Museum Street bus stop to get 12th century style shelter

Under new proposals, passengers waiting for the Rawcliffe Park&Ride at the Musem Street bus stop will be able to wait under a new canopy shelter, funded out of the £3.5 million government Better Bus Area funding.

The canopy is adjacent to St Leonards Hospital which was founded in 1137. The canopy design will respect the setting of the adjacent building

Proposed shelter design

Proposed shelter design

The Council says that it undertook full consultation with key stakeholder groups including English Heritage, York Museums Trust, York Civic Trust and businesses who front Museum Gardens. The scheme is estimated to cost in the region of £75 to £80k.

The upgrade will improve the flow of pedestrians along the northwest side of Museum Street, reduce the conflict with bus passengers and improve passenger waiting facilities at the bus stop.

"best possible taste"

“best possible taste”

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member of Transport, Planning and Sustainably, said: The new shelter will be done in the best possible taste

In addition to the new shelter, the proposed alterations will include localised removal of the existing stone walls which will be reused where possible to retain the fabric of the original walling, and a new curved section of walling will be provided to ensure security to Museum Gardens is maintained.

The mature cherry tree will need to be removed as the roots are damaging the adjacent drainage system and are penetrating into the monument’s wall joints. Removal of the tree will open up the view of the adjacent Willow tree, which is considered to be the dominant and more attractive tree, as well improving the view to The Minster.

It is also proposed to provide new railings on the new curved walling to match the adjacent Brierley railings that link between the bus stop and the Library, as this is the natural continuation.

Alternatively, the original railing (which extends from the Museum Gardens entrance to the bus stop) is an option being considered.

To view the proposals or to attend the decision session visit: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=738&MId=8022

York to get more electric buses

Coalition government awards Councils £2.4m for new green buses

York will get seven new green buses and a pilot scheme to convert a diesel bus to electric propulsion.

Norman Baker MP

Norman Baker MP

Councils across England are gearing up to roll out a fleet of new low carbon buses and retrofit some of their existing models, after the government handed out fresh funding to reduce air pollution.

Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Norman Baker yesterday awarded £2.4m funding to help eight towns, cities, districts and counties improve their bus fleets, including York

York will receive funding for seven green buses and a trial to convert a diesel bus to electric.

Commenting on the fresh funding, Baker said cleaner and more efficient buses benefited both the economy and environment.

“This money will improve air quality in towns and cities across England and cut carbon, which is good for all of us wherever we live,” he said in a statement.

“Schemes like these are a cost-effective way of landing real benefits for the public and the environment.”

(more…)

Revised York bus timetables start today

click for larger image

click for larger image

New timetables for First York bus services have been introduced today.

They can be found by clicking here

Click to download a larger scale bus map

Return fares* have been scrapped although “single journeys start from £1”.

No information has so far been published on how far you can travel for £1!

The cheapest “return” generally available now is the Firstday at £3-70 (which allows unlimited use of all First bus services in the City)

* On service 4, return tickets cost just £2 between the University of York and the City Centre/Rail Station.

* On Park & Ride services, return fares continue to be available at £2.60, for journeys from Park & Ride sites

First offers to meet passengers at Acomb venue on Thursday to explain timetable changes

old bus

To ensure customers are fully aware of the proposed timetable changes, First is planning to hold the following three public drop in sessions this week at venues where some of the bigger network changes are taking place:

Haxby – Wednesday 25 September, 2.30pm-5.30pm, Haxby & Wigginton Methodist Church Hall

Acomb – Thursday 26 September – 9am-12noon, Acomb Parish Church Hall

City Centre -Thursday 26 September – 2pm-5pm, City of York Council West Offices

They say, “Further drop in sessions will take place over the next few months as First looks to make further customer-orientated network changes”.

Click here for a map showing the revised (First) bus network in York

The following internet link will take you to a full list of the service changes. http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/york/travel_news/service_updates/?item=9391&conf=0

The offer is likely to be welcomed as the precise working arrangements for the “Acomb bus hub“, and the frequency of the new service on Hamilton Drive, have raised question marks with some users?

Revised York bus timetables on First web site …… but still no reliability info

The detailed new bus timetables – which will be introduced on Sunday – can now be viewed on the First web site.

However, the Council continues to refuse to release information about bus service reliability in the City.

bus-stop1

Ironically a meeting is taking place today which talks about the importance of “journey planning”. It seeks to promote increased bus use but develops acute myopia on the issue of service reliability information.

Uncertainty is the single factor most likely to cause potential bus users to instead opt for the car.

The Council in response to the latest Freedom of Information request, says that it has entered into a confidentiality agreement with the local bus companies.

It receives reliability data but the council claims that it is prevented, by the terms of the agreement, from sharing the information with passengers.

Only an annual reliability figure is published and that on an obscure DPT web site. The latest (2011/12) figures suggest that around 80% of York services run on time.

Behind closed doors logo

Incredibly even reliability data on services paid for by the Council taxpayer (around £800,000 is paid out in subsidies each year) is not published.

What has compounded the mistake has been a decision to cease independent checks of service reliability. These would not be covered by the data sharing protocol and could – as happened in the period up to 2011 – be published. Labour stopped the checks shortly after taking office.

The so called data sharing protocol is effectively a restrictive practice. which is to the disadvantage of the taxpayer and bus passenger.

It is likely that – unless more information is offered – that an appeal to the Information Commissioner (and possibly the Ombudsman) may be lodged.

In the mean time the governments Transport Minister is being urged to introduce regulations which require all public transport providers to publish the same quality of service information which rail operators have been forced to do for over a decade.

Over 12 months ago the Minister responsible urged the Council to start providing more quality of service information.

Changes to Stonebow bus stops

click for larger map

click for larger map

The Council is implementing changes to bus stop arrangements in the Pavement/Stonebow area.

The park and ride bus stop is being relocated to Stonebow to reduce footpath congestion, while the entrance to Whip-ma-Whop-ma-Gate is being narrowed.

The background report says,

Behind closed doors logo“The proposed alteration of the Whip-ma-Whop- ma-Gate junction will reduce the carriageway width to allow just a single exit lane. Whilst this is considered adequate to deal with traffic flows, and will bring about a number of safety improvements, there is a risk of some criticism over this change”.

No consultation with residents has taken place and he decision was taken “behind closed doors”

First announce new bus fares

From Sunday 29 September the following fares will apply on First buses in York:

• • York FirstWeek reduced to £12.00 (from £16) – a 25% cut and a saving of £4

• • York FirstMonth reduced to £44 (from £53) – a saving of £9 and now monthly (rather than for four weeks)

• • York FirstAnnual reduced to £440 (from £583) – a saving of £143

• • A new minimum single fare of £1 – meaning all York customers have access to a £1 single fare to somewhere in York

• • York FirstDay prices frozen (£3.70)

old bus

First say, “In the summer we talked extensively to our customers and partners in York and have listened to what they have said to us. Value for money was one of the major points raised and with this range of lower and more attractive fares we are giving both new and existing customers the chance to save money when they use First buses on a regular basis.

For those customers who plan ahead there are a range of savings to be made on our week, month and annual tickets. We have also looked at our single ticket structure and have offered some new cheaper fares from just £1 and will publish widely for the first time our simplified single fares structure to encourage new bus users to try the bus.

Our key message, and it came out of the public consultation, is that we should be fair. Some singles are going up but the increases are capped at 20p, while some singles are being reduced by as much as 70p. When people do have increases on singles many will still have an opportunity to pay less by buying a different type of ticket”.

Bus services

Herd of buses

First have confirmed the terminus (timing points) where their new Acomb bus services will lay over.

Service 5/5A will terminate at Front Street, (5 at The Marcia Pub, 5A at the Post Office),

The 4 will terminate at Green Lane.

First have promised to improve the prominence of the timetables for the new services on their web site.

We are expecting an announcement about fare levels tomorrow morning. See this web site for details.

Road (Pavement) closed between Stonebow and Coppergate from Sunday

From Sunday 15 September the connecting road between Stonebow and Coppergate, will be closed for four weeks, to enable Northern Gas Networks to carry out important upgrades in the area.

Pavement will be closed to all vehicular traffic until 13 October 2013, which will mean that bus routes serving Stonebow will also be diverted and revised timetables will be in place.

Bus routes that are not diverted may still experience delays so passengers are advised to allow extra time for their journey.

At the same time bus stops at Stonebow with be upgraded as part of the £3.5 million Better Bus Area Fund, awarded by the Department of Transport in 2012.

Please check http://www.itravelyork.info/ for details of the bus diversions.

For further information, please contact BusInfo on 01904 551400 or visit the Bus Point located in the Travel Centre at York Rail Station.