the necessary timescale, nor what impact it might have on Leeman Road.
In the circumstances it seems appropriate to consider a future NRM development which could be carried through whatever the final decision on major road proposals might be.
Proposal (read with drawings NRM1 and NRM2 below)
(a) – to allow Leeman Road to remain open throughout, for either general use or for public transport use only. Note that bridge clearances at both ends of the road preclude the use of high vehicles.
(b) – to reconfigure the NRM proposals to reinforce connectivity across both existing sites, keeping both entrances open. There need be little change in floorspace requirements.
(c) – to vertically realign the Leeman Road carriageway to pass under the proposed building expansion through a cut-and-cover underpass with the same height restrictions as apply to the two existing bridges.
The NRM could take forward its plans, which need not be delayed due to uncertainties over the timescale and overall development of the York Central site. Public access to both entrances to the museum would continue. The important direct circular Park-and-Ride service from Rawcliffe Bar would not be affected.
The need to close a section of Leeman Road during construction, during which time traffic diversions would be in place. The need to obtain necessary legal powers to close the road. The need to realign or divert underground services (note that both entrances to the museum would remain open). Presumably these items would be the responsibility of the York Central Partnership.
The cost of the scheme would be set against the cost of the circuitous route by-passing the NRM as shown on the initial public consultation plans, and built into the total York Central budget
Philip Crowe DipArch Nov 2017