Pay on Exit introduced in Marygate and Coppergate

From this week, Marygate and Coppergate Centre Car Parks (formally known as Piccadilly) now offer new ‘pay on exit’ car parking.

We think that this is a step forward but the top priority remains to improve digital signage and communications to prevent unnecessary trips by drivers seeking parking spaces. That is particularly important at these two car parks which are accessible only by awkward routes.

It is several years since the Council switched of some of its advance car parking space availability signs. A promise that available space information would be integrated into “Sat Nav” systems has not yet materialised., although this si common on electric vehicle charging platforms

The result is unnecessarily long journeys with all that entails in terms of extra pollution.

So now the City of York Council, in partnership with York BID, have introduced the new ‘pay on exit’ equipment, which has been upgraded to enable customers to pay for parking as they leave the car park, in a hope to improve the customer experience.

The new ticketless systems will enable residents and visitors to pay for parking as they leave, rather than in advance.

A successful ‘pay on exit’ trial was undertaken in Marygate car park back in 2016 and the new system has now been expanded to the Coppergate Centre car park too.

The new system uses ANPR cameras to provide ticketless parking at both car parks. ANPR cameras will read the car registration plate on entering the car park. When visitors leave, all they need to do is go to the payment machine and type in their car registration plate.

Blue badge holders are able to scan their barcode or QR code for free or discounted parking at the Coppergate Centre car park. At Marygate, where designated disabled parking bays are outside the car park and  occupied, blue badge holders wishing to park inside the car park are able to scan their barcode or QR code for free or discounted parking.  

ANPR cameras will read the car registration plate on leaving the car park and all visitors need to do is pay any required charge for their stay.

The ticketless parking system will recognise that payment has been made and the barrier will raise automatically to allow drivers to exit.

The introduction of ANPR systems mean car park scratch cards are no longer able to be used in the car parks.
If anyone holds a parking permit for a car park where ANPR ticketless parking is in place, they’ll still be able to use the car park as normal. To find out more on this visit the page on the council website.

It’s hoped that the ‘pay on exit’ system will be rolled out across other city car parks.

Please note: Marygate car park currently has reduced capacity during the important Environment Agency works taking place in the area, and larger vehicles will be operating/using the narrow access road.

The new pay on exit payment systems have been introduced as the new national restrictions change from 12 April to include:

  • Non-essential retail reopening
  • Outdoor hospitality is allowed
  • Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons can resume
  • Libraries, community centres and indoor leisure facilities can reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups)
  • The rule of six or two households still applies and we can only spend time with those we don’t live with outside.

Restrictions remain in place, which means you will still need to sanitise your hands, wear face coverings and keep socially distanced. 

The council is continuing to support local businesses and has prepared for the next stage of lockdown rule easing on 12 April. Extra measures introduced in the city will include:

  • The installation of temporary public toilets, additional litter bins and additional cleaning taking place in the city centre
  • extending the Covid Support Marshalls programme until the end of June
  • submitting planning applications required for temporary managed outdoor spaces to help people see friends and family safely
  • making it easier for people to get tested, offering a collect option at our testing sites and opening up symptom-free testing to all adults and children of secondary school age and above.

Vehicle recharging “HyperHub” plan for Union Terrace car park.

Part of the Union Terrace car park would be converted into an electric vehicle recharging site under Council plans.

Three 50kW Rapid chargers and three 150kW Ultra-Rapid chargers would be installed on a central charging island. Four double headed 7kW Fast charge points would also be installed across 8 parking bays in the main car park, adjacent to the HyperHub.

The proposal, which involve the loss of about 20 ordinary parking spaces, is being discussed next week. It replaces a plan to establish the facility on Bootham Court. This site was subsequently abandoned.

The project is expected to cost £900,000

York’s EV charging strategy includes the deployment of Ultra-rapid charging hubs, known as HyperHubs, at strategic locations around the city.  £1.35million funding was awarded by North Yorkshire LEP in June 2020 to develop York’s public charging network, of which £550k was allocated for the construction of a 3rd HyperHub located near the city centre.

There are no immediate plans to introduce “on street” charging facilities in terraced areas. These facilities have been provided in several City’s making use of the power supply to streetlights or bollards.

Two other HyperHubs are planned, located next to Monks Cross and Poppleton Bar Park & ride sites. An update can be viewed by clicking here

Electric vehicle charging policies received a panning by Which magazine recently

They said that

  • Accessing public chargers was unnecessarily complicated and that universal access was needed
  • Disparate rapid charging plugs were confusing
  • Charging by time was also confusing
  • As was the many variable charging speeds
  • Brand specific networks were considered to be unnecessarily

They called on the government to introduce a standardised approach.

The York Council could usefully add its voice to the calls for more regulation.

Council stages three on line consultations

Bootham/Gillygate

The promised consultation on changes to pedestrian priority arrangements at this junction started this week.

It asks whether changes could be made as part of a plan to modernise the traffic signals at the junction.

The survey can be found by clicking this link

Option1

This design replaces all signalling equipment at the junction whilst also making slight improvements for pedestrians crossing the junction.  Transport modelling of these revisions indicate that the impact to all vehicular traffic moving through the junction is negligible however the improvements to infrastructure at the site make future upgrades and revisions to operation easier.

* A full replacement of all on site traffic signalling technology

* Pedestrian Crossing width increased to 4 metres on the Bootham arm of the junction

* Pedestrian Crossing width increased to 6 metres on the Gillygate arm of the junction

* Tactile paving on the St Leonards Place arm of the crossing to be realigned meet current design standards.

Option 2

This design looks to reallocate space at the junction from road traffic to pedestrians whilst also replacing the required signalling equipment. 

Transport modelling of the redesign indicates that the changes would reduce the capacity of the junction by approximately 30%.  This would see significant increases in general traffic delay at the junction and a large increase in queues which would impact on adjacent junctions across the network. 

* A full replacement of all on site traffic signalling technology.

* Pedestrian Crossing widths increased to 4 metres across both the Gillygate and Bootham arms of the junction.

* Additional pedestrian crossing point introduced from the eastern corner of Gillygate to the western footway of St Leonards Place.

* Removal of the left turn lane from St Leonards Place reducing the highway into a single lane in both directions.

* Highway realigned to the East of Gillygate/St Leonards place to create a more straight ahead route for vehicles travelling from Gillygate into St Leonards Place and additional footway and pedestrian realm adjacent to Bootham Bar.

* Existing Pedestrian Island removed from St Leonards place and crossing realigned as a single stage crossing.

The consultation runs until 31st March.

Dropped kerbs

The Council is also consulting on a revised policy for approving dropped kerb – verge cross over plans.

Lack of on street parking space means that more residents will be likely to seek to make this change in the future. Installation of vehicle charging facilities as the internal combustion engine is phased out, may stimulate demand.

The new regulations are very proscriptive. They don’t permit the relocation of tree or street furniture which may obstruct access to a driveway.

A programme of providing dropped kerbs for Council owned premises has stalled over recent years meaning that verges in several streets are now badly damaged.

The draft policy can be found by clicking here

The consultation closes on 28th April

Homeshare York

The Council is also consulting on the future of its Homeshare services

“Currently Homeshare matches a homeowner aged 55+ who has a spare room and could benefit from some support and/or companionship (the ‘Householder’) with a younger person who will provide 10 hours of support a week in exchange for accommodation (the ‘Homesharer’). Homeshare is free to the Householder and the Homesharer pays £160 towards the running of the match as well as any contributions towards council tax increases. Homesharer’s are fully vetted including two references and a DBS check. Matches are made based on both parties’ personalities and interests and support is offered throughout the match. Matches are expected to last for a minimum of 6 months but can be ended early if a match is not working out. For more information you can visit our Homeshare webpage.

the Homeshare survey can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2DQNWN8

The survey runs until 22nd March

Work starts on region’s largest EV charging hubs

City of York Council is delighted to be working in partnership with Evo Energy to start construction on the largest HyperHub sites in the region.

Artist impression of new hyper hub at Monks Cross.
Artist’s impression of new Hyper Hub at Monks Cross.

The council is investing £2.2m to develop sites, next to Monks Cross and Poppleton Bar Park and Rides, into high quality, high speed electric vehicle charging hubs.

Each HyperHub site will consist of solar PV canopies, battery energy storage, 4 Rapid and 4 Ultra Rapid electric vehicle chargers.

The chargers will help the region to support the next generation of electric vehicles which have significantly larger battery capacities and support higher charging speeds.

Construction on both sites has started, and will be led by EvoEnergy. The new sites at Monks Cross and Poppleton are scheduled for completion in June 2021.

City of York Council is a pioneer in the use of innovative green technology. Over recent years, the council has lead the way in providing a range of public charging facilities for electric vehicles to help reduce carbon emissions and improve local air quality thanks to EV’s eliminating NOx emissions at the point of use.

In addition to generating low carbon electricity on site through PV arrays, all of the electricity supplied from the national grid will be generated by renewable sources providing users with low carbon electricity and ensuring that no NOx emissions are emitted from electricity generation.

The council has successfully secured £1m of European Regional Development Funding and £800,000 from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, along with £400,000 of the council’s own capital funding to install the first two HyperHubs.

This comes just at a time when the nation prepares to transition across to using electric vehicles with the announcement of a complete ban on sales of new petrol or diesel cars by 2030, with plug-in hybrid sales to end in 2035.

When the council first developed their EV charging network in 2013, there were far fewer plug-in vehicles on the road. However, over the past few years, electric vehicle technology has progressed massively and these vehicles have now become a viable option for many everyday road users.

What is Included?

City of York Council has been able to secure funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and European Regional Development Fund.

This largely covers the cost of building the two HyperHub sites, along with a solar canopy system (100kWp) which will generate green electricity and keep users dry and a battery storage solution (348kW / 507kWh), meaning that the council will be able to maintain a lower tariff than commercial operators can offer.

Both of the HyperHub sites will contain 4x Ultra-Rapid (150kW) and 4x Rapid (50kW) vehicle chargers, helping to support the uptake of modern EV’s that have larger battery capacities and are capable of Ultra Rapid charging.

The development of this system will encourage private car owners, taxi drivers and business users to make use of the new facilities, therefore, improving the city’s overall carbon emissions.

Both of the HyperHub sites are started construction in January with both sites due to finish in June 2021. 

This investment is just the beginning of the journey for City of York Council as they revitalise their electric vehicle charging network in 2021 ready to support the transition to EV.

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Residents’ Priority Parking consultation launched

City of York Council will be contacting residents in the areas close to University of York this week to inform them of a new consultation taking place.

The consultation will involve Badger Hill and Newland Park Drive areas in response to parking surveys in the streets close to the campus.

The survey work has been undertaken by University of York to monitor the levels of parking in the areas associated to the University, which has increased non-resident parking in the areas.

The University of York are required to fund this consultation, the introduction of any parking controls and the provision of permits for a scheme due to planning conditions, if it has the support of local residents (meaning that the first permit for each household would be free of charge)

Executive Member for Transport made the decision at the July Decision session (item 11) to take the proposal straight out to consultation of the Traffic Regulation Order to speed up implementation if it has residents’ support.

The proposed ResPark scheme restricts parking within designated areas, known as ‘ResPark zones’, to those people who are eligible to apply for a permit:

  • residents
  • residents’ visitors
  • property owners
  • local businesses

If your home is in a ResPark zone, you may be entitled to residents’ permits and an authorisation card which will allow you to purchase visitor parking permits.

You are also able to apply for a permit on the basis of a business need, or commercial interest in a property within a ResPark zone.

To find out more about ResPark zones currently in place across the city visit the ResPark and Badger Hill Permit pages online.

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Coronavirus York updates; 15th January 2021

Deaths

ONE additional death announced by the York Hospital Trust today. The fatality occurred on Wednesday.

Test results

ONE HUNDRED and NINETEEN (119) new positive test results announced today. Brings total to 9841

Infection rate continues to decline in the City.

Rate /100k population is now 603.49. Trending down to 500 early next week.

There was a reduction of 114 cases compared to previous days figure.

That is a big improvement but still some way to go before we get back to pre Christmas levels.

Case numbers are continuing to reduce at all levels (City, county, regional and national)

Hospitals

As of 12th January there were 156 Coronavirus patients occupying beds at the York Hospital Trust.

Of these, 6 were in intensive care.

Neighbourhoods

10th January – the latest date on which data was validated – saw reductions in infection levels in many neighbourhoods.

More are now showing in the “blue” category – indicating that they have an infection rate below 400.

There was a reduction in cases in the Westfield area but a small increase in Woodthorpe comparing one day’s figures with the previous.

Residents will be hoping to see a sustained reduction in case levels, in west and north York in particular, next week.

Vaccinations

Across the United Kingdom 3,234,946 people have now had their first dose of vaccine. 443,234 have received their second dose.

Over 300,000 vaccinations are now taking place each day.

No local data has yet been published by the government. The most recent NHS figures (14th Jan) for the regions are

Vaccination centre parking and buses

A new regional vaccination centre is being set up at Askham Bar. It is an extension of the existing facility there and will have extended opening hours

Askham Bar vaccination centre being expanded

First York have issued the following statement about the impact that the centre may have on its services

Askham Bar Park & Ride to help users of new Covid vaccine centre

A section of parking spaces at Askham Bar Park & Ride, operated by First York in partnership with City of York Council, will be cordoned off from Monday 18 January to help users arriving for appointments at a new Covid vaccination centre.

Disabled parking and electric charging points situated immediately behind the Park & Ride building are not affected and the site remains fully operational.

The opening of the vaccination facility, adjacent to the nearby Tesco store, means from today Service 3 buses will begin using the entrance and exit of the main public carpark at Askham Bar as the bus-only lane at the rear of the supermarket will be closed off to allow simpler traffic flow and access to the vaccination point. 

Service 3 will use the Moor Lane Car Park bus stop off the roundabout on the A1036 Tadcaster Road close to the Tesco store in both directions and will not use the Tesco Car Park stop. The change will remain in place until further notice.

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, said: “This is a minor alteration that won’t cause any delays for our customers and has been planned out carefully. It’s a further example of the close working relationship we have with the council and other partners in the city to help the community manage life in lockdown. It also demonstrates our joint approach with the council to support the tremendous effort to roll-out the vaccine which will provide a path out of the pandemic.”

He added: “Our drivers are there on the frontline, as they have been throughout the crisis, to ensure key workers and anyone making essential journeys can get where they need to be safely.

“Although we are carrying fewer passengers right now, it is important that everyone continues to wear a face covering properly for the whole time they are on the bus and use a cashless way to pay, if possible.”

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, City of York Council said: “It’s great to be playing our part and supporting the NHS with the space for this vaccination roll-out. I would like to encourage residents who have been contacted to attend a vaccination centre that this a safe, quick and easy process.

“As we continue to stay home and follow lockdown restrictions, is it vitally important that we maintain smooth public transport services for those who need them for essential journeys and for critical workers.”

First York drivers and other staff have been involved a variety of initiatives for communities across York during the crisis including hospital fundraising, council refuse collection, shopping and prescription pick-up and at the end of last year the company teamed up with Age UK York to support the elderly who have been isolated due to lockdown and Covid restrictions.

“It’s a testament to the attitude and passion of the team to do what they can to help York and local people through this situation and aid the recovery,” said Marc Bichtemann. 

Help and Advice

Multi storey car park gets planning approval

The proposal to build a multi storey car park on the St Georges Field site received planning permission yesterday. The car park is intended as a replacement for the Castle Car park which would be grassed over.

Castle car park last summer

We have said before that we believe this site is too far from the City centre shops to help to sustain the retail economy.

The Castle car park is the most heavily used in the City. One key reason is that it is within comfortable walking distance for those carrying heavy items of shopping.

The drift to out of city retail centers would continue with the City centre left as a visitor attraction hub sustaining only, what is left of, the pubs and restaurants that may survive the pandemic

The pandemic has changed all the numbers.

It now simply makes no sense to spend £55 million on a scheme which could lose the City much needed jobs

The Council should shelve the plans. They should not be bought off by government financial bribes. The country needs to invest wisely to maximise economic recovery.

The City can tolerate the Castle car park for another decade.

In the interim, the Council can make plans which recognise that personal transport will remain a popular method of moving people from the suburbs and region into the City centre. It is a matter of individual choice.

In future the vehicles used may, however, be battery powered.

The idea of having the area, within the inner road road, designated as an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) may well be one that has now found its time.

The move to home working – and with it greatly reduced congestion and emission levels in the central area – provides the Council with some thinking time.

A quieter City centre would be bad news for many service based shops, hair dressers etc., They will be hoping that visitors would expand to fill the gap in trade left by office workers.

The Councils draft budget for 2021/22 anticipates a £375,000 saving on office costs – a clear indication that the authority itself believes that many staff will never return to West Offices. The same will be true of other City Centre companies

The Councils budget also contains a commitment to borrow £2.5 million to spend on the Castle Piccadilly scheme. In addition the £28.2 million proposals to construct flats at Castle Mills are budgeted separately

That would simply add to the additional interest and redemption costs of £1.6 million which will account for much of the 1.9% increase in Council Tax levels from 1st April. (The remaining 3% hike is earmarked for social care).

So time now for some prudent revisions to the Councils investment plans.

Castle Piccadilly plans

York transport and planning policies stalling

 The decision of the York Councils planning committee to delay a decision, on a plan to replace the Castle Car park with a multi storey alternative at St Georges Field, throws into contrast the conflicting policies of the present Council.

The multi-story option emerged after nearly 2 years of public agonising. £2.2 million has already been spent on design work, consultants fees and consultation costs. The resulting plan didn’t suit everyone (including us) but it did present a way forward.

Multi storey car parks are usually ugly, there can be security issues, they concentrate vehicle movements onto limited sections of the road network and – in the case of the St Georges Field site –  park visitors to far away from their ultimate destinations whether that be shops, work or hospitality outlets.

The Council had submitted its planning application despite already acknowledging that changes to the Castle car might have to wait until the, Coronavirus prompted recession, has eased.

No great problem.

The Castle car park has been there for decades and it is the parking location of first choice for many shoppers and visitors. In July and August this summer it was rammed full.

Castle car park full to overflowing this summer

Now a Planning Committee has rejected the St Georges Field plan by 8 votes to 7. The key vote was cast by Cllr J Barker a hitherto low profile LibDem Councillor from Poppleton. The same meeting also deferred consideration of a new housing scheme on the former Castle Mills car park site.

That car park was lost to general use over a year ago and is still unavailable.

Like the odd decision last year, when Labour Councillors bounced the Council into pledging to stop through traffic from using Lendal Bridge, the impracticalities and contradictions in policy now threatened the economic recovery of the City.

The Council has said it will spend £40,000 consulting on the future of car parking in the City centre. If it appoints consultants to undertake the exercise then they will come under pressure from sectional interest groups including the “folksy fringe” who really don’t want any city centre car parking provision at all.

Personal transport remains the preferred mode for getting around for many people. Post COVID, cycling levels have fallen and public transport use has collapsed.

Meanwhile the number of City centre shops going into administration is creeping upwards.

The beginning of the new year – traditionally a poor time of year for traders – may see even more businesses facing ruin.

Some consistency from the York Council is required to avoid an economic collapse

Prosecution for blue badge fraud in York – £1057 fine.

A woman from Pocklington has been sentenced to pay £1057 after misusing a relative’s disabled parking badge.

Kelly Peters, 57, of Percy Road in Pocklington, used the blue badge to park illegally in a disabled bay in a York car park.

On 4 December 2019, Veritau’s counter fraud team worked with City of York Council parking officers to conduct a city-wide ‘action day’, checking every badge in use. Veritau is owned by the council, and investigates a wide range of fraud on their behalf.

Misusing a blue badge is a serious offence. Badges are issued to those with certain conditions, making it easier for them to travel and maintain independence. These benefits are intended only for the person the badge belongs to.

Officers saw a blue badge displayed in a red Toyota parked in a disabled space at York’s Nunnery Lane car park on the date in December. Upon carrying out checks, investigators found the car belonged to Ms Peters.

She was interviewed under caution and admitted to knowing the rules around blue badges and that this was not a legitimate use, since the badge holder was not with her.

Ms Peters said she usually parked on roads with no parking restrictions, but was running late and didn’t have any money or a bank card on her. She had her relative’s badge in the car, and decided to use it to park in a disabled bay and avoid paying for parking.

This is an offence under section 117(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1984.

She pleaded guilty and was sentenced at York Magistrates’ Court on Friday 13 November. She received a fine of £320 and was ordered to pay costs totalling £737.

Bleak and quiet in York today

A combination of wet weather and COVID restrictions has meant that York has been quiet once again today.

This may be the last weekend opportunity for a while for traders to attract customers. The prospect of another national lockdown becomes more likely.

Lets hope for a more considered approach by the authorities as they seek to address the effects of the second wave. We don’t need any more poorly considered road and car park closures.

Swinegate deserted at noon today
The river Ouse water level is high but not yet threatening properties