More spy cameras heading for York

The York Council is planning to install ANPR cameras at 3 more sites in York. The revelation comes only days after it was revealed that the only existing camera site on Coppergate has confirmed a very low level of abuse of the access restrictions there.

Now the Council says that it will install cameras at:

Foss Islands Road

  • Foss Islands Road Retail park
  • Shipton Road by Rawcliffe Bar &
  • Low Poppleton Lane (replacing the existing, unreliable, rising bollard)

The cameras are intended to enforce bus lane access restrictions.

The Council has published a list of 9 further locations which the cameras may also be introduced.

Shipton Road

The bus companies have told the Council that journey times area not adversely affected at present by vehicles misusing bus lanes in the City.

Cameras cost £15,000 per location.

In addition, there are some ongoing maintenance and fine processing costs plus the cost of improving signage (£10,000).

The cameras require very clear warning signage (the first attempt at ANPR enforcement on Coppergate failed this test).

Vehicles must travel 50m in the bus lane to trigger a penalty.

Shipton Road

The Low Poppleton Lane plans are likely to be particularly scrutinised.

The rising bollard dates for the days when sugar beet lorries used to deliver in the area.

Now it simply prevents a “short cut”.

The whole area needs a comprehensive management plan as part of the proposed redevelopment of the old school/sugar factory site. Plans are recommended for approval at a planning committee meeting taking pace next week (click here)

York waits 102 years for an electric bus then 35 arrive at the same time!

Hard on the heels of last week’s announcement that York’s first battery powered double decker bus had been brought into service, today the government has announced funding for a further 24 vehicles.

The government says “it is determined to clean up air in towns and cities across the country, and today’s investment in green buses comes after our air quality plan was published last month”.

The investment will mean that the whole of York’s Park and Ride fleet will eventually be converted to electric operation.

18 new double deckers and six new larger single deckers will join the 11 existing electric buses next year

Department of Transport announcement today

The deal is thought to involve the bus operator (First) paying for 50% of the costs of the new fleet. In essence, the deal gets over the difficulty that the Council experienced in getting tenders for a clean Park and Ride fleet when it sought to let a new contract last year.

The potential tenderers quoted the whole life costs of electric vehicles as being unaffordable.

It is likely to be around 2 years before all the buses are actually operating in the City.

York’s first battery powered buses were introduced in 1915 when Liberal Herbert Asquith was Prime Minister (!).

UK’s newest electric double decker bus arrives in York

 

A landmark moment has been celebrated in York today (14 August) as it has become the first UK city outside London to trial a new fully electric double decker bus.

It comes 102 years after the City first pioneered  electric buses on a regular service route. 

Single deck electric buses were next trialled on the Fulford park and ride service in 2010 and have since become a regular feature on the Poppleton and Monks Cross shuttles as well as the off peak 500 service to Woodthorpe.

Electric Park and Ride bus

Early services hit a setback 2 years ago when an electric bus caught fire in the City centre

Representatives from City of York Council, First York and local bus manufacturer, Optare welcomed the arrival of the first “Metrodecker EV” in York today, which will be trialled on the York Park & Ride network and selected city routes over the next month.

The zero-emission and fully electric bus has the capacity to carry 99 passengers and has a range of nearly 150 miles from one overnight charge. The new vehicle is being trialled in York following the recent announcement that improvements will be made to the city’s already successful Park & Ride scheme. It was promised that new ‘greener’ buses would be introduced to improve fuel emissions citywide, placing York’s Park & Ride as one of the most sustainable and efficient in the country.

Speaking about the trial, Councillor Ian Gillies, executive member for transport at City of York Council, said: “I’m delighted to welcome this new addition to York’s green public transport fleet. There will be at least three electric double-deckers among the 14 electric buses on our Park & Ride routes.

“These Park & Ride buses will play a major role in continuing to improve the air quality in York, as well as giving an increasing number of passengers a safe, quick journey across the city.”

In March 1915 York Corporation Tramways Department was one of the very first operators in the country to use electric buses and to this day, there are still two relics of this pioneering form of transport in the City – the shelters at Clifton Green and Malton Road Corner, which were built as charging points for the buses

In March 1915 York Corporation Tramways Department was one of the very first operators in the country to use electric buses and to this day, there are still two relics of this pioneering form of transport in the City – the shelters at Clifton Green and Malton Road Corner, which were built as charging points for the buses

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director at First York, adds: “This is another milestone to celebrate in what is already a thriving Park & Ride scheme in York. As one of the UK’s major bus operators, we understand the vital role we play in helping to solve the air quality challenge facing the country and I’m thrilled to welcome the trial of the future of bus travel to York today.

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment at City of York Council, said:

“This innovation is very welcome to improve air quality in York. The bus was on display at the One Planet York Conference in June and it is great to see locally built buses on the streets of York.”

Optare unveiled its long-awaited zero-emission Metrodecker EV in 2016, and with its range projected to rise to 200 miles on a single charge within a year the manufacturer has signalled a move away from its previous mid-day charging strategy.

Robert Drewery, Commercial Director, Optare added: ‘After the success of the Optare electric buses currently operating in York, we are thrilled to be trialling the first fully electric Optare double deck in the City. We see this as a breakthrough in public transport and look forward to seeing these vehicles in operation across the country, improving air quality in our towns and cities.”

For more information on York’s Park & Ride visit https://www.itravelyork.info/park-and-ride

Rougier Street bus stops set for major upgrade

From Monday 14 August City of York Council is set to improve the Rougier Street bus stops, some of the most used in the city, with new paving and kerbs ready for a major overhaul later in the year.

The work will take place after the scaffolding which has been used to redevelop Roman House is removed. The area will then be repaved ahead of the new bus shelter being installed in October.

Unfortunately, it will not be possible for buses to stop on the Roman House side of Rougier Street whilst the scaffolding is being removed or the pavement renewed.  Because of this, bus stops on this side of the road (CA-CC) will be closed for seven weeks between 14 August and 24 September.

Bus route diversions

From Monday 31st July for up to two weeks, Coastliner services will divert via Monkgate and Heworth Green to avoid possible delays due to traffic signal works in Heworth Village. East Parade and Heworth Road will not be served.

Rougier Street stops CA-CC will be closed from Monday 14th August for seven weeks during scaffolding removal and footway repair works. During this time, the nearest alternative stops will be:

  • Rail Station RF-RJ for services 13 (to Copmanthorpe), 16 (to Acomb), 21 (to Colton), 24 (to Acomb), 26 (to South Bank), 37 (to Tadcaster), 66 (to Nunnery Lane), 840, 843 and 845 (to Leeds), Cityzap (to Leeds);
  • Temporary stop Micklegate CL for services 3 (to Askham Bar Park & Ride) and 7 (to Designer Outlet Park & Ride);
  • Station Avenue RM for services 6 (to Clifton Moor) and 181 (to Sheriff Hutton/ Castle Howard);
  • Station Road CD-CE for services 10 (to Poppleton), 11 (to Bishopthorpe), 12 and 14 (to Foxwood).

Stops for services heading towards Stonebow and Piccadilly will not be affected by these works. All other stops will remain open as normal.

Stonebow stops SA, SB and SC are closed until the end of 2017 due to major refurbishment works at Stonebow House.

  • Monks Cross Park & Ride (service 9) will stop on Pavement, outside M&S.
    All other services will use the temporary stop closer to the Peasholme Green end of Stonebow, between the junctions with Garden Place and Hungate.

Depending on the bus route, the nearest alternative stops will be at Low Ousegate, Station Avenue, the Railway Station or a temporary stop at Micklegate.  A list of bus services showing the nearest alternative stops during the closure period is available at www.itravelyork.info
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Westfield residents survey results updated to include Cornlands Rd/Gale Lane area

The results, from the Westfield Councillors annual survey of public opinion, have been updated to include the Cornlands Road area.

The summary report can be downloaded by clicking here

Residents said they were satisfied with most public services in the area. The best performing was the bus service, mirroring the similar result obtained in the nearby Chapelfields estate.

Lack of car parking on local roads was the key grievance.

Residents wanted to see the return of a regular skip service.

There were many complaints about overgrown Council owned  trees and bushes which are obstructing paths and gardens.

Several policing issues were highlighted with anti social behaviour apparently on the increase.

The top priority for regeneration of the Front Street area was the provision of level forecourts across the whole shopping area.

The future of the Front Street area is due to be discussed at a public meeting taking place tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Gateway Centre starting at 6:30pm. 

York Council finally confirms that “new” Park and Ride contractor will be First

 

Electric Park and Ride bus

Three weeks after revealing that a new P & R contract has been let the York Council has issued a statement confirming that the current contractor First York will also run the new services.

The statement says,

“The council and First York are set to extend their partnership delivering York’s Park & Ride service after the bus operator successfully bid for the seven year contract commencing in early 2018.

The new partnership agreement will see fully electric buses operating on three of the six routes, with brand new Euro 6 diesel buses completing the Park & Ride fleet. To help make journeys quicker and easier for passengers, First York have committed to complement the existing range of cash, smartcard and mobile ticket options with contactless bank-card technology.

Alongside this the new buses will also have displays providing useful information for passengers including details about the next bus stop, service data and other useful local information.

Overnight parking will also be introduced at the Askham Bar and Monks Cross Park & Ride sites giving visitors the ability to park at the site en-route to their hotel accommodation, or to access the rail network for a journey elsewhere lasting more than one day.
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Mixed news on new Park and Ride service

Park and Ride network

It seems that the council has finally received a bid to run its park and ride service. When the contract was first advertised no bids were forthcoming.

In the main the service will continue at it is today.

Key changes include

  • a facility to use contactless bank cards to pay for journeys.
  • Motorists will be able to park overnights (for up to three days) at the Askham Bar and Monks Cross sites (involving the provision of barrier access).
  • New Euro VI compliant buses including the replacement of some articulated single deck buses with double deckers
  • 11 single deck fully electric buses will be retained together with 3 fully electric double deckers

New Alexander Dennis Enviro 400MMC buses proposed

However users face a fare hike from £2-90 to £3-10 with a 10 minute frequency.

A number of enhancements including a late night service are on offer but are unlikely to be accepted for cost reasons.

The new contract will reduce the council’s income to an estimated £80,000 a year.

The Council have refused to disclose the name of the proposed operator.

The new contract will start next year.

Stonebow bus stop relocation

Stonebow is closed today (Sun 2nd) until 7pm. Diversion in operation via Foss Islands and buses will serve stops on Clifford Street

Due to the ongoing redevelopment of Stonebow House bus stops in the nearby area have been relocated for the duration of the works.

The Monks Cross Park&Ride service which currently uses stop SA will now stop outside Marks & Spencer. Services stopping at SB and SC including those provided by First, Coastliner, and Harrogate Coach Travel will move further along Stonebow towards Peaseholme Green.

It’s estimated that the work to Stonebow House will be completed by the end of the year at which point the bus stops will revert back to their original positions.

Bus wardens will be on hand during to advise residents and visitors of the changes. For more information about travelling in and around York visit www.itravelyork.info

Sunday 500 bus service from Foxwood to be scrapped. Woodthorpe link to continue

First have announced that they will make changes to their free electric bus service from Sunday 2nd April. From that date the service will no longer run along the Bellhouse Way/Foxwood Lane loop.

It will however continue to run through the Woodthorpe estate so those living close to Ryecroft Avenue will still be able to use the service. The service provides a link to Tesco at Askham Bar and beyond to Bishopthorpe. In another change the servie will in future continue on into the City centre

The free service is expected to attract normal fares later in the Spring ending the fare free experiment.

Park & Ride fare hike

From 26 March 2017 there will be a number of fare changes introduced on York’s Park & Ride network.

The Council claims, “These changes have been introduced in line with national inflation and earnings data and to help meet the operational costs of running York’s high-quality Park & Ride service”.

There was of course no fall in fare levels when the price of fuel plummeted 2 years ago.

The future of the park and ride service remains unclear following the failure of the Council to attract any bids to run the services under strict new contract rules. First has had its contract extended for a short period of time.

New fares are:

  • Day ticket (bought in multiples) to increase from £2.50 to £2.60
  • Adult returnto increase from £2.80 to £2.90
  • Adult weekly to increase from £11.20 to £11.60
  • Adult monthly to increase from £44 to £46.40
  • Adult annual to increase from £440 to £464

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