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.
The localresidents action grouphas protested about the policy for storing excavated materials on the Lowfield development site. Mountains of waste are gradually growing on the Green Lane boundary.
Residents say they were promised consultation on the strategy for dealing with excavated materials. If they were to be stored on site – in preparation for reuse later in the building phase of the work, then assurances were needed about their short and long term effects on drainage in the area.
Now several neighbouring residents are looking out onto 8 metre high piles of concrete rubble.
Concerns were also recorded about the effect that the work would have on the local ecology.
A lorry visiting the site today damaged verges near the site entrance.
This has led to renewed appeals for better advanced notice of deliveries and their likely impact on “on street” parking.
In response to a Freedom of Information request, the York Council has issued a list of grassed areas that it hopes to “edge” this year.
The areas are all in the ownership of the housing and leisure departments. The list can be downloaded from here,
The request came after the Foxwood Residents Association appointed contractors to tidy up amenity area paths in their area. “The Foxwood Project” involves work on grassed areas like the Thanet Road Sports area. It is now well advanced, although recent rain has hindered progress.
Grassed verges reman a concern both in Foxwood and in other parts of west York. These haven’t been included in a formal programme of work for several years following maintenance funding cuts. The result is that several verges have now extended over adjacent public footpaths causing obstructions. Residents in the Ridgeway area recently petitioned for their paths to be “edged”.
The Council says that it is drawing up a programme of verge work and that it hopes to include Foxwood Lane and Bellhouse Way in the programme.
It is understood that the Council has used “community payback” schemes to make limited progress on the backlog of work.
In our view contractors need to be brought in to tackle the worst of the problem verges.
They’re a particular hazard for older pedestrians where adjacent hedges are also overgrown.
The York Council announced a few weeks ago that it was restricting the discounts available for small vehicle users who needed ResPark permits. It said that in future the permits would only be available for drivers of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV).
These are electric vehicles. There are no “on street” charging facilities for such vehicles in York.
Also being lost were the 50% discounts that currently apply for the drivers of short cars. These were introduced over a decade ago when small cars like the “Smart” came onto the market. The idea was to reduce the demand for kerbside space. Discounts were available for vehicles under 2.7 metres long.
These disappeared when the new charges were agreed earlier in the year.
They have now mysteriously reappeared in the minutes of a subsequent meeting. It is a shame that the Council were not more open in their debate about discounts. They have still to explain how any ULEV owner could reasonably be expected to recharge their vehicles.
Separately a “scrutiny” reporton the vexed subject of ResPark is being presented to an executive meeting next week. The report recommends several changes including larger ResPark areas and electronic enforcement options.
City of York Council’s Executive will be asked to agree to progress plans to develop rapid charging points – known as Hyper Hubs – for electric vehicles at two locations in the city.
A report that will be considered at a meeting on Monday 18 March explains that the council’s bid for a European Regional Development Fund grant towards the cost of the project has been successful, and also seeks agreement for the initial consultation phase of the project to begin in May.
If the go-ahead is given, Hyper Hubs will be developed adjacent to the Monks Cross and Poppleton Bar Park & Ride sites. The Hyper Hubs will combine solar energy harvesting and storage with electric vehicle charging points, reducing the reliance of electric vehicles on the UK electricity grid and, at the same time, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A solar canopy would be erected over approximately 100 car parking spaces, with an energy storage facility located nearby. There would be a number of rapid charging points for use by private car owners, taxi drivers and business users. Depending on the vehicle, a charge could take as little as 15 to 20 minutes.
If approved, the £1.5 million cost of the project will be met using £800,000 of Go Ultra Low funding from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles and £700,000 of European Regional Development Funding. The council is also working to deliver a Hyper Hub with York Hospital.
Work has started on tidying up the edges of green areas in Foxwood. Contractors employed by the Residents Association have started work edging paths on the Thanet Road sports area (public section).
The Dickson Park paths were edged earlier in the year.
The contractors will work their way on through the area over the next few days.
Backing for the project has come from the Jewson “Building Better Communities” Fund with a top up from the Westfield Ward committee.
We have asked the Councils highway department to see if they can edge the verges in Foxwood Lane and Bellhouse Way.
We hope that all residents will make a point of trimming back hedges from public footpaths before the bird nesting season starts.
Next up will be our “Spring Clean” programme. Tomorrow (Saturday 9th March) a skip and recycling truck will be located near the Rogers Court parking area. Please note that the facilities are for the use of residents only and that the vehicles will leave as soon as they’re full.
Later in the month we will be joining in the “Great British Spring Clean” programme.
Saturday 30 March – 10.30am – noon meet at Foxwood Lane/Beagle Ridge Drive shops to tidy this area
Sunday 7 April – 2pm – 4pm – meet at pumping station on Foxwood Lane to clear Chesney Fields
Sunday 14 April – 2pm – 4pm – meet at junction of Herman Walk with Sherringham Drive
Monday 15 April – 10.30am – noon – meet at Acomb Wood shops
New off street parking being provided in Bachelor Hill
Good to see some progress on providing more off street parking spaces. Matrix (eco grid) surfacing being provided in Bachelor Hill. Follows on fromt the completion of two additional spaces in Spurr Court.
Unfortunately we still have problems with litter. We’ve reported more issues today (see below)
The officer states that a replacement hedge must be provided as part of any redevelopment.
There are also concerns about the displacement of bats.
One item, relating to the movement of small mammals like hedgehogs, will be of particular interest to local residents who are concerned not just about this proposal but also the plans for the nearby Lowfields site.
There adeveloper (Yorspace) is planning to replace the existing railings with a close boarded fence. Effectively such fences hinder the free movement of hedgehogs
The Ecology officer hasn’t commented on the Lowfield proposal although the wildlife issue has been highlighted by the Lowfields Action Group as part of their objection.