Bishopthorpe Road closure set to continue for at least 2 months

Another behind closed doors decision by York Council

With almost breath taking arrogance, the York Council has issued a statement saying that the closure of the southbound lane at Bishopthorpe Road shops will continue for another 2 months.

There has been no debate about other options and a large petition – which asked for the road to be reopened – has been ignored.

No report on the success or otherwise of what the Council describes as a “trial” has been published.

One of the earliest criticisms of the scheme was that the Council had failed to identify how the success or otherwise of the project would actually be judged. It simply referred, rather loftily, to social distancing and government policy.

In reality, the array of bollards has made little difference to social distancing while the contraflow bike lane has introduced another, unwelcome, hazard for cyclists. There has been no consideration of opening up parallel routes (Darborough Street/Cherry Street & St Benedict’s Road) which would at least have provided a much shorter diversion

Bishopthorpe Road lane closure. Petition calls for lane to be reopened.

Nor has the opportunity been taken, during a relatively quiet period, to test an off peak pedestrianisation of the shops area between 10:30am and 4:00pm. Such a scheme would also have aligned with the governments policies while also providing much more room for social distancing. The impacts both economic and on transportation would have provided some real food for thought.

Too late now though, as imminent road works in the Nunnery Lane area are set to cause even bigger traffic congestion problems with the bus services one likely early victim. Works on the nearby South Bank flood alleviation scheme (subject to a planning committee decision next week) will further add to transport woes in the area.

Not content with increasing pollution levels on Scarcroft Road the new diversion via the City centre will add over a mile to some journeys.

The Council says that residents can Email them with their views. The address is

We doubt that many will bother. Rather the pressure for the Council to adopt an open and inclusive approach to decision making will mount. The Council leadership needs to move out of its bunker mentality and start to re-engage with the local community.

Kent Davison Selina Meyer Gary Cole GIF | Gfycat

We saw in 2015 what happened when a particularly stubborn administration tried to force the Lendal Bridge closure on an unwilling population.

The same will happen again unless polices and attitudes change and change quickly.

York Council now tackling weed growth issues in west York

Pleased to report that the Council has been out and about dealing with some of the issues that we have reported regarding weed growth. Several areas have been cleared this week including the little Green Lane garage forecourt. .

The Kingsway West garage forecourt area has been cleared of weeds.
Weeds have been cleared from Hotham Avenue and Sandown Close (Windsor Garth)
The Marston Avenue garage area is also now clear of weed growth

Still a lot to do. The next application of weedkiller is due at the end of the month.

Coronavirus York updates; 3rd June 2020

Deaths and cases

There were no additional hospital coronavirus deaths reported today (Wednesday). That is the third successive day without any additional deaths.

Two more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in York yesterday (Tuesday). The total now stands at 459 – an infection rate of 218.7 cases per 100,000 people.

York Council to “evolve beyond Coronavirus response”

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The York Council has issued the following (largely impenetrable) statement

“Following the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, City of York Council has developed plans to set out how the organisation will adapt and evolve moving forward.

As part of the Council’s short-term recovery plan, the ‘corporate’ recovery of the council will see the continued reinstatement of services that have been affected by the pandemic. Some reinstated services are likely to include some changes, in order to allow for social distancing and ensure the safety of residents and council staff.

In addition to the reinstatement of services, the corporate recovery plan will detail how the council will continue to work with partners to lobby the Government for additional funding, respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic, and facilitate further investment in the city.  

The council’s staff are its best asset in making this wide scale change happen, and to ensure staff are supported during this time, there will be an organisational development plan to support staff in new or amended operating models.  This includes utilising more agile and flexible working arrangements, with the right technology to enable staff to do so.

Leader of City of York Council, Cllr Keith Aspden, said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected how the council delivers services to residents and businesses.  However, we are now in a position to look forward and consider how we can best evolve to continue providing crucial services to our communities, whilst ensuring the safety of residents and staff.”

“Of course, council staff will be key in making these changes happen and that is why we are working to deliver an organisational development plan to support them in these new, agile ways of working.”

“With the considerable funding challenges posed by the crisis, we will also look to maximise our influence to secure future investment in our city.  The last few months have demonstrated how crucial local services have been to support residents during these difficult times, and the Government must recognise more funding is needed for Councils to continue providing this support.”

“Moving forward, our recovery plan will continue to prioritise resident involvement in our democratic process and we are currently developing our methods for further remote meetings.”

To help residents and businesses stay in touch with the latest developments, the council has developed regular newsletters. You can sign up at

Missed bin emptying – latest from City of York Council

The Council has published its Tuesday update on missed bin emptying and recycling collections.

It reveals failings across all types of waste collection and neighbourhoods. It is no longer promising to empty bins on the next day, but is asking residnts to continue to leave their bins out.

Although COVID social distancing requirements have influenced recycling collection performance the Council blames “capacity issues” for most of the delays.

As the first collection of garden waste has been completed, the expectation was that the second lift would have been smaller. However, it maybe that residents, who stored green waste in line with Council instructions during the lock-down period, are now filling up the bins again.

It is impossible to judge whether volume is an issue unless the Council starts to publish again the tonnage of waste – by category – that it is dealing with each week.

The Councils management must provide more information on waste management including the level of demand for booking spaces at the household waste sites and the level of use of the bulky waste removal service.

Waste service reliability was already problematic before the Coronavirus crisis hit, with an unprecedented level of failed collections during the later part of 2019.

Residents deserve to know when they can expect a reliable service to be restored?