York Council plans for “Back to the Bus” recovery

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Following publication of a National Bus Strategy on 15th March, a report will be taken to City of York Council’s next Executive on 20th May.

The report will set out how the council will support a flourishing network of bus services as York recovers from the pandemic.

The new guidance from the Department for Transport asks local authorities to set up an enhanced partnership with operators to improve services and ensure we build back better.  If the report taken to Executive on 20 May 2021 is endorsed, the council will begin to develop a plan to improve the network in conjunction with operators and stakeholders. An early focus is likely to be on how new types of ticketing can be introduced to make it easier and cheaper to travel on any bus in the city.  Other work will include improving the information available to passengers, improving passenger representation within the bus partnership and how measures to make bus services faster and more punctual can be introduced in York.

Bus services have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. In spring 2020 the number of people travelling by bus fell to around 10% of pre-covid levels.  However, passenger volumes in York are now approaching 50% of the level they were in 2019, and there is an expectation of further recovery as restrictions change later this month.

The National Bus Strategy requires councils and operators across England to form an enhanced partnership with operators by July 2021 or risk losing the covid relief funding which is being paid to keep bus services running whilst passenger numbers are suppressed during the pandemic.  Councils must then develop and publish a plan to improve services by October 2021. The Bus Service Improvement Plan will form part of York’s fourth Local Transport Plan and could potentially be used to bid for additional funds from central government – for example to continue the process of electrifying York’s bus network or support lower fares.

Options for the provision of bus services in York include developing the existing quality bus partnership – which is voluntary – into an enhanced partnership (which would be contractual) or franchising bus services.  These options will be carefully considered as part of the Bus Service Improvement Plan.

The work being undertaken is funded initially by a one-off grant of £100,000 which the Department for Transport has paid to all local transport authorities in England.  It is proposed that a further report is bought to Executive in September 2021, setting out the detail and contents of York’s Bus Service Improvement Plan.

Low emission vehicle interchange for delivery vehicles could be piloted in York

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A new pilot project could be introduced in York’s city centre to use low emission modes of transport to help improve air quality and congestion caused by delivery vehicles.

E-cargo bikes and ultra-low emission vehicles could be introduced for the first and last mile of deliveries to help address these issues.

City of York Council has been awarded £297,237 from the Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Air Quality Grant Scheme to look at these measures.

If approved, an interchange or small consolidation centre would be created to hold goods, so there could be an exchange of goods and change of delivery mode, e.g. from van to e-cargo bike.

As part of the feasibility study, engagement will be undertaken with businesses and delivery companies operating in York, which will learn from companies who are already operating similar models.

Reducing deliveries from HGVs, LGVs and vans predominantly in York’s inner ring road, is expected to enable a reduction in associated emissions.

LGVs and HGVs currently make up approximately 14 per cent of the traffic flow on Gillygate and account for approximately 1,775 vehicle movements per day, within the current city centre York’s Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

Other additional benefits of reducing movements of HGVs, LGVs and vans especially within the city centre, will include improving pedestrian safety and a potential reduction in damage from such vehicles to historic monuments.

The fastest growing expansion of urban road vehicles are vans and LGV’s [Independent Transport Commission. 2017. How can we improve urban freight distribution in the UK? Challenges and solutions].

With deliveries also expected to increase there is a need to address HGV and LGV movements in the city. Given the tendency for HGV/LGV’s to be diesel vehicles, which emit NOx and PM, and with expected constraints on capacity for deliveries within York’s city centre, there is a need to identify how freight logistics can address these problems.

If approved by Councillors at an Executive meeting later this month, the funding from DEFRA will support a feasibility study and a pilot project, which will be contracted out through the council’s procurement process.

The project will allow the council to continue with delivery of its current Air Quality Action Plan and associated Low Emission Strategy.  This scheme will compliment other air quality improvement work streams, particularly the city centre Clean Air Zone

Officers will return to the Executive in Autumn 2021 with further information on further details of the pilot scheme.

Police issue warning over counterfeit bank notes

North Yorkshire Police has had several reports of counterfeit cash being used in the last few weeks to pay for a range of items including secondhand goods and takeaways.

Most reports have been from the York area but we believe the currency maybe used elsewhere in the county too. The fake notes have been used to pay for second hand items bought through Facebook Marketplace and Ebay, as well as for food items and takeaways.

The currency is very crudely created, the notes tend to be opaque and much thicker material than authentic notes. Many of the notes have also been printed ‘Poonds’ instead of ‘Pounds’ and some even feature the small print: ‘This money is play money for video movie use only’.

We’re urging the public to be extremely careful when accepting cash payments and to check that notes are genuine. The Bank of England have the following advice around checking for genuine notes:

  • Tilt the note from side to side. Check the images change between a ‘£’ symbol and the number ’20’.
  • Hold the note up to the light. Check there is a bright ‘£20’ at the top of the Queen’s portrait.
  • There are alternating images of Adam Smith along the foil strip. The position of foil patches can vary on notes. To the right of the Chief Cashier’s signature, the number ’20’ is embossed over the foil strip.
  • The note is printed on special paper that gives it a unique feel. On the front of the note, you can feel raised print. For example, on the words ‘Bank of England’ and in the bottom right corner, around the number ’20’.
  • Under a good quality ultra-violet light, the number ’20’ appears in bright red and green on the front of the note, against a duller background. You can see bright red and green flecks on both the front and back of the note.
  • A metallic thread is embedded in the note and appears as silver dashes on the back. When the note is held up to the light, the thread appears as a continuous dark line.

An investigation into these counterfeit notes is currently ongoing and if you think you have been paid using counterfeit currency, please call 101 to report this. Ref: 12210103581

Coronavirus York updates; 12th May 2021


There have been no further deaths at the York Hospital Trust today

Test results

Eight additional positive test results have been recorded. That brings the cumulative total up to 12,329

The number of cases in the City has increased from 29 to 35,

The rate /100k population figure has increased to 16.62. It is expected to rise to over 18 before falling off again towards the weekend.



The government has confirmed that it will start to roll out vaccinations to 38 and 39 year old’s from tomorrow.


  • 4,052 PCR tests were conducted in York during the week ending 7th May 2021
  • Of these, 0.6% were positive. That was lower than the 0.8% positives recorded on the previous day.
  • In addition 1739 “lateral flow” tests were conducted om 11th May.


Outbreak Management Board meeting next week

City of York Outbreak Management Advisory Board – Wednesday, 19 May 2021 5.30 pm


  1. Declarations of Interest
  2. Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 April 2021
  3. 3.Current Situation in York – Presentation
  4. York Outbreak Management Plan
  5. Update from Sub-Group: Universities and Higher Education Establishments
  6. Communications Update
  7. Items for Next Agenda
  8. Dates of Future Meetings
  9. Any Other Business

Proof of vaccination

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status allows you to show others that you’ve had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine when travelling abroad to some countries or territories. A full course is currently 2 doses of any approved vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccination status is available to people who live in England.

You can get your vaccination status in digital or paper format.

The service will go live from Monday 17 May.

How to access your COVID-19 vaccination status
Through the NHS App

You can access your COVID-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App from 17 May. You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. We recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel.

By calling 119

If you do not have access to a smartphone and know that the country you are travelling to requires COVID-19 vaccination status, you can call the NHS helpline on 119 (from 17 May) and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 working days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine. We expect the letter to take up to 5 working days to reach you.

The letter will be sent automatically to the address registered with your GP. The 119 call handler you speak to will not be able to see your address to check this with you. If you’ve recently moved house, make sure you’ve given your new address to your GP practice before calling 119.

Do not contact your GP surgery about your COVID-19 vaccination status. GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 vaccination status.

Using the NHS App

To use the NHS App, you must be:

If you’re aged 13 to 15, you’ll need to contact your GP surgery to request access to GP online services before you can use the app.

Find out more about the NHS App (click)

We recommend that you register with the NHS App:

  • before booking your international travel
  • at least 2 weeks before your departure date and once you’ve had a full course of vaccinations, which is currently 2 doses of an approved vaccine