Lendal Bridge – more stats creep out. Transport boss heads for Orkney

Lendal Bridge

Lendal Bridge

Following yesterdays Lendal Bridge story – in which we revealed that the York Council had failed to live up to its promise to publish monthly monitoring reports – the statistics for period 6 (February) have now appeared on their web site.

A total of 53,605 drivers had been fined for crossing Lendal Bridge during restricted hours by the end of February.

In addition 15,907 fines had been issued on Coppergate.

The full figures can be downloaded from here

Meanwhile other monitoring data can be found by clicking here.

Most Park and Ride journeys are taking longer with the number 2 service for Rawcliffe via Leeman Road the worst affected showing an increase in journey time of around 2 minutes.

Traffic volumes are up on Clifton Bridge, Foss Islands Road, Shipton Road and Malton Road.

Not surprisingly, Clifton Bridge is worst affected (+167 vehicle movements)

Meanwhile the media are reporting that Daren Richardson, who has been the Director of Planning and Transport for the York Council for the last 18 months, is quitting the City and heading for Orkney.

It is unclear whether he hopes to take any of York’s bridges with him!

York jobseekers figures released

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics have shown a 28.3% fall in the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in York, since February 2013.

Today’s statistics have shown an increase of 47 people claiming Job Seekers Allowance compared to last month’s figures meaning there are now 2230 claimants in the city, the lowest February figure since February 2008.

The claimant count represents 1.7% of the working population and stands less than half the regional average of 3.9%. The figures are also much lower than the national average, which stands at 3.0%. However.

Today’s figures also revealed a 45.5% decrease in the number of 18-24 year olds, claiming over one year. The statistics showed a decrease of 10 people claiming JSA from last month, meaning there are now 60 claiming, 50 less than one year ago.

The results also showed the number of claimants out of work for over one year has decreased by 20 from last month, totalling 500, this represents a 24.2% decrease of 160 from one year ago.

Youth unemployment was also shown to have decreased 35.7% since February 2013.

Vince Cable

Vince Cable MP

Figures published today by the Office for National Statistics show that the level of unemployment has fallen again nationally.

Unemployment figures have fallen by 63,000 to 2.33 million in the three months to January 2014. The number of people in employment has risen to 30.19 million.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable said:


LibDems demand answers on York Green Belt questions

Liberal Democrat councillors are calling for an urgent update on controversial plans to build 22,000 houses in York.

Labour run City of York Council’s Draft Local Plan proposes building 22,000 houses over the next 15 years, including thousands on Green Belt land. Public consultation on the plan closed in July last year and over 14,000 responses were received – the vast majority in opposition to the proposals.

Green Belt campaign logo

However, eight months after the consultation closed the full responses have still not been published and there has been no opportunity for councillors or residents to publically discuss the plan or the public reaction.

No dates for meetings have been included in the Council’s Forward Programme of decision dates (published this week) which covers all major issues scheduled to be considered during the forthcoming 4 months

Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Planning and Sustainability, commented:

“Thousands of residents took the time last summer to study the plans and respond to the consultation. It is ridiculous that eight months later these views have still not been fully published and the concerns raised have not been addressed.

“Labour should immediately publish these responses in full and organise a meeting of the council’s cross-party Local Plan Working Group. They need to give opposition councillors and residents the chance to discuss the issues and their concerns. Labour need to tell residents what is going on and publish a detailed timetable. At the moment residents are being kept in the dark and feel they are being ignored.

“The whole process is being shrouded in secrecy by Labour and in the meantime planning applications on the Green Belt, such as Becks Lane in Strensall, are being approved on an ad-hoc basis. We also know that the council is already talking to developers about building at other key Green Belt sites.”

At the meeting of York’s Full Council next week (Thursday 27th) Cllr Reid will ask the Labour Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability the following questions:

  • When will a timetable of meetings be published at which residents can make representations on the (revised) Local Plan proposals?
  • Why is it taking so long to publish – as promised – the written comments and objections which the Council received following its initial consultation on the Draft Local Plan last year?
  • What is the proposed timetable for the preparation of the Local Plan up to, and beyond, the Examination in Public (Public Inquiry)?

Monk Stray licensing application – background papers published

Monk Stray licensing notice

The York Council has now published details of the event it is planning to hold on Monk Stray as part of the Tour de France.

Details of the licensing application can be found by clicking here

As residents suspected, the licensing application would allow events to be staged on Monk Stray for 14 days (each year). In other words it is not a “one off” event as claimed by Labour spokespeople.

286 representations have been made on the application.

This is one of the highest levels of objection ever received to a licensing application in York.

The Police have insisted that the Council amend its proposals to reduce the area that any event can take place on and to control the sale of alcohol on the site

The decision on the application will be made on Tuesday 25th March at the Guildhall by 3 Councillors (2 Conservative and 1 Labour). The meeting will start at 10:00am and is open to the Press and public. Members of the public are now permitted to record the proceedings of Council meetings

In the event of the application being refused or substantially modified, the applicants (in this case, the Council itself) can make an appeal to the Magistrates Court.

The Council has been criticised for chosing to use Monk Stray for camping and “hub” activities connected with the Grand Départ. Residents have pointed to the University and Knavesmire as better located options.

NB. Liberal Democrats have again tabled questions for the Council meeting taking place on 27th March asking about the costs of the TdF and the likely income that the Council will receive to offset the £1.6 million that it is investing in the event.

The question reads:

Can the Cabinet Member outline how much additional income the Council can expect to receive from parking charges, rents, leases, licences, sponsorship and similar income streams during and after the “Grand Départ”?”