Coronavirus York updates; 24th June 2021

Hospital patient numbers and deaths

There has been an increase in the number of patients being treated for COVID in local hospitals.

There have been no further deaths

The latest government figures covering the period up to 11th June show there have been no further deaths of York residents. The total number of fatalities remains at 379.

Test results

103 positive test results. Brings cumulative total up to 13,139

The number of cases in the City has increased from 238 to 269

The 83 positive test results recorded on Tuesday was the highest single day figure seen since 20th January 2021.

Rate /100k pop rises to 126.77. However the infection rate is now rising rapidly with the 200 threshold likely to be broken next week.


The University/Fulford area now has an infection rate above 400. It is the first time that we have seen that threshold exceeded since January 2021. At 441% week on week the infection growth rates are the highest seen anywhere in the City this year.

Several other neighbourhoods – mainly on the east of the City – are also showing very high infection growth rates.

Perhaps surprisingly there has been little public comment or action from the responsible authorities about this deteriorating situation.


Over 50% of adults in all neighbourhoods in York have now had their first jab. There have been big increases this week in areas like Heslington and Tang Hall

Neighbourhoods with the largest percentage of double doses are Dunnington. Wigginton and Bishopthorpe


  • 6156 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 19th June 2021
  • Of these, 4.0% were positive. That is higher than the 3.9% found during the previous period
  • In additional 3381 lateral flow test were conducted on 23rd June.

“Drop in” for a jab

Nimbuscare are staging a series of walk-in, pop-up Covid vaccination clinics at venues across the city during the coming week to try to reach local people over the age of 18 years who have not yet received their first dose.

All eligible patients are welcome to turn up on the day, but it is possible to book an appointment in advance through your GP surgery if you prefer to do so.

Anyone who has not yet received their first dose is encouraged to attend one of the following clinics:

  • Saturday 26 June, from 8.30am to 1.40pm, at Jorvik Gillygate Practice on Stonebow (Astra Zeneca).
  • Sunday 27 June, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, at Priory Medical Group’s Tang Hall Lane Surgery (Pfizer).
  • Monday 28 June, from 12.45pm to 5pm, at Burnholme Sports Centre (Pfizer).
  • Tuesday 29 June, from 8.30am to 7.30pm, at the University of York (Pfizer).
  • Wednesday 30 June, from 5pm to 8.30pm, at York St. John University (Pfizer).
  • Thursday 1 July, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, at  York St. John University (Pfizer).
  • Friday 2 July, from 8.30am to 7.30pm, at York St. John University (Pfizer).
  • Saturday 3 July, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, at Priory Medical Group’s Tang Hall Lane Surgery (Pfizer).
  • Sunday 4 July, from 8.45am to 3pm, at Burnholme Sports Centre (Pfizer).

Time to end secrecy of “all party” transport group”

Councillors from all parties represented on the York Council have apparently been holding meetings to discuss future transport policies. It is likely that the deliberations will influence the fourth edition of the upcoming “Local Transport Plan”

There have been tensions between the main groups represented on the Council since Labour “bounced” an anti-car motion though the Council shortly after the last local elections.

The motion sought to ban “inessential journeys” within the “City Walls”. No traffic impact modelling was commissioned before the motion was passed. They have subsequently made no attempt to define what an “inessential journey” is or how any such definition could be enforced.

The motion would mean the reintroduced of restrictions/tolls on the use of Lendal Bridge as well as Ouse Bridge.

Labour’s defeat at the last local elections owed much to their traffic ban on Lendal bridge, with its chief architect – Dave Merrett – losing his Council seat.

Now “behind closed doors” meetings have apparently  been taking place in an attempt to find a consensus.

There are concerns that Councillors are being bullied into accepting an extreme transport plan fronted by a small number of members from the York Civic Trust. They have used the cover of a retired University transport lecturer to give their plans credibility.

Liberal Democrat Councillors would be wise to  abandon this secretive approach to policy formulation. Something more inclusive is needed.

If history tell us anything, then it is that the residents of York will not tolerate a “we know what’s best for you” attitude from its elected representatives.

Guildhall lease being signed

The Council is apparently on the verge of signing a lease which will see the University of York take over the running of the York Guildhall. It was reported some time ago that they will try to establish a business club on the premises.


The Council has reserved a right to use the Council chamber for their meetings.

The hugely expensive (£21.7 million)  renovation project has already run over budget. There are fears that further cost increases may be in the pipeline.

A report to a meeting taking place today, says

The early project challenges associated with the underpinning, piling, high river levels and archaeology, which extended the contract period and costs were report last November, along with the agreed mitigation measures and budget support. There is ongoing budget pressure in relation to the projected contract out-turn and this will continue to be repeated through future monitoring reports. However, the project is on track to deliver the agreed outcomes and the lease agreement with University of York Science Park Ltd should be concluded in the next quarter, securing the agreed income generation”

The comment about the University lease has prompted some social media comment with conservation groups keen to ensure that public access is maintained at least for the key historic parts of the  site (Guildhall, committee room 1, Council chamber).

The original hope had been that more access would be available to access previously “off limits” areas.

These include the historic battlement river frontage and the, now subterranean, “Common Hall Lane”

So far the Council has given no guarantees on this issue.

In turn “York Walls” has now tweeted saying that the Universities record on allowing public access to other historical buildings such as Kings Manor and Heslington Hall gives them cause of concern.

Some work to do here we think!

Future of Willow House site

Willow House stands abandoned

Residents are being invited to start a “conversation” about plans for the Willow House site next to the Bar Walls.

It is the first sign of activity by the Council on a property which has been empty and unused for over 5 years. Together with the former Oakhaven care home in Acomb, it is one of the Councils major ongoing embarrassments.

News that any redevelopment planning application will not be ready for over 12 months will just add to residents frustrations.

Given the value of the site (over £3 million), it is a surprise that the Council are going to seek to redevelop the site itself using its “Shape Homes” front organisation.

The Council says, “The first drop-in event on the site of the former Willow House on Walmgate, will start sharing ideas between residents and architects from Stirling Prize-winners Mikhail Riches. This will include asking residents about the area and what they would want from new homes and open spaces.

It is hoped that the site which was an outdated care home can be added to the council’s ambitious Housing Delivery Programme. The programme will deliver 600 homes with twice the number of affordable homes required by planning and built to be highly energy efficient.

This will be the first of a series of three resident consultation events for this site, the same approach as was used successfully on other Housing Delivery Programme sites at Duncombe Barracks, Burnholme and Ordnance Lane”.

Willow House site
Willow House

The drop-in event will take place on 29 June from 4-7pm on the green next to Walmgate Bar. Residents can also join a walk around the site at 5pm. In the autumn, we’ll invite residents to a hands-on design workshop with the team and, early in the new year, we will also organise a local exhibition and an online survey on the plans to date. A full planning application is planned to be submitted by summer 2022.

Barbican site

Meanwhile, just over the road from Willow House, the long term empty building site next to the Barbican has apparently been occupied by squatters. Whether this improves the appearance of one of York’s biggest eyesores – and missed opportunities – remains to be seen.

Certainly, according to media reports, the protestors have a very naïve view of what can be achieved using the Council’s compulsory purchase powers.

Yet fundamentally they are right. Persimmons – the owners – have consistently failed to explain why they haven’t developed what is a valuable prime site. Their position is doubly confusing when judged against a background of continuing heavy demand for city centre properties in the City.

They have exacerbated the problem by failing to keep the area tidy.

We doubt that the York Council would do any better – they have left too many of their own properties vacant in the City (see above) to able to preach.

There may be a germ of an good idea, though, if a “Friends of Barbican Park” group could take over the maintenance of the area. At least in the short term, it has potential to be a welcome “natural area” in what otherwise is a largely concrete enclave.

Certainly those who walk the City Walls would appreciate an improved view.

Acomb Front Street pedestrian crossing upgrade

Ageing and outdated traffic signals on the Front Street, Acomb, are set to be replaced this month by City of York Council.

Works are estimated to take around two weeks to complete and will start on Monday 5 July and is expected to be fully completed by Friday 16 July.

New, more reliable, traffic signals will be installed on the crossing as part of the Traffic Signal Asset Renewal Programme.

The new traffic signals will be cheaper to run and more reliable.  It will also enable the new systems to link direct to the council’s Traffic and Control Centre, so that the Network Monitoring Officers can manage the flow of traffic better in busy periods by adjusting traffic lights to best suit traffic conditions.

To help minimise disruption works will be carried out from 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

To allow for the works to be undertaken safely, it will be necessary to close a lane of the carriageway and operate temporary signals during the works. 

Everything will be done to keep delays to a minimum, but motorists are expected to experience some delays while the works are underway. 

Twenty metres of on street parking to the west of the crossing on both sides of the road will be suspended, to allow for the works to take place.

The council will be undertaking pedestrian crossing upgrades on Front Street in Acomb to provide more reliable traffic signals and improved pedestrian access.

A temporary controlled crossing will be provided during construction to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. Pedestrian routes and access to all businesses and properties will be retained throughout the duration of the works as will vehicular access. 

It will be necessary to temporarily close footways in the works area at certain times during the works and footway diversion routes will be put in place.

Those using the route are urged to plan ahead, allow more time for journeys and to consider alternatives and to use public transport where possible.

For any enquires regarding these works please contact