Coronavirus York updates; 15th July 2021

Hospital patients and deaths

Test results

146 positive test results today. They bring the cumulative total up to 15,721

Case numbers have fallen from 878 to 861

The rate /100k population is 408.81. This is the lowest it is likely to be for some time. Cases in the pipeline mean that a rise to a rate of around 444.,4 is likely on Saturday.



510 vaccinations were completed in the City yesterday (first plus second jabs). That is the lowest figure for several weeks. It is understood this is due to a downturn in people coming forward for a vaccination, rather than any capacity issues.

In some parts of the City, as few as 60% have even had their first jab.

The authorities need a fresh approach. Possibly mobile “vax vans” could tour neighbourhoods with a low take up rate? Something certainly needs to be done to reinvigorate the vaccination campaign. We are only days away from a final relaxation of restricitons. The government predicts that infection rates will then soar. Vaccination remains the main bulwark against rising infection rates.


  • 8257 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 10th July 2021
  • Of these, 10.6% were positive. That is lower than the 10.7% positivity found during the previous period.
  • 3464 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 14th July.

Consultation on City centre access arrangements for Blue Badge holders

Image result for disabled parking gifs

The formal consultation phase has begun on whether to make permanent some of the changes to the footstreets that were introduced in response to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

The principles of these changes being made permanent were approved by the York Council’s Executive in November 2020, alongside an ongoing review of access to the city centre, with the formal decision delegated to the Executive Member for Transport.

At the Executive Member’s Decision Session on the 22 June, the detailed proposals were considered by the Executive Member, including a number of additional Blue Badge parking locations, and agreed to commence the statutory formal consultation to allow a future decision to be made.

The statutory consultation is around the proposal to permanently remove the Blue Badge exemption which allows vehicles displaying a Blue Badge to use a number of city centre streets between 10:30am and 5pm for access.

The city centre streets where the proposals would apply are as follows:

•    Blake Street
•    Castlegate
•    Church Street
•    Colliergate
•    Goodramgate between its junctions with Deangate and King’s Square/Low Petergate
•    Kings Square
•    Lendal
•    St Andrewgate from the highway boundary line on the north east side of Colliergate and north east for 50 metres
•    St Helen’s Square

The precise locations are listed on the York Traffic Management (Amendment) (No 14/10) Order 2021.

This proposal aims to improve road safety in some of the city centre’s busiest pedestrian streets whilst at the same time balancing the needs of businesses and city centre residents.

Removal of the exemption would reduce the number of cars driving in areas where large numbers of pedestrians gather, and increases the security of the area against the potential risk of hostile vehicles being used in terrorist attacks.

At the same time, we are proposing to introduce additional Blue Badge parking around the edge of the footstreet area. The following locations have been identified as being suitable (subject to approval):

•    Carmelite Street
•    Deangate
•    Duncombe Place
•    Dundas Street
•    St Andrewgate
•    St Saviourgate
•    A shared Disabled Person’s (Blue Badge) Parking Place and Loading Bay on Duncombe Place

This would improve the parking availability for Blue Badge holders on the very edges of the pedestrian area and cater for some loading/unloading activities.

These Blue Badge parking proposals were developed after workshop sessions were held earlier this year, where the council listened to members of the public on potential Blue Badge parking options in workshops.

As part of the consultation, there was also a survey that could be completed by Blue Badge holders.

At the June Decision Session, the Executive Member for Transport also approved further investigation into additional Blue Badge parking areas.

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Transport, said:

The conflict between pedestrians and vehicle movement on some of the footstreets has been an ongoing concern for a number of years.

“The proposal was developed after initially introducing covid response measures on a trial basis last summer and extensive engagement with York residents, where we consulted on the impacts.

“In April this year, Blue Badge holders were invited to share their views on potential new parking spaces on the edge of York city centre through completing a survey and attending workshops.

“Based on resident’s feedback, these new Blue Badge parking options have been proposed on the edge of the footstreet areas. We will also be exploring additional Blue Badge parking options in York city centre. This will help to ensure that there is an improved quality of Blue Badge parking, alongside the increased availability of Blue Badge parking spaces.

The council response to the issue will also be debated at full council this week.

“We hope that you are able to support the proposals but should you wish to object, you can email or write to us.”

Should you wish to object, please email or write to the contact details below, giving your grounds for objection, to arrive no later than 6 August 2021.

•    Postal address: Director of Economy & Place, Network Management, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA
•    Email:

Unroadworthy taxis found in York

Poorly-maintained taxis have been taken off the road as part of a joint safety operation.

Fourteen out of 16 taxi and private hire vehicles that were inspected were issued with legal notices. The drivers also had their taxi licence suspended.

Faults included tyres that were so worn the inner cords were exposed, fuel leaks and doors that wouldn’t open.

The defects were so unsafe that immediate prohibition notices were issued on seven of the 16 vehicles, meaning they must not be driven.

Issues with brakes, wheel nuts, exhausts suspension components were also found on a further seven vehicle during the vehicle inspections in York at the weekend. They were issued with delayed prohibition notices, meaning the faults must be fixed and the vehicle re-inspected.

The vehicles were from various local authority areas, including York and West Yorkshire.

They were stopped by police on roads in York and taken to a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) inspection site.

It was part of a joint road safety operation involving North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, the DVSA and licensing enforcement officers from City of York Council and local authorities in West Yorkshire.

Similar operations are planned in the near future.

Traffic Constable Mark Patterson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “It’s shocking that seven of the 16 vehicles we checked were so poorly maintained, we had to use immediate prohibition powers to ensure they didn’t go back onto the road.

“Proper vehicle maintenance is always important, especially for professional drivers who the public trust to transport them safely. There is simply no excuse for neglecting this.

“By working with the DVSA and local authorities, we can ensure anyone who doesn’t maintain their vehicle to the correct standard is detected and dealt with robustly.”

Waste collection and other problems mount for York residents

Anyone reading the agenda for todays City of York Council meeting may mistake it for a meeting of a University debating society. Verbose, borderline pompous, motions and amendments dominate the agenda.

As the first face to face meeting of the authority since coronavirus struck, there has been plenty of time to fashion an agenda which talks to the people of the City.

Instead we have are offered the spectacle of Council members essentially having a chat with each other.

The City’s day to day problems may as well be taking place on another planet.

The meeting is, for the first time, being held at the racecourse. Perhaps bookmakers will be on hand to offer odds on anything useful emerging as the race reaches the final furlong at 10:00pm?

Earlier in the week, the Councillor responsible for waste collection held a special meeting to discuss the pressing issue of the release of “Chinese lanterns” in the City. The opportunity to also discuss the backlog in refuse collection was missed.

Yet hundreds of unemptied green bins currently adorn our streets.

Earlier a controversial change in the playground refurbishment programme was agreed at a “behind closed doors” meeting. Emergency “delegation” powers – which allow officers to make decisions without consultation or democratic input – were exploited.

The opposition claim (with some justification) to be outraged by the decision. Have they found a way of holding those responsible to account? Apparently not, judging by tonight’s agenda.

With (rightly or wrongly) COVID restrictions being lifted from Monday, the Councils top priority should now be to end the emergency powers and introduce effective governance arrangements.

In the real world, taxpayers expect basic public standards to be maintained.

It is not just the York Council that is out of touch.

Sad to report that, as of yesterday, the promised work to remove overgrowth obstructions from the A64/Tadcaster Road cycle path had not been completed by Highways/Yorks or the Council.

Obstructions on Tadcaster Road cycle path

The lack of action contrasts with the panic decisions taken last spring when roads and car parks were closed in order to allow “social distancing” on paths which were already much wider than those which are currently obstructed.