More traffic congestion expected.

Coppergate one way traffic restrictions in place from Sunday, for up to 8 weeks

One way traffic restrictions will be put in place on Coppergate, located in the city centre of York, for up to 8 weeks from this Sunday (1 September).

This is in order for the owner of a privately owned property to carry out maintenance works on Coppergate.

These works require scaffolding and due to the narrow width of footpath and carriageway in that location, City of York Council is required to put a one way traffic system in place for the duration of the works.

From Sunday 1 September vehicles (with the exception of cyclists) will only be able to travel on Coppergate one way westbound with diversions for eastbound traffic via Tower Street and Piccadilly.

There will be a lane set out for cyclists at the Piccadilly end of Coppergate at the signals.

All eastbound bus routes which normally use Coppergate will divert via Clifford Street, Tower Street and Piccadilly.

Delays are expected at peak times, so please allow extra time for your journey. Visit for more information about bus journeys.

The restrictions have been planned to be put in place for up to 8 weeks, although the works are likely to be removed earlier if the works are completed. 

For more information about roadworks in York, visit

Media haven’t got the whole story on weed growth in the City

The Press and other local media outlets are running stories today about excessive weed growth on paths and in drainage channels in the City. The local Tories are criticising the Lib Dem/Green administration for the problems. The published stories give the impression that the Tories have been actively campaigning on the issue.

That is misleading.

Problems with the effectiveness of the weed spraying contract became apparent in May. As the contract was relatively new, and responsible executive members were busy changing roles post the local elections, It seemed fair to allow a few weeks for things to settle down and for the chemical treatments to take effect.

We reported serval dozen problem areas including the longstanding weed problem on the parapets of the Ouse Bridg,e together with a build-up of silt on many traffic islands.

Nothing much seemed to happen. As usual with this sort of report there was no feedback from the Council to those who had highlighted the problems.

Tongue in cheek, in early July we launched a “biggest weed contest”.

There was still no response from Council officials. Councillors were notified but the only response came from Mark Warters who was having problems in his Osbaldwick ward.

6 more weeks passed and we felt we had no option but to make a formal complaint (see below). This was tabled on 15th August. It was copied to the Councils leadership.

An official replied on 21st August blaming the weather for the problems.

The complaint was escalated on 22nd August and we await a further response.

The Council’s leadership did announce yesterday (Wednesday) that they would conduct a review of weed control processes at a meeting which will be held in October. What happens in the interim remains unclear.

We are quite clear that a blitz on weeds and overgrown hedges, using mechanical removal methods, is needed urgently.

One other aspect that needs to be clarified is the responsibility for keeping former trunk roads like the A59 clear. Highways England confirmed that it was down to local authorities to deal with these highways. Yet the Council’s current weed control contract seems to exclude these roads (they have certainly not been sprayed).

We have submitted a Freedom of Information request in an attempt to clarify the situation.

Ironically a review of performance indicators, being considered by the Councils Executive later today, pointedly puts no focus on the appearance of the City’s streets.

While the Tories are being opportunistic in highlighting the current weed problems, they might have a point if a Council, committed at the recent election to raising street level public service standards, failed to address quickly and effectively significant failures when they have been identified.

Volunteers helping nature conservation in west York

….but little Hob Moor getting overgrown

Hob Moor

Invasive weeds were being cut back on Hob Moor yesterday. The area is fortunate in having supporters who will undertake this sort of task with the Friends of Hob Moor one of the most successful of local amenity societies

The Friends of Hob Moor organise various interpretation events.

However, there are some problems on the Moor. Hedges have become overgrown with several paths, including part of Kingsway West, being obstructed.

The cycle path link to the railway tunnel is becoming overgrown.

Little Hob Moor (adjacent to Tadcaster Road) is showing signs of neglect.

Weeds haven’t been sprayed and are now overwhelming the cycle barriers
Areas around street furniture need to be sprayed or strimmed .The grass was cut yesterday 28th August)

So there is some work to be done. As this area is off the public highway (and relatively “safe”) gardening could be undertaken by – suitably equipped – volunteers. The Council does, however, need to add amenity area management to its promised weed control review agenda.

Forged tenancy agreements used in council tax fraud

An investigation into a council tax fraud involving forged tenancy agreements has been uncovered and successfully prosecuted by City of York Council.

Joanne Smith (aged 39 previously of Howden Lane, Crockey Hill), provided the council with three forged private tenancy agreements for properties within the York area between 2017 and 2018.

The agreements stated that she was the sole tenant at each property, when in fact she had an additional adult living with her. This meant she was not entitled to the £1,202.43 council tax reduction nor the £618.34 single person discount that she claimed.

An investigation into the authenticity of these tenancy agreements was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service. Veritau were notified of the fraud following concerns that the documents Miss Smith had provided were false and were an attempt to obtain a reduction to her council tax that she was not entitled to.

During the course of the investigation, Miss Smith was interviewed under caution by Veritau officers and admitted to forging one of the tenancy agreements, and that she had provided it to the council to obtain a reduction to her council tax.

The investigation concluded with Miss Smith pleading guilty to one charge of fraud and six charges of forgery and counterfeiting at York Magistrates Court on Monday 29 July 2019.

On Tuesday 20 August 2019, Miss Smith was sentenced by York Magistrates to a 14-month custodial sentence suspended for 18 months and 20 days of rehabilitation activity. She was also ordered to repay £1,820.77 which is the full amount of council tax reduction and single person discount, and to pay a victim surcharge of £115.

In her defence, the mitigating circumstances offered were that she and her children have health issues and that she had suffered a family bereavement in 2017.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Finance and Performance, said: “This is a case of fraud against the authority, made all the more serious by involving forged documents.

“The actions in this case were an attempt to defraud the public purse. We encourage anyone with any information on suspected fraudulent activity to phone the fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email .”