Abandoned bus shelters – future uncertain

The future of the bus shelters on Tudor Road, which have not had a service for over 2 years, remains uncertain.

Not surprisingly the shelters are in good condition.

There is a site, at the Gale Lane end, which could accommodate a shelter, and which does lie on the now clockwise route taken by the number 4 service.

There are no notices in the shelters (or on the bus stop signs) indicating that the bus service only serves the opposite side of the road.

Even then the alternative bus stops are a testing sprint away.

Anyone texting the bus stop identification code to the information service gets a text back saying that no service is expected within the next 4 hours.

4 years more likely.

If you text for information it will cost you 12p

The stop reference (e.g.  32900872) produces no useful information when keyed into the “Bus York” mobile phone app. See  https://www.itravelyork.info/journey-planning/free-bus-apps/

Many people living in the Tudor Road area would prefer to see a 2-way service reintroduced.

If such a change is not imminent, the Council and bus service providers need to initiate a review of the quality of bus stop information, and shelter arrangements, that they provide in the area.

Abandoned bus shelters can be a magnet for anti-social behaviour, so some prompt action is required.

Sort out sub urban bus shelters plea

Bus passengers in York are calling on the Council to review its bus shelter policies for suburban areas.

A lot of money has been spent on the bus stops on the York City centre in recent years. Hundreds of thousands more will be spent as the area outside the station is remodelled.

but there has been little progress made in providing “next bus due” real time information on most of the network. Even busy routes with inter -urban services like Tadcaster Road lack passenger information (and shelter)

Mobile device systems have been developed but they are not user friendly and often revert to providing just when the timetabled service should arrive.

In Leeds, bus arrival time signs are integrated into shelters.

Some bus shelters are redundant following changes to bus routes which took place several years ago. The shelter below on Tudor Road is an example. The local number 4 service only serves the opposite side of the road on its clockwise route round Acomb. Now all the shelter does is attract anti social behaviour

As a consequence there is a large amount of litter on the near by verge while ponding on the adjacent footpath has never been properly addressed.

Litter next to Tudor Road bus shelter

It is an issue that the various public transport pressure groups in the City have failed to get to grips with.

York to boast one of the biggest fleets of double deck electric buses outside of London

York will be home to one of the biggest fleets of double deck electric buses thanks to investment by First York and funding secured by City of York Council from Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV)

Today (25 March), City of York Council, First York and bus manufacturer Optare announced that 21 new double deck electric vehicles will arrive in York in October 2019. The zero-emission and fully electric buses each have the capacity to carry 99 passengers and have a range of over 150 miles from one overnight charge, which means that they don’t need to be recharged during the day. Alongside this, First York is also upgrading its charging infrastructure, and the state-of-the-art vehicles will feature audio visual next stop technology, USB charging points and will carry new-look Park & Ride branding.

York Park & Ride, an operating partnership between City of York Council and First York, supports over four million journeys every year and is one of the UK’s most successful Park & Ride services. 12 electric single deck Optare buses have been operating on two out of the six Park & Ride sites for the last five years; helping to improve air quality and reduce congestion in the city. Individual car use and the congestion caused is a big contributor to air pollution in York, but each bus can take up to 75 cars off the congested streets in York.

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, said: “We’re proud to be the operator of one of the biggest fleets of double deck electric buses outside of London, as we continue to work with City of York Council to improve air quality in York.

“Today’s announcement showcases the benefits of partnership working in practice and we remain committed to investing in our bus services in York, as we share the same vision. By working together, local authorities and bus operators can make a real impact on congestion and air quality, provide better services for our customers, support local economies more effectively and, ultimately, help to increase passenger numbers.

“At First York, we are striving to make things better for the customer by making bus travel simple, speeding up bus boarding times, reducing journey times, using data to make better operational decisions and developing a customer relationship as opposed to a transactional one.”

For further information, visit www.itravelyork.info/park-and-ride.

Bus services in York get thumbs up from passengers

Bus users in York hold local bus services in high regard.

The most recent independent survey conducted by “Transport Focus” found that 89% were satisfied with their overall journey experience.

85% thought that the journey time was reasonable while 77% said the buses were punctual.

62% of fare paying passengers said he service was good value for money (down from 79% the previous year)

Most of the respondents used First services. First compared favourably with many other operators across the country.

Bus drivers behaviour was widely praised.

The survey results bear out similar findings from a door to door survey undertaken by local councillors last year.

The detailed results are:

First day of spring and some good news

The first day of spring sees some daffodils blooming on Askham Lane. The Council has cut back the hedge to allow improved visibility from the bus shelter. That’s good progress after the problems that there have been in recent years.

A little further long Askham Lane, near the flats, we understand that the Council may start to install, the much delayed, parking lay-by in the next few days. If true, it is another piece of good news following years of frustration with parking problems.

Petition calls for Kingsway area road improvements

Andrew Waller who is backing the petition

A petition has been handed to the York Council demanding that roads in the Kingsway West/Ascot Way area be improved before there is any additional development in the area.

At the moment the only access to the estate – which contains over 600 homes – is via the section of Kingsway West lying between Danesfort Avenue and Ascot Way.

Residents point to congestion problems for buses, emergency vehicles, bin wagons and delivery lorries.

The numbers of off-street parking spaces has been criticised. Residents feel this will get worse following a decision to demolish garages on Newbury Avenue.

The petition was prompted by an announcement that the Lincoln Court sheltered housing building would be expanded. In addition, the adjacent Windsor Hose site will become a centre of excellence for disabled children.

The principal route into both  these developments would be along Kingsway West and Ascot Way.

Campaigners have called for a service road access to be created from the adjacent Hob Moor Oaks school site where many of the disabled children spend their school hours.

The future of the Multi User Games Area (MUGA) on Kingsway West is also under threat as officials are understood have targeted it for use as a building compound

The petition reads;

“We the undersigned request the York Council to undertake the following improvements prior to any further building work starting in the Hob Moor area

  1. Improve the access road along Kingsway West/Ascot Way, removing, where necessary, the grass verge
  2. Provide dropped kerbs or lay-by parking where this doesn’t already exist
  3. Provide alternative, modern, children’s play facilities before any existing provision is removed”.

The petition is being backed by local Councillor Andrew Waller.

The planning applications are expected to be considered by the Council at a Planning Sub Committee  meeting taking place on 6th December starting at 4:30pm

Low Poppleton Lane spy camera rethink

Day time only operation now proposed. Concessions for moped riders.

A report on the Low Poppleton Lane spy camera controversy has been published. We pointed out two months ago that the number of motorists caught by the Number Plate Recognition cameras seemed to be disproportionately high.

Over 2500 drivers (now increased to over 3300)  had been caught misusing the “bus gate” in just 5 months. The Council is currently pocketing around £30,000 a month in fine income.

Motorists contacted us to say that the signage was unclear (from the Boroughbridge Road direction). It was a problem for drivers of high cab mobile homes (there is a caravan site nearby). Others claimed that Sat Nav systems didn’t recognise the restriction.

We asked that the report reviewed these issues and that a survey of offenders be undertaken to try to understand why so many were ignoring the restriction.

The report fails to address these fundamental questions.

The Councils own consultation exercise found that most respondents were opposed to the bus lane, many saying that it was unnecessary since the sugar factory had closed, while others pointed to additional mileage, and risks encountered, by using the northern by pass.

A meeting next week is being recommended to introduce revised hours of operation. The restriction will apply only between 7:00am and 7:00pm.

In addition, powered two-wheel riders will be allowed to use the road as may taxi drivers. The latter two changes would bring the restriction into line with other bus lanes in the City.

Any revision would be introduced on a trial basis, raising again the question of whether Sat Nav systems would be updated to reflect the restriction.

Officials say that revised road markings have been introduced by there remains a suspicion that the Council has not yet got this right.

“Thank York It’s Friday” sees introduction of late evening Park & Ride every Friday until Christmas

York’s city centre is supporting the high street with a new initiative bringing together York Business Improvement District, First York, City of York Council and York Retail Forum.

“Thank York It’s Friday” runs every Friday until Christmas, encouraging local people and visitors alike to spend Friday evenings in the city centre.

“This is a scheme driven by local traders and designed to get locals back into the city centre to start their weekend a little earlier.  With late night shopping until 7pm – and some stores until 8pm – and opportunities to socialise with friends whilst still taking advantage of the Park & Ride, the last bus to each Park & Ride site now departs at 11pm,” comments Andrew Lowson, executive director of York BID.  “We know that it takes joined-up thinking to make this kind of initiative happen, which is why we’ve worked so closely with First York and City of York Council to make York Retail Forum’s idea come to life.”

Key retail outlets have already confirmed that they will open until 7pm on Friday evenings, including Brown’s, Marks & Spencer, Next, Primark, TK Maxx, Whittards and WH Smith, the additional opening until 8pm at Debenhams, Crabtree & Evelyn, Love Cheese, Lush and Pavers Shoes.  More retailers are expected to follow suit in the run-up to Christmas.

The late night Park & Ride will initially be subsidised by York BID, though it is hoped that the number of additional people making use of the service in the coming months will enable it to be self-sustaining in the longer term.

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director at First York, said, “We’re proud to operate one of the most successful Park & Ride sites in the country, which helps save customers the hassle and cost of parking in York with just a short bus trip to and from the city. We’re excited to be working with other local partners to develop the Park & Ride service and to offer later trips for customers wanting to spend more time in the city, or for those travelling back into York via train, wanting access to their car for their onward journey.”

York Council consults on Wigginton Road improvements

City of York Council is asking residents and businesses for their views on proposals to improve key junctions on Wigginton Road (near York Hospital).

Plans include rebuilding the junction between Haxby Road, Wigginton Road and Clarence Street and replacing the existing mini-roundabout between Wigginton Road and Fountayne Street with a new junction.

This will help to:

  • reduce journey times for traffic, particularly buses, on Wigginton Road
  • improve pavements and crossings – and create larger pedestrian islands at the Haxby Road/ Wigginton Road/ Clarence Street junction
  • replace the traffic signals at the Haxby Road, Wigginton Road,  Clarence Street junction.

To submit feedback on the proposals email buses@york.gov.uk or post responses to Julian Ridge, Better Bus Area Manager, City of York Council, West Offices, York, YO1 6GA –  by Sunday 2 September 2018.

Further information about the proposals, including plans, can be found at www.itravelyork.info (apparently) . Or, view the FAQs below.
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