Recycling centres to reopen?

Speculation is mounting that the government will ask local Councils to reopen civic amenity (recycling) sites where they have been closed. York’s Hazel Court facility has been closed for several weeks now – something which has been a particular issue since green waste bin emptying was also suspended. There are problems with fly tipping in some neighbourhoods.

Several local authorities have kept their amenity sites open and have also continued green waste collections.

Elsewhere some other public services such as street cleaning have generally been improved since the lockdown with hand sweeping being reintroduced on some estates.

We’ve reported several issues for attention

The carcass of a dead badger has been left on the A64 road margin for about a week now. Cleansing responsibilities on trunk roads are shared between local authorities and Highways England but no one has so far sorted out what may become a health issue.
Nearby there is a lot of tree detritus on the A64 cycle path. Makes “social distancing” more difficult. Highways England claims that the York Council is responsible for cleansing this and other similar paths.
We’re still awaiting the first sustained rainfall of this spring. When it comes you can expect hedges to grow quickly. This one near London Bridge on Tadcaster Road is already impeding the path. It has been reportsd to the York Council.
Not just hedges, This tree on Thanet Road is obstructing the cycle path.

NB. We have been told that the York Council will be publishing its highway programme for the current year “in the near future”.

Road repairs let down in York

The York Council has announced that 3 carriageways in the City will be resurfaced starting next week.

They are;

  • *Moor Lane: initial works will take place on Tuesday 28 April, between 6pm to 9pm, weather permitting. The works will consist of removing all existing road studs in preparation for resurfacing works. The resurfacing works will take place on Sunday 3 May between 9.30am to 11am.
  • A1237 – A59 roundabout to B1224 roundabout: initial works will take place on Tuesday 28 April, between 7pm to 9pm, weather permitting. The works will consist of removing all existing road studs in preparation for resurfacing works. The resurfacing works will take place on Sunday 3 May 2pm to 4.30pm.
  • Wigginton Road (section 1) – Railway line to A1237: The resurfacing works will take place on Sunday 3 May between 7am and 9am.

The Council has still not announced its full highways repair programme for the forthcoming 11 months.  The Council is now in breach of its own code of conduct. It recently agreed click to make available programme and performance information in a transparent way.

While the current health crisis may have delayed some aspects of the Councils work, there is no excuse for the lack of any communication with stakeholders.

Last year the programme was published in March although those documents have still not been listed on the  Councils Open Data site (which includes only the 2018 list).

The Council has also removed programme details from its – constantly updated – GIS mapping system.

At the same time the Council’s “report it on line” system is proving to be unreliable. Intermittently it is preventing a “flag” being dropped onto its GIS map indicating the location of potholes and, health related, cleansing issues. The issue is being followed up by a local Councillor. It is important to restrict the use of alternative communication channels – such as telephone and email – as Council resources need to be concentrated on the coronavirus response.

An FOI will be submitted to obtain the highways list. It would be better if officials/Councillors simply offered a progress report.

*Assumed to be Moor Lane Dringhouses

Potholes being filled by North Yorkshire

Good to see the North Yorkshire County Council levelling potholes on roads near Healaugh today. The roads are seeing increased use by Corona exercisers (cyclists and walkers) at present, many of whom are from York.

The potholes are mainly on the margins – an area mostly used by cyclists. Obstructions there can present a hazard.

Potholes being patched on rural road by North Yorkshire County Council.

The situation within the York Council area is less clear. Some highway defects have been marked up but it is unclear when repairs will actually be completed.

There has been no announcement by the Council on when the additional pothole filling team will start work although this may be influenced by the current health crisis.

Similarly there has been no announcement of a list of roads and paths that will be resurfaced during the current (financial) year. Resurfacing work is, of course, even less likely to restart before the health restrictions are lifted, but normally a list of roads would have been published by now.

One piece of good news is that contractors have been seen treating weeds around the Honeysuckle House amenity area on Chaloners Road today. It seems that the Council may be able to keep on top of weed growth on paths this year.

Council agrees to fill in pothole

The York Council has agreed to fill in a pothole on Askham Bryan Lane. Initially the Council refused to address the issue but have now promised routine action.

The Council will have an additional team filling in potholes this year so it is still worth reporting any that represent a hazard for road users in general and cyclists in particular.

York Council trying to maintain public service standards

Good to see at least some public services continuing in York. Verges and open spaces are being cut today in west York. This will be appreciated by the many additional users who are using parks and other spaces for their daily exercise.

Also the pot hole filling team has been at work with long standing hazards on Foxwood Lane patched this week. This should make cycling safer.

Still a lot of catching up to do though and the highways side.

Some of the potholes on Foxwood Lane have been levelled.

Pothole issue to be raised with responsible Councillor

So many pothole reports from both Councillors and residents are being fobbed off by Council officials, that the issue is going to be raised at transport chief Cllr Andy D’Agorne’s meeting on Thursday.

All complainants receive these days is a message saying

“The current status of your report is: closed –  the problem has been inspected and no follow up work is required”

In the past – even if a pothole report didn’t meet what were termed “intervention levels” – an explanation of why work would not be carried out was given. That practice seems to have ceased.

As most on line reports include a photograph, there is clearly a risk and one that is likely to continue to deteriorate.

NB. We have reported again leaf detritus which has been in some of the gutter in little Green Lane since the autumn

Action needed on verges and roads

The Council will be publishing its highways resurfacing programme for the next financial year shortly. There is now a major backlog of work in the area. It is not just potholes that need filling. Large areas of carriageway and several footpaths need patching or resurfacing.

The present Council promised to reconstruct all highways in the City, so it will be interesting to see the extent of next years programme.

School Street remains in poor condition.
Verge damage in Dijon Avenue

Problems with verge damage in the Dijon Avenue area have escalated since building work started on the Lowfield site

Road repairs backlog building in York

Residents will have a lot of sympathy with local highways inspectors who have the unenviable task of allocation very limited resources to road repairs. Poor weather has increased the number of potholes appearing over recent weeks. The poor state of highway surfaces is a reflection of inadequate investment in maintenance by the York Council for nearly a decade.

An additional pothole filling team is promised to be in place from April. Their arrival can’t come soon enough, at least in west York.

The Councils on line “report it” system now monitors highway defect reports. It is possible to see which reports have been read by officials. Several, reported over the last month, are recorded as “solved”. In reality the problems remain. The potholes have simply been judged not to be deep enough to warrant filling.

That is potentially bad news for cyclists.

Councillors receive very little in the way of monthly performance reports on highways activities, so its impossible to know whether the condition of roads and footpaths is getting worse or improving. The number of reports and complaints received is not routinely published.

Complaints about damage to verges, like parking on footpaths, go largely unmonitored. In summer it is a similar situation with highway obstructions like over grown hedges and weeds.

We hope for better in the future.

Askham Lane carriageway, near A1237 roundabout, will not be repaired
We’ve asked for detritus to be swept from the gutters in Otterwood Lane
The thorn hedge on the snicket to the rear on St Josephs Court (Cornlands Road) needs to be cut back before it becomes a hazard for pedestrians
The Acomb car park recycling area is tidier than it has been on some occasions in the past. Someone is still fly tipping in the area though.

Litter and pothole problems on Askham Lane

The “rural” part of Askham Lane is looking a bit neglected these days. It is a busy entrance route into the City and it really should be kept tidy and in a good state of repair.

Hopefully when the current issues with flooding have been resolved the area will get an uplift.