£5 million Tadcaster Road repairs budget?

The government announced yesterday an allocation of £5 million for road maintenance on Tadcaster Road York. The local LibDem leadership promptly issued a statement saying that the money would be spent on “repairs”.

“There will be £5m each for plans to make the key route network in Liverpool more resilient, to begin further maintenance on the Swanswell Viaduct in Coventry, and for road maintenance on the Tadcaster Road in York“. – Boris Johnson

This will come as a surprise to many. Tadcaster Road (between Middlethorpe Drive and Knavesmire Gates) was resurfaced last month at a cost to local taxpayers of £600,000. This brought over a mile of carriageway up to standard.

That left a ½ mile stretch between Middlethorpe Drive and Sim Balk Lane to complete. Even taking into account the Tesco roundabout and adjacent off road cycle track (which does need to be reconstructed because of tree root damage) we wouldn’t expect resurfacing this section to cost more than £300,000.

There are many other carriageways in York which are in a much worse condition.

We hope that the Council will move quickly to confirm that the funding is intended to deal with the congestion black spot near the College entrance. There are unnecessary tail backs along Tadcaster Road at peak times as a result of large numbers of people leaving the college and using the pelican crossing.

College pelican crossing on Tadcaster Road

This is compounded by on carriageway bus stops and traffic lights at the Sim Balk Lane junction.

Even the provision of a footbridge would look like an expensive solution to this problem (and not necessarily a facility that everyone would choose to use).

So some further explanation is needed.

Ward highway improvements list published – nothing for Westfield?

It looks like the Westfield area has been snubbed in the latest highways maintenance budget allocations.

In another “behind closed doors” decision, tens of thousands of pounds, from “delegated” ward budgets, has been allocated for highway and footpath repairs plus some other work  like new parking laybys.

Areas benefiting are Bishopthorpe, Clifton, Copmanthorpe, Dringhouses, Fishergate, Guildhall,  Heslington, Heworth, Hull Road, Holgate, Huntington, Micklegate and Rural West.

One of the roads omitted from repair programme

The absence of Westfield from the list is doubly surprising.

Some local roads are in an appalling condition.

Local Councillors were given lists of problem locations over 6 months ago.

Poor weather in the intervening period has seen some surfaces – such as those on the Morrell Court access road – deteriorate quite markedly.

The report to the decision meeting gives details of how much money is available for local ward Councillors to manage.

It also explains the assessment process.

The Ward Highways Capital Scheme is a four-year programme formed from £250k p.a. of capital resources set aside from the main Highways Capital Programme. It is designed to allow wards to bring forward schemes that are important to local residents but would struggle to be prioritised as part of the main capital programme. A nominal allocation is made to each ward on a population basis. Wards are able to aggregate their allocation by carrying over / bringing forward annual allocations in order to undertake more substantial schemes.

The programme was enhanced in 19/20 through the allocation of the following one-off amounts to it:

  • £500k to use for highways improvements in respect of Roads and Footways
  • £500k to use for Walking and Cycling improvements

(NB. Details of how the walking and cycling budget is being spent were published a couple of weeks ago. Yet again no projects in the Westfield area were agreed).

The Council says the aim is to use this funding flexibly to meet the needs of wards whilst taking account of all relevant legislation and statutory guidance as highways are heavily regulated environments.

The following process is used to identify schemes:

  • Community Involvement Officers liaise with ward councillors, residents and key partners to identify potential schemes
  • The Highways team bring forward condition surveys, customer requests, and safety audits for consideration by wards to help inform their decision-making together with information showing the roads in the ward that are to be repaired through the main capital programme
  • Ideas are taken to a ward walk-about for initial consideration followed, where appropriate, by detailed feasibility work and any appropriate community / statutory consultation
  • The Highways team then form the prioritised ideas as far as possible into a coherent capital programme”

Wards not receiving an allocation were Acomb, Haxby, Heworth Without, Hull Road, Holgate and Westfield.

The list of improvements that have been agreed can be viewed by clicking here

Resurfacing works on key routes in York throughout June

City of York Council will be carrying out roadworks on key routes in June, The following works are being undertaken:

  • Melrosegate: Resurfacing works will take place from the 18 June for one day, working between 9.00am and 4.00pm. In order to carry out the work safely, the use of ‘stop and go’ traffic control boards between Fifth Avenue and the access to Tang Hall Community Centre, will be necessary whilst works are taking place to manage lane closures, together with the use of a lead vehicle convoy system to guide traffic past the works at a safe and constant speed.
  • Tang Hall Lane (Phase 1): Resurfacing works will take place from 19 June for two days, working between 9.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday only. In order to carry out the work safely, we will be closing the road north of Lang Avenue to south of Temple Avenue.
  • Tang Hall Lane (Phase 2): Resurfacing works will take place from 23 June for one day, working between 9.00am and 4.00pm. In order to carry out the work safely, we will be closing the road north of Hadrian Avenue to Hull Road.
  • Main Street, Wheldrake: resurfacing works will take place from 24 June for two days, working between 9.00am and 4.00pm. In order to carry out the work safely, there will be a full road closure and a fully signed diversion in place. The closure will be between the junction to Millfield Industrial Estate and the junction to Millfield Court, with access to both still available. Bus stops within the road closure will not be in operation, however, bus services will be available from the relevant bus stops outside of the closure points. Buses will be diverted from Church Lane via Greengales Lane, Elvington Lane, A64 returning to normal route at A19 Selby Rd. Same diversion in reverse for the return journey.
  • Vicarage Lane: Resurfacing works will take place from 25 June for one day, working between 9.00am and 4.00pm. In order to carry out the work safely, we will be closing the road at York Road.
  • Wheldrake Lane to Benjy Lane Junction: Resurfacing works will take place from 26 June for one day, working between 9.00am and 4.00pm. In order to carry out the work safely, there will be a full road closure at the junction of Wheldrake Lane and Benjy Lane and a fully signed diversion in place. Bus stops within the road closure will not be in operation, however, bus services will be available from the relevant bus stops outside of the closure points. Buses will be diverted from Main St via the other Wheldrake Lane to Escrick, Skipwith Rd then via A19 resuming normal route at Crockey Hill. Same diversion in reverse for the return journey.

Highway repairs list for “second quarter” revealed

The council has published details of the footpaths, cycle routes and carriageways that it plans to resurface in July, August and September.

There is more than a little irony in some of the choices. Bishopthorpe Road – part of which is currently closed to traffic – will be resurfaced. Tadcaster Road is mentioned although this work has effectively been completed.

£408,000 is to be spent on the National Cycle Route 65. The local part of this route links Selby via York to north of Skelton. The section from Naburn to Riccall has been criticised as being virtually impassable for ordinary road bikes because fo tree root damage. It is understood, however, that this is not the section that will be reconstructed. (NB. A section of Terry Avenue is likely to be badly affected by flood prevention works over the next 2 years)

National Cycle Route 65

Prompt response from York Council

Cornlands Road/Askham Lane

A York Council manager has responded promptly to reports of Epicormic (lower trunk) growth on some trees in the Cornlands Road/Tudor Road area.

Such growth can cause sight line problems for drivers.

The manager says the branches will be trimmed.

Dumping is a problem at some empty properties.

We’ve reported a similar issue with a tree at the junction of Cornlands Road and Askham Lane.

We also received a prompt response from Cllr Demise Craghill who has executive responsibility for housing in the City.

She was sympathetic to our complaints about delays in bringing empty Council houses back into use and promised to pursue two long standing issues in the Foxwood Lane area.

Morrell Court

Lack of action to level potholes on the Morrell Court access road has now been registered as a formal complaint with the Council. The defects were first reported 6 months ago.

Elsewhere black bags have been left next to the recycling bins at the Acomb Wood Drive shopping area.

We have asked for them to be removed.

Acomb Wood Drive shopping area

Potholes in west York reported

With the York Council now back dealing with potholes, we’ve taken the opportunity to report 3 more problem streets.

These are on Herman Walk near Martin Cheeseman Court.
Particularly hazardous pothole (for cyclists) on School Street, although the whole carriageway really needs resurfacing
Nearby Howe Street is not much better

Road works completed on Blossom Street

The work to replace the gas main near the junction of Blossom Street and Holgate Road were completed on schedule. Traffic has been flowing easily this weekend.

Blossom Street road works have been completed

However further road works on Nunnery Lane (and Tadcaster Road) are starting in June prompting calls for the trial lane closure on Bishopthorpe Road to be terminated.

The closure, ostensibly to free space for “social distancing, has prompted opposition from residents who point to higher pollution levels on alternative routes, cyclists who feel their “contraflow” route is unsafe and motorists who have been facing a 1 mile detour plus higher journey times.

Bishopthorpe Road lane closure. Petition calls for lane to be reopened.

Bollards placed along the edge of the footpath have actually made social distancing for pedestrians more difficult in places.

Lack of consultation with residents has been highlighted as a major concern, while the decision to coincide the closure with road works taking place on the detour route caused particular anger.

The scheme has led to a petition being gathered which calls for the scheme to be abandoned. It has already gained  900 signatures.

It can be found by clicking here  http://chng.it/7KrqTHQGBp

Some commentators have said that the impulsive decision may put the case for creating a part time foot street at the Bishopthorpe Road shops back by a decade or longer.

Unlawful Lendal Bridge closure cost Council £millions in compensation payments

Public antipathy had a similar effect following the failed Lendal Bridge closure 4 years ago.

The Council persisted with that project long after it became clear that it was ill judged and, indeed, ultimately proved to be unlawful.

Government boost for ailing York highways

City of York Council is getting a £5.592 million grant from the government to be spent on road maintenance. It would effectively double this years resurfacing and repair budget, although the phasing of the grant hasn’t been confirmed.

York residents say the worse public service in the City is road repairs

When the Council published its repairs budget a few weeks ago it attracted criticism as many paths and carriageways – although uneven and potentially hazardous – were omitted from the programme.

The new money should allow the Council to begin to restore the highways network to standards last seen in the previous decade.

How quickly additional resurfacing capacity can be made available by the Council and its contractors remains to be seen.

We hope that the focus will be on large scale patching and complete carriageway resurfacing schemes, avoiding the prospect of hastily filled potholes reappearing when bad weather returns.

Monkbar to close for overnight resurfacing on Sunday

Following the completion of the traffic signal renewal at the junction of Monkbar, Lord Mayor’s Walk and St Maurice’s Road, City of York Council will be resurfacing the junction from Sunday 10 May.

To minimise disruption work will take place overnight from 7.30pm – 5am and is expected to take five nights to complete, weather dependant. The work includes resurfacing the road and adding markings.

All crews carrying out the works will be operating under strict social distancing guidance due to the current Coronavirus restrictions. All but essential maintenance has been paused during the outbreak of Coronavirus.

We have worked with trade unions and our supply chain to develop new ways of working during the pandemic. This ensures that works on the road can happen in a safe way for front line operatives and the public, whilst roads are quieter than normal.

This follows guidance from the Department of Transport, which has asked council’s to continue with normal highway maintenance as much as possible.

To minimise disruption the resurfacing work will be carried out in two phases as follows:

  • Phase 1 (Sun 10 May – Tue 12 May): Jewbury/St Maurice’s Road and Goodramgate Closed with traffic on Lord Mayor’s Walk and Monkgate down to a single lane operating under lane closures and temporary lights. Jewbury/St Maurice’s Road will be turned in to a 2-way road allowing access and egress to and from the hotels and Cloisters Walk only (no through traffic). Access and egress will only be granted to St Maurice’s Road/Jewbury from the direction of Layerthorpe/Foss Islands Road/Peasholme Green. The slip road on Foss Bank to Jewbury will also be closed.
  • Phase 2 (Wed 13 May – Thu 14 May): All roads will remain open with traffic on Lord Mayor’s Walk and Monkgate down to a single lane.

The roads will need to be closed during the resurfacing work on phase 1. Clearly signed diversion routes will be in place for through traffic. The closure is to ensure that adequate health and safety is maintained for local residents, the travelling public and the contractors undertaking the work.

Emergency services will be permitted through the works in any situation. A one way system will be in place on pavements to ensure that people can effectively distance themselves from other footway users.

All on street parking in the working area and within close proximity to the works will be suspended including a small section of on street parking on Lord Mayors Walk during work times.

During phase 1, Bus services 12 and 14 will be diverted via Layerthorpe, Eboracum Way and Heworth Green meaning Monkgate will not be served. Buses from the direction of Haxby to York/Foxwood will not be affected.

For more information visit www.york.gov.uk/monkbar

So which roads and paths will be resurfaced this year in York?

Highways programme published

Tadcaster Road will be resurfaced

Somewhat later this year, the York Council has published its highways maintenance programme. The list reveals that the Council has cut its repairs budget by £100,000 compared to last year.

In total the Council will invest £12.3 million this year.

Not all will be spent on roads and paths as the budget also covers repairs to the City Walls (£626,000), replacement street lighting columns (£578,000) and drainage/gulley works (£1.7 million).

Most of the budget has been allocated to structural maintenance works.

£700,000 will be spent just filling in potholes as they appear.

The report gives no details of how the £500,000 repairs budget, delegated to wards last year,  is being spent.

The details of the allocations – and which streets are affected – can be viewed via these links

Footpaths

Major carriageway works

Patching

School Street misses out on the resurfacing list again

The programme is likely to disappoint some residents. They may have hoped that the new Council would get to grips with the, now huge, backlog in highway resurfacing work needed in the City.

But it seems that many residential roads and paths will not get the attention that they need.

In the Westfield ward only two streets will be resurfaced. A second section of Gale Lane will  be resurfaced as will the roundabout at the junction of Askham Lane and Ridgeway.

Badly worn footpaths like this on the odd numbered side of Askham Lane, in Walton Place, on Ridgeway, and on Otterwood Lane, together with the carriageways on Foxwood Lane and School Street, don’t get a mention.

Another hazardous road that didn’t make the cut

There is better news in Dringhouses with a large £1/2 million allocation is included for the resurfacing of Tadcaster Road while several streets in Woodthorpe* will be repaired. Work has already started on resurfacing part of Moor Lane.

The budget allocation predated the current health crisis. Like most of the Council’s expenditure commitments it is likely to be subject to review in the light of falling revenues.

Paradoxically, the current crisis has served to re-emphasise the importance of keeping basic highway surfaces in a condition which does not pose a threat to the safety of vulnerable users like pedestrians and cyclists.

We will be pressing for the details of the “ward resurfacing programme” to be released for scrutiny.

  • Streets identified for “micro patching” include; Lowick (£8,700), Troutbeck (£7,000), Woodthorpe School Entrance (£2,400), Overdale (£6,200), Glenridding (£15,000), Windermere (£6,200), Brambledene (£27,000), Dringfield Close (£6,500), Wains Road (£40,000), &
    Lockwood Street (£6,000)