Real time bus information reaches suburbs

Pleased to see that information screens, which indicate when the next bus will arrive, have finally reached Westfield.

They are common in other parts of the City

A screen has recently been installed at a stop on Tudor Road.

We hope that the programme will soon extend to cover busy stops like the ones on Green Lane and Foxwood Lane.

Still its some progress at a time when public transport services are facing huge pressures as a result of the pandemic

Ward budgets under review

The York Council is reviewing how the £4.8 million budget, delegated to be spent pro rata in wards across the City, is being used. Those reading the report will be little the wiser.

Even before COVID struck, there was a marked lack of transparency on the budget process while prioritisation had become an almost mystic art.

 In most parts of the City, resident involvement – the principal objective of devolution – has been almost completely missing.

Originally, the money was apportioned to be spent on

  • Local improvements (something which has been happening in the City for over 20 years).
  • “Pride in York”,
  • Safer Communities (crime prevention),
  • Highways improvements, &
  • Council estate improvements (another long running programme which is funded from rents).  

The precise division of the budget can be viewed by clicking here

Muddy paths are unusable for exercise

 In the autumn the budget was top sliced to provide funding for COVID relief. A list of the schemes benefiting can be seen by clicking here.  £55,000 has gone to a limited number of organisations.

As with the rest of the report, there are few numbers detailing how many residents have actually benefited and in what way.

Promised investment in snicket repairs hasn’t happened.

While responding to the pandemic will be viewed as a worthy initiative, the report fails to detail the Councils response to many other requests for help .

For example, the lockdown has meant that many more people are exercising on local off-road paths. The result is that many are now showing major signs of wear and tear.

It is a similar situation with the off-road cycle network.

Ward spends are closely monitored and reported on, with all ward spending published as an online ‘Officer Decision Log’ and a regularly updated spreadsheet uploaded to the open data platform

York Council report January 2021

No updates on highways, pedestrian, cycling or estate improvement schemes are provided on the Councils open data web site.

The format of most officer decisions is impenetrable click

  All in all, the system has turned into a bureaucratic labyrinth which needs to be simplified and managed properly.

Transparency, proper performance management information and resident involvement would be  good places to start.

Coronavirus York updates; 26th January 2021


SEVEN additional deaths’ announced by the York Hospital Trust. Two occurred on Sunday and five yesterday. The cumulative death toll, at the York and Scarborough hospitals, recorded since 1st September, has now reached 255.

The latest ONS figures, indicating the number of COVID fatalities among York residents, have been published. They cover the week ending 15th January 2021.

They paint a grim picture with 18 residents losing their lives in hospital and a further 6 in care homes. One fatality occurred at home bringing the weekly total to 25.

That is the second highest weekly toll since the start of the pandemic. (29 lost their lives during the week commencing 1st May 2020).

The figures differ from those published by the York Hospital Trust which covers a larger area than the City.

Test results

FORTY ONE additional positive test results announced today. That is the lowest single day figure recorded since December. Brings the cumulative total number of cases to 10,779

The rate /100k population has now fallen to 305.78. The trend suggests that case numbers could be below 200 by the weekend.

The 7 day rolling average number of cases is now below 100. At 92.0 it is the lowest figure seen since 27th December 2020.

While case numbers in York and North Yorkshire continue to reduce steadily, progress is slower across England as a whole. The Yorkshire regional figures seem to have stabilised


Testing numbers

There has been some speculation that the recent fall in positive test results can partly be explained by lower testing numbers. Essentially commentators suggested that poor weather had deterred many from getting a test.

That doesn’t appear to be the case in York where overall test numbers remain stable.

They are significantly higher than was seen at the peak of the second wave. That occurred on 16th October when a positivity rate of 15.8% was recorded (6180 PCR tests were undertaken during that week)

The third wave high occurred on 3rd January 2021 when 6843 PCR tests produced a 18.2 % positivity rate

The latest figures (20th January) saw 6399 PCR tests completed with a positivity rate of 12.2%.

In addition, an average of 934 “lateral flow” tests are being completed EACH DAY in the City.

The Council is asking residents to book a test if they are “symptom free”

The main defect with the system in York at present, is a lack of feedback on the numbers of positive results that have been recorded at the individual testing sites.

Such information might support – or otherwise – the claim being made at a national level that many of those being given positive test results, subsequently fail to follow isolation procedures.


There are currently 223 confirmed and suspected Covid-19 inpatients being cared for by the York Hospital Trust. That compares with 222 last Friday.

It also had 11 patients in intensive care, compared with 13 on Friday.

More than 50 Covid patients were discharged from York and Scarborough hospitals over the weekend

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said yesterday it had discharged a total of 1,589 Covid-19 patients to their usual place of residence or who were no longer being treated as having the illness, compared with 1,536 last Friday.


278,757 first doses, together with 1968 second doses, were administered yesterday. In total across the UK, 6,853,327 people have now had their first dose and 472,446 their second dose.