Action taken on verges

Good to see the Council out today cutting verges in the Foxwood area. Obviously there are a lot of very long cuttings now on paths and in gutters.

Grass on Foxwood Lane has now been cut
Parts of Manor Drive are overgrown. If the Council are planning to leave areas “wild” for nature conservation reasons, then they should consult with residents about their plans.
Elsewhere, problems with hedges obstructing paths are once again an issue. The hedges should have been trimmed during the winter. Above shows the shared use cycle/footpath along the A1237 near Poppleton. It is barely wide enough to allow two riders to pass by. The hedge makes it virtually impossible.
Its not just cycle paths that are vulnerable to overgrown hedges. This one in Hollyrood Drive obstructs the public footpath.

With the rain, come the weeds

Wetter weather will accelerate plant growth in the City. That means bigger weeds.

Usually by now the York Council has revealed its weed killing programme. Seems we have to go on waiting this year.

Name signs are already obscured
Sign posts need cleaning
Hazardous broken chain link fencing on Chapelfields snicket still not repaired
Verges still not cut

Tackle root causes!

Residents rightly become irritated when they report public service problems and either they take a long time to clear up or the issue occurs again very soon afterwards.

This is particularly frustrating when potholes reopen and gullies become blocked immediately there is a shower of rain

We think that the York Council needs to get to the root causes of some issues.

They currently spend a lot of money clearing up fly tipping but have been very tardy in advertising the bulky waste collection service the cost of which was reduced substantially in April.

Recurrent litter problems occur on some snickets. It should be possible to identify, and fine, offenders. In some cases the littering is happening everyday.

Full litter bins like this one in Cornlands Road add to problems

Snickets off Tennent Road are regularly littered

The Tithe Close snicket is littered on most days
Its not just urban roads that suffer from littering. This Is Bland Lane near Knapton
Local Councillors should arrange for gated alleys – like this in Jute Road – to be cleaned from time to time
Bedding has been dumped on the playground on Cornlands Road

More improvements for cyclists needed

We mentioned last week that we hoped the new York Council would tackle some long outstanding problems with cycle routes

The biggest problem remains the state of road surfaces.

Potholes, like this on Bland Lane, pose a hazard for cyclists, particularly at night
Uneven carriageways are uncomfortable for cyclists. This is in Low Poppleton Lane
On the Beckfield Lane to Jute Road path a (very) old notice prohibits cycling. The Council has however fitted cycle friendly barriers.

The same Jute Road snicket is obstructed by weeds.
Detritus is a particular problem on the gated section
The cycle path link from North Moor Lane to Rufforth is taking a long time to complete

BIFFA bin taking root in Acomb?

A full BIFFA bin has been abandoned in the little Green Lane garage area in Acomb. It has been there for over 4 weeks. The bins is stuffed high with black bags.

The garage area is owned by the York Council but is rarely inspected and even more rarely cleaned up.

Hopefully whoever rented this bin will get it removed quickly.

We’ve reported black bags left next to the litter big on Hamilton Drive West

Some verges haven’t been cut this year and are looking untidy. We have reported those on Foxwood Lane and Bellhouse Way
Weeds are growing on the path and road at the end of Sherringham Drive. The Council has not yet published when it hopes to schedule weed treatments this summer.
Work has started on the demolition of Windsor House. There is still a lot of confusion about this project with additional costs scheduled to be discussed at a Council meeting taking place on 16th June. There has still been no update on the plans to relocate the children’s all weather play area.

Don’t let the vandals win!

Several months ago the playground – owned by the Rowntree Housing Trust – located on Teal Drive was closed.

Locked gates at the playground on Teal Drive

Problems has arisen when vandals damaged part of the children’s slide.

Understandably repairs had to be completed before access was reinstated.

..But the gates have remained locked.

It would be a great shame if the authorities cannot ensure this facility is available at least during the day at weekends and during the summer holidays.

One possible solution would be to put together a volunteer team of key holders who could secure the park at night and reopen it in the morning.

Up a gear for cyclists in York?

There may be some new hope that cyclists will get a better deal from the new administration which is taking over at West Offices this week.

Both the LibDems and the Green Party promised better road surfaces in the City.

Potholes represent a particular hazard for cyclists.

There is talk of an emergency budget in June which would present an opportunity to rejig transport priorities.

We hope so.

In the slightly longer term, the Council needs to take a fresh look at its off road cycle network.

One notorious section in Acomb comes to a dead end in the middle of Front Street with no one apparently able to decide how to safely continue the route towards the Askham Lane and Foxwood areas.

In other areas stop gap measures, introduced 20 years ago, are still in place. These include the makeshift metal channels which were installed on the approaches to several railway bridges. They are supposed to make it easier for cyclists to push their machines up steep access stairways.

Bridge over Holgate sidings. Cycle access from Barbara Grove is steep. There is scope to construct a much gentler gradient.

In reality, it is often easier to carry the bike or – more likely – just take a longer and possibly more hazardous route using the ordinary road network

Greening of York

No, not a reference to the influence of the Green Party.

More the steady advance of weeds on amenity paving areas, back lanes, snickets and on footpaths. Weed growth is heavily influenced by weather conditions, of course, but the Council doesn’t help by being secretive about when they have scheduled weed treatments for this year. Treatment hasn’t always been effective in the past.

Weeds gaining a foothold in back lanes
Footpaths already reduced in width
Self seeded trees allowed to damaged boundary railings and adjacent public footpaths
Weeds and unswept gutters let down local streets
More weeds – not treated last year
Weeds are growing rapidly on some uncut verges

Building works annoy Front Street residents

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Works have started on the demolition of the bowling green buildings on Front Street. Planning permission was granted last year which allows developers to build 10 houses there.

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The proposals were highly controversial as they ruled out a coordinated development which would have secured the future of the Council owned land (former allotments) to the rear of the library car park as well as the open aspect at the back of Chancery Court. A holistic approach was favoured by those residents who completed an opinion survey.

The planning committee inexplicably agreed a Section 106 contribution to the provision of alternative sports/green space facilities but at a site located in the Holgate area.

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Now local residents are complaining about the noise and disturbance being caused by the contractors. It has been suggested that the contractors are trespassing on the Council owned land, which itself has a nature conservation role.

Residents have called on local Councillors to take action to ensure that the contractors respect the amenity of neighbouring properties

The future of the former allotments site needs to be clarified quickly by the Council which has owned it for over 10 years.

It was slated to be an extension to the library incorporating a “pocket park” to retain a green aspect for the benefit of the Front Street area.

However no progress has been made on that project.