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Groves area road closures start on 2nd September

The York Council, has announced today that road closures in The Groves area will start on 2nd September. The opening coincides with the start of the new school term – traditionally very busy week on the roads.

Although plans to reduce traffic in the area were widely welcomed, last minute changes to the proposals mean that there are elements of controversy. Not least among these are concerns about safety for cyclists on some of the contra flow lanes.

Some traders have also warned that there busiesses may be affected by the loss of passing trade and difficulties for delivery drivers.

The project does however have the support of the Green and Labour party Councillors who represent the area. It is to be hoped that the scheme has been better thought through than the recent closure of a traffic lane on Bishopthorpe Road.

Very low traffic levels on Penley’s Grove Street in recent months

Traffic level on the short cut routes through The Groves have, in any event, been very low since the lock-down period.

A council media release says,

City of York Council is introducing the planned trial road closures within The Groves on Wednesday 2 September.

This forms part of a local regeneration project and those who usually drive through the area are encouraged to plan an alternative route or where possible cycle or walk for local journeys. A leaflet and map of the changes is being circulated to residents and businesses in the area.

The work is part of a two-year regeneration project with residents to make the area an even better place to live. Local people have said they want better air quality, less traffic and the chance to build on the existing community spirit.

These aims support the council’s priorities of promoting sustainable travel. They also help with the need to maintain social distancing during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

All through routes in the Groves area between Haxby Rd/Clarence Street and Huntington Rd/Monkgate will be closed to traffic. Alternative routes are via the main roads surrounding the estate including Lord Mayors Walk.

The works that will be carried out are:

  • The existing closure point at Neville Terrace will be removed to allow more direct access to Haxby Road from that side of The Groves.
  • Road closure points will be introduced at the junction of Lowther Street/Brownlow Street, and on St Johns Crescent, Penleys Grove Street, Neville Terrace and Earle Street.
  • Brownlow Street and March Street will become one-way streets except for cyclists, whilst Penleys Grove Street will be two-way to allow traffic to exit onto Monkgate from this part of The Groves.

Cycle routes in all directions throughout The Groves will continue and will benefit from less traffic.

A small number of parking spaces will be removed or relocated to make room for turning points at the closures, and the existing resident parking zones will merge so that local people can park more flexibly. 

Planters will be placed at the majority of the closure points and residents will be invited to help plant them up.

The measures will be introduced over two days (1st and 2nd September). The work to introduce the measure will be undertaken under minimal traffic management.

Staff on site during the installation will be operating under social distancing guidance wherever possible due to the current restrictions with permission from the local authority to undertake this essential work at this time.

Household waste and recycling collections will take place as normal.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption and inconvenience to the public while the closures are put in place. The contractor will at all times try to keep any disruption to a minimum.  Once the measures have been introduced, they will be monitored and kept under review and can continue as experimental for up to 18 months.

During this time, the scheme may be adjusted in response to residents’ experience and feedback. The scheme can be made permanent (subject to consideration of comments received) at any point as long as it has been in place, unchanged, for at least six months.

Residents will be able to observe the measures and reflect on how they are working, and pass on their comments to the council for review by email thegrovestrial@york.gov.uk

There will be a public Executive Member for Transport decision meeting on the outcome of the trial after at least 6 months prior to confirming any permanent changes.

Bid for DfT funding to support cycling and walking

The Council apparently wants to add a cycling/pedestrian bridge to the A1237 viaduct near Poppleton. A similar facility at Scarborough railway bridge cost over £4.4 million. While improvements at this location would be welcome, it is unclear how a bridge could be funded and what the implications might be for future carriageway dualling plans.

City of York Council has submitted a bid to the Government for £850,000 of funding (against an indicative allocation of £693,000).

This is part of an overall £1.45m programme, to maintain the growth in walking and cycling seen across the city during lockdown.

The Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund is designed to support walking and cycling as a long-term method for commuting, as the country emerges from the pandemic and to address the current capacity constraints on Public Transport. To receive any allocation from the fund, the council has to demonstrate ‘swift and meaningful plans’ to support cyclists and pedestrians in York.

This application is for the second of two phases, with the first seeing the council being awarded £193,000 in June (this was £20,000 more than the indicative allocation).

The funding for the second phase is conditional on demonstrating how the council is able to adapt the city’s infrastructure to support more active travel, and how quickly these additional measures can be delivered.

City of York Council has submitted a programme of actions to support walking and cycling at key locations as alternatives to travel by bus or car. 

Subject to a successful award of funding, the second phase aims to deliver the following schemes:

It would cost around £360,000 to construct a 6 mile off road cycle track from Wheldrake to Fulford. This would include foundations aimed at stopping the kind of tree root damage which has made parts of the nearby York – Selby cycle track unusable.
  • Measures focused on providing cycling and walking links between Wheldrake and Heslington. This scheme provides an off-road cycle route to Wheldrake, which will benefit commuters between the village and York city centre, including schoolchildren travelling to school in Fulford.
  • Further improvements on the A19 Shipton Road, a 3.2km radial route with cycle lanes currently being designed for delivery in phase 1. The additional funding will allow some of the existing pedestrian refuges on the road (which constrain the width of the proposed cycle lanes)) to be replaced with signalised crossings and improvements to the main junctions on the road.Improvements to A1237 outer ring road bridge – permanent provision of a cycle lane and improved footways over a 1km viaduct where provision is currently poor – linking suburbs on the northern and southern sides of the River Ouse and East Coast Main Line, including Manor School on the southern side and Clifton Moor Retail Park on the northern.
  • Measures in the city centre to improve access into and around the city centre to serve the footstreets area and ensure that the heart of the city is as accessible as possible for pedestrians, cyclists and disabled residents. This scheme would include a range of measures such as improved signage, improvements to disabled crossing facilities, and a new crossing near Castle Mills Bridge catering for cyclists and pedestrians using the existing riverbank path, but wishing to travel across the Inner Ring Road into the south east of the city centre, an area being regenerated.
  • Acomb Road/ York Road Acomb cycle scheme – a scheme to improve conditions for cyclists on Acomb Road to the west of York, including many children travelling to local schools, but where there is currently very little provision.
  • School Zone Pilot – After a successful trial of a ‘people street’ concept at Carr Junior School in association with Sustrans last year, further changes would be planned to Ostman Road in Acomb for a pilot scheme, with potential future wider rollout across the city.

Additional council funding will be used to compliment the schemes in the bid above, as well as consulting and co-designing schemes with local communities, residents and businesses. 

The second phase bid will complement the first phase of funding which is being used to deliver a number of measures across the city including:

  • Extensions to existing Park and Pedal facilities at Rawcliffe Bar Park & Ride site, alongside a new cycle route from the site along Shipton Road
  • Improved cycle parking in the city centre
  • Extensions to the footstreets area
  • Temporary footway widening at pinch points near shops
  • Alterations to signal timings to reduce pedestrian queuing at city centre traffic lights.
  • ‘The Groves’ neighbourhood traffic reduction 18-month trial
No mention of improvements to the rapidly declining existing cycle network

So we have a curates egg of proposals. There seems to have been no attempt made to assess potential demand for cycling facilities and hence likely use. The 2000 residents of Wheldrake may get a very expensive path. It is unlikely to carry many commuters in winter (providing street lighting would be even more expensive).

The 12,000 residents of Westfield are offered nothing. Ditto the Rural West ward, where the Knaption – Rufforth cycle path, and several rural carriageways need resurfacing, also get nothing.

There has been no consultation. The so called “big conversation” doesn’t offer choices on transport projects.

There is no consent from residents and without that we will see resentment and conflict.. That much was evident on Bishopthorpe Road.

The Council say the “work will be co-ordinated with the council’s Economic Recovery Strategy, which will be delivered over the next few months.

The strategy focuses on prioritising active travel, working with bus and rail operators to ensure people can continue to use public transport with confidence and creating a more people-focussed city centre.

To find out more about, York’s Active Travel Fund Bid, visit: www.york.gov.uk/ActiveTravelBid (bid documents will be live on this webpage tomorrow, 11 August).

Tell us what you think

We’re asking residents and businesses to complete our Big Conversation survey, which kick-starts a year-long programme of on and offline opportunities for residents and businesses to shape the city’s recovery.

Over 700 people have already responded and we’d be grateful for your views too: www.york.gov.uk/OurBigConversation

West York snubbed in cycling budget hand out

The Council has allocated virtually the whole of its pedestrian/cycling budget to schemes in central York. £500,000 had been earmarked for delegation for ward committees to spend addressing local issues.

In a decision list (below)  published today, the work programme concentrates on cycling schemes claiming that no improvements for walkers were identified (other than possible long term improvements to pedestrian crossings).

There is no funding allocated for schemes in the Westfield, Dringhouses, Holgate,  Acomb or Rural West wards.

Even pleas for cycle margin work on roads like Bradley Lane, Foxwood Lane and School Street have been ignored, as has a request for resurfacing work on the Knapton – Rufforth off road cycle track. The latter has been heavily used during the lockdown period with sections now breaking up .

Works to improve access for walkers don’t even rate a mention in the decision notice.

No action to tackle public footpath ponding

Among the schemes local Councillors were asked to back were actions to tackle difficulties on footpaths linking Westfield Place and Grange Lane as well as within the Council maintained section of Acomb Wood. All that was required at these locations were short sections of chippings to avoid flooded areas. A relatively inexpensive initiative.

Despite the budget apparently having been delegated for local determination, it seems to have been carved up by an official in discussions with the (Executive) Councillor for Fishergate; a ward which gets the bulk of the funding along with the Guildhall and Micklegate areas. There is no sign in the report of any influence on priorities by ward Councillors or residents.

It is unclear how much each scheme will cost, but it is unlikely that the funding will stretch far down the list.

Cycle margin leveling would encourage more cycling

The money could probably most usefully have been allocated to cycle margin repair work. This type of resurfacing programme sees the inner 2 metres of the most uneven carriageways levelled to allow safe passage for two wheeled machines. There was a margins repair programme in place until about 2011 when it was scrapped.

A further £500,000 was allocated for highway repair works which should also have been determined by local Councillors at neighbourhood level.

The Council has not said where this money will be spent although the recent lockdown has served to highlight just how poor some road surfaces are. A list of priorities in Westfield was given to Ward Councillors some 6 months ago but so far there has been no response.

The latest controversy, following on from the Bishopthorpe Road carriageway closure, may serve to confirm the views of those taxpayers who feel that sections of the Council are now out of control and are pursuing their own blinkered, parochial agenda.

The Council Leader may need to make some changes to Executive portfolios if he is to avoid large sections of the York community becoming increasingly alienated from his administration.

Sky Ride York road closures on Sunday

On Sunday 11 September Sky Ride York will once again take to the city’s historic streets in partnership with City of York Council, British Cycling and Sky.

Click to view

Click to view

In 2015 Sky Ride York saw over 8,500 cyclists take to a 7km route taking in famous York landmarks including Clifford’s Tower and York Minster

Due to the size and scale of the event there will be a number of temporary traffic and transport changes to ensure the safety of everyone taking part.

The Route (more…)

Get back in the saddle with free adult cycling sessions

City of York Council is wheeling out new, free cycling training sessions for adult beginners.

There will be two levels of training, one for absolute beginners who have never ridden before, and another for people who want to brush up on their cycling skills or gain more confidence.

Training sessions for both abilities will take place on Saturday 14 July for adults, and on Tuesday 17 July, for people over 50. All lessons take place at Rowntree Park, lasting an hour, with a maximum of 10 places per session. (more…)

“Act in haste, repent at leisure” time for York Council transport changes

Cycling numbers decline in York

It looks like more of the road restrictions introduced in the summer, as part of the Councils reaction to the COVID crisis, will be dropped.

The most criticised restriction – closure of Bishopthorpe Road –  was scrapped a couple of months ago, although officials are now threatening to revive the idea as part of “a review of the Local Transport Plan”.

A report to a meeting taking place next week provides an insight into how travel habits have changed in the City since COVID struck.

The most recent monitoring data, for September, shows that AM peak traffic volumes are around 80% of pre-lockdown, with the PM peak around 85% of pre-lockdown levels. Between the peaks, and at weekends, vehicle trips are down by around 5-10%. Bus use is 50-60% of pre-lockdown levels.

There is some bad news for the cycling lobby.

“Cycling levels appear to have fallen by around 30% in the peaks, whilst interpeak levels are not changed in comparison to the same period last year. It is likely that fewer people are commuting to and from work by bike or cycling to the railway station for onward travel by train, offset by higher levels of exercise/ leisure cycling”.

The report pointedly fails to comment on pollution and air quality levels in the City. These continue to be at record low levels (so probably don’t suit a doom and gloom narrative).

click to access

Several of the “emergency” schemes involved little more than putting out more traffic cones. Those in the Marygate and Monk Bar car park were largely unnecessary. The £10,000 a month taxi shuttle service for disabled people from the latter continues to run although it is little used. Most of the 40 parking spaces lost at Marygate are set to be restored as part of a new scheme to install a permanent cycle path link to Bootham.

Of the others, the report recommends

  • The temporary one way restriction on Coppergate is extended
  • The temporary cycle lane at Castle Mills Bridge on Tower Street is removed (only 3% of users are cyclists and there is an alternative, off road, route along the riverside)
  • The proposed scheme for improvements to York’s North – South cycle route is taken forward to implementation, with a proposed restriction on Navigation Road
  • The proposed scheme for improvements to cycle lanes on Bootham is taken forward to implementation, with a consultation commenced on the rest of the Shipton Road cycle lane scheme, including the element which would require changes to residents’ parking on parts of Bootham.
North – South cycle route

The Council has not heard whether its plea for funding a further tranche of works will be approved. These include the very expensive, but desirable, cycle bridge over the river and railway on the A1237 as well as some more eccentric ideas (a cycle path for Dunnington to the City centre).  

Despite the lack of obvious government enthusiasm for the Councils plans, the authority intends to spend £40,000 on further development of the ideas.

As we have said many times, one of the main criticisms of the Councils transport polices over the last 12 months has been its total insensitivity to the state of repair of the existing infrastructure.

Infrastructure is decaying

That is particularly true of cycle paths many of which are obstructed by potholes, weeds, and hedges. White lines have worn away, signage has faded and, in some cases, disappeared altogether.

It is that neglect that is limiting the expansion of walking and cycling numbers in the City.

Capital expenditure (funded by borrowing) is limited to providing or improving assets with an extended lifespan. Resurfacing existing paths could fall within that definition.

The suspicion is that the executive Councillors favour high profile vanity projects simply because they provide an opportunity for a good “Photo Op”.

The reduction in the numbers cycling is one symptom of poor prioritisation

York economic review published

A report which looks at how the York economy has fared since the pandemic started has been published today. It looks mainly at the City centre although it markedly fails to reveal traffic levels on, and within, the inner ring road.

Instead it highlights trends on major trunk routes. Generally, these reveal that traffic levels have risen to about 90% of the levels seen in February (which itself is normally the quietest month of the year in the City)

Car park occupancy levels are very high. Castle, Marygate, Bootham Bar and the Esplanade have reached record high levels.

This bears out the conclusion in the report that visitors from outside the City have been coming in large numbers and they mostly drive to City centre car parks.

Park and Ride numbers have slumped  along with public transport passengers more generally. Both are down to 30% of the numbers seen in February. Clearly COVID fears account for this change in transport preferences.

The figures provided also don’t provide any information on the numbers using two wheeled transport. Given the clamour for more cycle lanes, that is surprising. Elsewhere in the country the numbers cycling are up slightly (but not when it is raining!).

There may be a lack of data available to the Council on transport patterns.

They admit that only 2 of the “footfall” cameras are currently working and that a replacement system has yet to be implemented.  The available data suggests that footfall is around 20% down on the equivalent period last year.  The report claims though that spend per head is comparable to last summer.

The numbers claiming out of work benefits has trebled. It may get worse when the “furlough” scheme comes to an end. More stats can be viewed by clicking here

The Council says that it is setting up a “board “ to supervise training initiatives which will counter increasing unemployment.

It is right to focus on education as this will pave the future for the City. It is, however, unlikely that a 20 member committee will be sufficiently agile to make much difference.

The Council approach is likely to be criticised for overly focusing on the City centre. Out of town shopping destinations like those along the ring road don’t get a mention and even local centres at Bishopthorpe Road, Front Street and Haxby merit only a passing review. No footfall figures are provided nor are empty commercial priority trends analysed.  In the case of Front Street a promised economic review by a consultant was shelved during the lockdown.

Front Street lies in the Westfield Ward which has the highest unemployment rate in the City

10% of retail units in the City are now empty.

Face mask Friday – but concern grows about Council knee jerk decisions

Face masks will have to be worn in shops from today. It remains to be seen how effective this government policy will be.

What is now clear is that some of the impulsive decisions taken a couple of months ago, at the peak of the pandemic by the York Council, have not met the test of time.

Tinkering with traffic systems without proper consultation or impact assessments was always a recipe for failure.

Crucially no attempt was made to define how success would be measured.

So how have they fared?

Bishopthore Road lane closure

This was intended to provide queuing space for shoppers. It was claimed that it would make social distancing easier.

Critics pointed to new hazards for cyclists on the contraflow lane, increased congestion & pollution on alternative routes and a missed opportunity to trial an off peak pedestrian area (10:30am – 4:00pm) approach.

The results have been disappointing with the alternative Nunnery Lane/Blossom Street/ Scarcroft Road suffering for increased congestion. Bus services have been adversely affected. There has been short cutting through residential areas like St Benedict Road where parking is also now a problem

There is little footpath queuing on the east of the shopping area. The forecourted shops on the other side have adequate space although bollards have reduced flexibility.

Verdict – scrap it

An ill considered scheme which missed the opportunity that part time pedestrianisation might have offered.

Fortunately there have been no accidents involving cyclists yet, although northbound traffic levels remain below average (as they do across the whole of the highway network)

Reduced social distancing requirements (now one metre rather than two) and the introduction of face masks should lead to this trial being abandoned. A more thorough consultation on the options for the Bishopthorpe Road area could then take place.

Bollards have not improved social distancing on Bishopthorpe Road
Problems with car parking and short cutting through the St Benedict’s Road area

Foss Bridge

One of the general traffic lanes across Foss Bridge on the inner ring road was repurposed for cyclists (southbound) . The lane had been coned off while maintenance work on the bridge was carried out in the early spring.

Most cyclists opt to use the riverside off road path. Comparatively few choose to use the inner ring road.

Verdict – retain and consult on its future

There has been little congestion on this section of the inner ring road although general travel patterns are not expected to return to pre COVID levels before September.

The cycle lane has been obstructed on occasions by delivery drivers, taxi pick ups etc. so the solution is less than perfect.

Vehicle numbers on this section of the inner ring road greatly exceed the number of cyclists

Monk Bar car park disabled spaces

The Council allocated 40 spaces at the Monk Bar car park for blue badge holders when additional access & parking restrictions were introduced in the City centre (e.g. Goodramgate). A “free” taxi service link to the rear of Kings Square is offered. The decision – like several others – was taken by the Councils acting chief executive with no prior consultation.

Blue badge holders can park on single yellow lines and park free of charge at Council car parks.

The little used taxi service is costing taxpayers £354 a day.

It appears that no attempt was made to assess the demand for disabled parking spaces at Monk Bar or for the taxi link. The Council didn’t specify the use of low emission vehicles on the taxi contract

Typically no more than five blue badge holders are parking at Monk Bar at any one time. The remaining general parking spaces are being increasingly used but the car park has yet to reach the full occupation levels seen before the pandemic. The Council has also recently allocated more on street parking spaces for blue badge holders in streets like Duncombe Place.

While the initiative was well intentioned, the Council hopelessly misjudged the demand for the service.

Verdict – revise the scheme

The number of reserved spaces can be reduced and the taxi link abandoned. Consultations can take place with disabled group representatives and traders on other options. These might include a “home to city centre” subsidised taxi service for the disabled where costs are recompensed when goods are bought.

Monk Bar blue badge spaces unused
Narrow access path at Monk Bar car park. No provision made for social distancing (see Maygate below)

Marygate car park

Around 40 parking spaces have been cordoned off. The Council claimed it was to allow cyclists to avoid joint use of the footpath (which links Scarborough Bridge to Bootham Terrace). In turn this helped to maintain a two metre social distancing zone.

The scheme was criticised when proposed because if failed to assess the effectiveness of the obvious alternative (encouraging cyclists to use the internal car park service road) which would have involved the loss of only one parking space.

There were bigger problems on other routes from Scarborough Bridge both at the north (Marygate) end of the bridge and crucially at the station itself. A narrow tunnel connects the shared cycle/footpath to Bootham Terrace.

The introduction of one metre social distancing guidelines and the use of face masks will reduce any health threat.

Observations at the car park suggest that the cycle route through the parking spaces is very little used (with some cyclists opting to use the service road anyway).

The car park has been busy on occasions but has not yet reached capacity. This may change if August is as busy as it has been in the past

Verdict – amend the scheme to allow cyclists to use the car park service road.

There is no Coronavirus heath justification for routing cyclists through car parking spaces. The break in the perimeter fence can be retained – and one place bollarded off – to allow access via the service road to Bootham Tce and Almery Garth. A ramp to St Mary’s – promised but never delivered – would be a useful for both cyclists and disabled buggy users.

The Council should sort out an acceptable route for cyclists wishing to access the route from Scarborough bridge to Lowther Tce (long term plans for the station frontage remodelling need to recognise this demand)

Conned off section on Marygate car park is little used by cyclists
No cycling when you reach the station

Olympic gold medallists set to take to York’s streets!

Delays expected in City centre tomorrow (Sunday)

York is gearing up to welcome several Team GB track cyclists fresh from their success at the Rio Olympic Games. The cyclists will take to the city’s streets alongside people of all ages and abilities as part of Sky Ride York on Sunday 11 September.

olympicsTeam GB medal winners from Rio, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Katie Archibald and Phillip Hindes will be joined by Tre Whyte, Shanaze Reade and Kyle Evans.

 

Sky Ride is a free, fun bike ride along a scenic 7km route taking in some of York’s famous landmarks including the Minster and Clifford’s Tower. The route will also take riders through the Festival of Cycling in Rowntree Park.

During Sky Ride York there will be music and entertainment, competitions and above all, a great traffic-free route to ride around the centre of York that will allow bike riders to see York from a different perspective.

Riders will also be able to take in the Festival of Cycling when the route passes Rowntree Park. The free festival has something for the whole family with all sorts of pedal powered activities for people to take part in. There will be bikes and trikes of all shapes and sizes including adapted bikes, balance bikes and tandems for people to test ride.

There will also be ten adapted bikes available to hire from Rowntree Park (near the Millennium Bridge entrance). Bike hire is free of charge, and available on a first come, first served basis.

The Sky Ride York route will be closed to all traffic from 10.30am until approximately 5pm, or as soon as possible after the event has finished to ensure the safety of everyone taking part.

Residents and visitors are urged to make use of the city’s extensive Park&Ride network on the day, particularly by using the Park&Pedal facilities at any of York’s six Park&Ride sites.sky ride York

Bus routes will be altered to ensure that access into and out of the city centre is maintained, whilst avoiding those roads closed as part of the route.  Revised timetables will be put into place to ensure the smooth running of bus services. Residents and visitors are being encouraged to check their travel plans in advance and allow extra time for their journeys on the day. A complete list of bus route diversions will be available to download from http://www.itravelyork.info/news/get-in-gear

Castle car park will continue to be open on the day, however there will be reduced capacity to allow for one of the Sky Ride ‘activation zones’ featuring activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. A traffic management stop/go process will be in place here to assist the smooth flow of traffic.

Rowntree Park car park will be closed on Sunday 11 September due to the Festival of Cycling taking place, as in previous years. For safety reasons there will be no access to parking inside the route.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of this fun, free celebration of cycling at Sky Ride York. Sign up now at www.goskyride.com/YorkSkyRide

York Floods latest update: Confusion over which businesses are open. Merchant Adventurers Hall appeals for help

Organisations representing the commercial sector in York have been asked to coordinate and publicise a list of businesses that are currently closed because of the flooding.

Merchant Adventures Hall

Merchant Adventures Hall

They are being asked to use social media to produce a real time list, indicating likely reopening dates, contact details and a list of clean up materials (if any) required by the business.

While the vast majority of businesses in the City are operating as normal, others face a difficult few days as the flood waters recede. It is an important trading period for many visitor attractions, restaurants, pubs and shops.

Merchant Adventurers Hall appeal

The Hall has suffered serious flooding following failure of the Foss Barrier on Boxing Day.  Fortunately they had sufficient notice to enable them to remove valuables from the Undercroft prior to the water coming in. 

The record level experienced in 1982 was exceeded by a couple of inches! 

The waters around the Hall have now receded but there remains around a foot of water in the Undercroft and that will require pumping out.  The clean up in the kitchens, cloakrooms and reception area can now begin.  They have some power issues because of the uncertain state of the Emergency Lighting Battery Inverter Unit which was submerged. 

If anyone has an hour or two to spare over the next couple of days and is prepared to risk becoming very dirty than we would be grateful for help (please ring 01904 654818 first ).  If anyone has a pump, of what ever capacity, that they could lend to the Hall for a couple of days that would be most useful.

Separately the Council has been asked to confirm that the arrangements set up in 2002 to provide a flood relief fund continue to apply.

While some spontaneous appeals have appeared on “just giving” and “go fund me, proper audit arrangements need to be put in place to ensure funds get quickly to victims with the greatest need.

How to help

At the moment an assessment is being made of the types of help and materials that are needed. Until this has been completed, residents are being asked not add to the huge mountain of materials that has already been collected.

The Council  issued the following update at 10:30am

“The River Ouse levels are at 4.6.m asl today. Main flood defences have held.  River levels will fall slowly but we are expecting further rain for Wednesday so the advice is to be #floodaware.

Four of the eight pumps on the Foss Barrier are working and river levels are dropping. As a consequence roads are clearing, as they do we are looking to direct road sweepers to them throughout this morning to ensure road safety.

The Castlegate sewage pumping station is being repaired at around 10am today and the inner ring road which has just been opened,  heading towards Skeldergate bridge may be temporarily closed sometime today as new pumps are delivered.

For the latest traffic and travel information please visit: www.itravelyork.info/journey-planning/roadworks-and-road-closures

Communication channels are restored and  the council’s customer contact centre is running as normal  These details have been shared with residents via social media and traditional media and the number to call is 01904 551550 the email address is flood@york.gov.uk.

Archbishop Holgate School continues to be operational as a rest centre but all residents who were using the centre have been placed into emergency housing (15-20 families).

The situation is improving but there is still a lot of work to be done and all agencies continue to work hard to get the city moving and working as normally as can be expected. Around 650 homes and businesses have been directly affected by flooding in the city centre.

Both Household Waste and Recycling Centres are now open/operational.

Flood safety

Please avoid entering flood waters as there may be hidden dangers like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution.

Road closures and travel information

For the latest on road closures and travel information during the floods please visit the iTravel website which will be updated regularly”.