Latest TalkTalk UFO broadband programme published

There is still some concern that verge reinstatement’s which are being reported as “complete” are actually quite unsightly. In part this may be put down to the recent very dry weather.

However, the local community should not have to put up with dust-bowl verges like those on Foxwood Lane – near Chesney’s Field – which were first dug up about 6 months ago.

Foxwood Lane

Foxwood Lane

York Council seeks views on new “Clean Air Zone” for York’s city centre

Fuel cell bus under test in London. Zero tail pipe emissions. Still no sign of the technology reaching York

City of York Council is seeking views on the proposed introduction of a Clean Air Zone in York’s city centre, to help tackle traffic pollution which can be harmful to people’s health.

As part of this consultation, a drop-in event is taking place on Monday 23 July between 3- 6pm at West Offices, where officers will be on-hand to answer any questions and provide more information about the proposals.

Unlike other parts of the country where a Clean Air Zone is a mandatory requirement, the council is proactively looking to introduce the new zone.

This will help to reduce the amount of traffic pollutants in York’s city centre, which are mainly caused by diesel vehicles.

The council is looking at many ways to improve air quality in the city centre. One of these options is by working with bus operators to apply the proposed Clean Air Zone to local bus services.

The authority knows (through York’s Third Air Quality Action Plan) that local bus services make up three per cent of the traffic but cause 27 per cent of the main pollutants in York.

The survey is available to complete at www.york.gov.uk/consultationsAlternatively  ask for a paper copy at West Offices.

To find out more about which bus services could be affected, or for more background on this proposal, visit: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=10195

Those reading the background  reports may be disappointed by the lack of information on pollution trends in the City (Euro 6 standards are already prompting improvements) while auto idling devices are fitted to all new vehicles.
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New flytipping task force formed in York and North Yorkshire

A brand new fly tipping task force named Operation Eyeball has been formed to tackle fly tipping in rural parts of North Yorkshire and the City of York.

Bringing together North Yorkshire Police with landowners and district and unitary councils will allow the sharing of intelligence and information to tackle the crime. A key element will be planned and targeted enforcement action days.

North Yorkshire County Council, Network Rail, the NFU and the Environment Agency, as landowners, are also involved. Along with City of York Council, all seven North Yorkshire local authorities who have enforcement powers for this crime are also involved in the operation: Selby District Council, Ryedale District Council, Hambleton District Council, Harrogate District Council, Craven District Council, Scarborough Borough Council and Richmondshire District Council.

North Yorkshire Police will be gathering and sharing intelligence around fly tipping hot spots, suspect vehicles and waste carriers.

Supt Paula Booth, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Fly-tipping is a selfish crime that blights local environments and spoils people’s enjoyment of our towns and countryside. It is a source of pollution, a potential danger to public health and a hazard to wildlife. It also undermines legitimate waste businesses who operate within the law.

“By working together, we can tackle this issue. We also need help from the public – if you find or witness fly-tipping, wherever it is, record as many details about the incident and the waste as you can, and report it to your local authority or via the gov.uk website. This will help the authorities take action against those responsible and stop them fly-tipping in the future.”

Anyone who witnesses fly tipping should report it to their local authority.

Verges need major repairs following excavations

Good to see TalkTalk contractors out n the Danesfort Avenue area repairing verges today. The dry weather has made reinstatement to an acceptable standard a challenge.

But residents are less happy about delays in other verge repairs.

Reinstatements on Foxwodo Lane have been outstanding for nearly 6 months

Concrete drives on Kingsthorpe have been repaired but adjacent verges are an eyesore

Verges in Kingsway West are appalling

Another overgrown cul de sac

The cul de sacs on Kingsway West are a particular problem. Overgrown, weed infested with many bare patches

Time to tackle weeds and poor grass cutting in York

Although the long dry spell has restricted the growth of weeds on paths and gutters in York, much of the City is now looking untidy.

The Council should be well on with its first application of weed killer.

Residents have also complained about the quality of cutting on some verges and amenity areas.

Verges damaged by utility works, although reseeded in come cases, are still bare earth because of dry conditions.

Grass still growing despite dry conditions

Some amenity areas like Otterwood Lane haven’t been cut yet.

Weeds growing in gutters in Queenswood Grove. Verges are untidy

Weeds need cutting back and verges edging on Kingsthrorpe

 

 

Acomb Front Street improvements – report published

More flower tubs are promised

The Council is set to consider the latest report on the future of Acomb Front Street on 3rd July.

The area has had a boost in recent months with fewer empty properties and plans announced that would see several empty upper floors brought into residential use.

Nevertheless, the long-term future of the shopping area remains unpredictable, so investment of up to £100,000 is to be welcomed. Some of the fund will be spent in Haxby.

Back alleys need better refuse storage and cleaning

Part of the money is to be spent on bolstering existing activities with the aim of increasing “footfall”. These include additional grants to the ADAM arts festival and an improved Acomb Alive Christmas lights display.

Additional planters are planned for Front Street as are better signposts (wayfinding)

The Friends of Acomb Green have been allocated £5000 for “recycling area improvements” in the car park although it is unclear precisely what this would involve. (The bins could do with repainting although overfull containers, and litter drift, have been the main sources of complaint).

The Council could make a start by cleaning its noticeboards on a regular basis

A further £23,000 of the budget will be allocated later in the year.

The project has moved forward only slowly over the last 3 years.

The results of our survey undertaken in 2017 revealed that residents had clear priorities for the improvement of the area.

Residents priorities for Front Street 2017

Top of the list was the need for a level pedestrian surface across the whole of the precinct.

Achieving this would have required negotiations with the forecourt owners.

Little progress seems to have been made although consultants are now to be appointed to produce an economic masterplan for the area. They are expected to report in December 2018.

York bus services back in the firing line?

New Rougier Street bus shelter

The York Council, as part of a “Clean Air Day”, is claiming that users of 75 cars could be accommodated on one double decker. Maybe so, but if they choose to wait at the new bus shelter on Rougier Street they will find that the real time information about bus services has disappeared.

Failure to roll out the electronic information screens to more stops has been a failing of the Council.

There are none at bus stops on Tadcaster Road which accommodate the, otherwise successful, inter city services.

Busy stops in the Acomb area have never had them.

They may be needed more and more as, following a good year in 2017 with high passenger numbers and record-breaking approval ratings in surveys, the service quality seems to be falling away again. This is mainly down to reliability with some buses being dropped without warning.

Back to the “Clean Air Day” and the Councils frankly disingenuous “on line” survey. The survey purports to ask residents whether they favour the use of lower emission buses on, and within, the inner ring road.

No prizes for the likely answer to that question. Might as well ask if residents would prefer have hemlock added to the  water supply!

Generally, air quality in York has improved in recent years with cleaner vehicles making their way onto the streets. York already has some electric buses operating on Park and Ride routes. This will reach 100% shortly following a government grant decision.

The latest Euro 6 specifications substantially reduce emission levels on new diesel buses. However, Euro 6 buses cost £250,000 each meaning that upgrading just the First fleet in York would require investment of £17.5 million.

Having raised the possibility of access for only the least polluting buses by 2020, the Council singularly fails to tell residents how much a forced modernisation programme would cost and who would pay?

One of the questions implies that the change could mean a substantial increase in fares.

Another option for bus companies seeking to pay for the minimum £15,000 per bus cost of modifications to just exhaust systems, would be for them to withdraw services from less well used routes.

The Council can’t fund additional social bus services, so the consequence would be dozens, perhaps hundreds, of more cars on City streets.

Quite the reverse of what the Council hopes to achieve.

The Council needs a well thought through and costed modernisation programme for public transport in the City.  Sloganising simply clouds the decision making process.

15,000 tonnes of green waste collected by York Council last year

A new York Council report reveals that 12,649 tonnes of green (garden) waste was collected from households in the city last year. In addition 2,214 household waste sites generated a further 2.214 tonnes.

The cost of collecting the green waste was £515,000 while disposal cost £267,000.

The green waste is composted and made available free of charge for gardeners.

The Council says that if the green waste went to landfill it would cost taxpayers around £1.5 million. It would not be viable to burn the waste at the Allerton Park incinerator.

The amount of green waste collected for each York household is similar to that produced in the county as a whole. In York charges are only levied for additional bins.