No sign of York Council road repairs programme

Although the new financial year starts today, there is still no sign of the York Councils road resurfacing programme for 2021/22.

The plan is usually published in March prior to going though an approvals process.

In recent years the allocation of the budget has been delegated to officers at the authority with any decision meetings held behind closed doors.

Beech Grove in Acomb – One of many carriageways needing repairs

The Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey has however been published.

The study examines the scale – and potential costs – of delayed road maintenance schemes across the country.

Click to read full report

Clifton Moorgate and Hurricane Way junction roadworks

Image result for road works gif

Ageing and outdated traffic signals at Clifton Moorgate and Hurricane Way junction are set to be replaced next week by City of York Council.

Works are estimated to take around seven weeks to complete and will start on Monday 22 March.

New, more reliable, traffic signals will be installed on the busy junction located within the Clifton Moor shopping area, North of York. In addition to this there will be improved pedestrian and cycling crossing with them being widened and resurfaced.

The works will also enable the new systems to link direct to the council’s Traffic and Control Centre, so that the Network Monitoring Officers can manage the flow of traffic better in busy periods by adjusting traffic lights to best suit traffic conditions.

The works will be carried out by the council and specialist traffic signals contractor Dynniq. Generally, the hours of working will be 9am – 4:30pm, seven days a week.

In order to safely construct part of the work some evening works may be required. Notification of these will be provided in advance.

To allow us to undertake the work safely and to minimise disruption to users there will be some restrictions during the works.

These include:

  • A reduction in the speed limit though the works from 40mph to 30mph.
  • Banning of the right turn into Hurricane Way. This will be for a two week period and only be operational during off peak period (9:30 to 4pm). A signed diversion route (using the Stirling Road / Longwood Road roundabout) will be put in place.
  • Banning of the left turn into Hurricane Way. This will be for one week and only be operational during the off peak (09:30 – 4pm). A signed diversion route (using the outer ring road roundabout) will be put in place.

The junction will be operating under temporary signals during the traffic signal replacement works and motorists are expected to experience delays while the works are underway.

Controlled pedestrian crossings will be provided during construction to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. Some temporary footway closures will be in place to allow works to be undertaken, however, full access will be retained to all businesses and properties during construction and pedestrian and cyclist routes through the works will be clearly signed

Those using the junction are urged to plan ahead, allow more time for journeys on these routes and to consider alternatives and to use public transport where possible.

To find out more about the scheme visit www.york.gov.uk/HurricaneWay

For any enquires regarding these works please send correspondence to: tsar@york.gov.uk

York Council to cut 20% from highway maintenance

A response to a Freedom of Information request has revealed that the Council intends to spend 20% less on repairing roads and footpaths in the City during 2021/22 compared to the current year.

The decision will come as a disappointment to many drivers and pedestrians and will be a particular blow for cyclists, many of whom have criticised the rapidly declining quality of local highway surfaces.

Highway maintenance is one of the expenditure areas in the Council where essentially you get what you pay for. So less money inevitably means that fewer paths and carriageways will be resurfaced.

The Council will announce shortly what proportion of the budget it will spend on reactive pothole filling rather than, longer lasting, patching and resurfacing schemes.

Sources at the Council have criticised inconsistent central government funding allocations – such as the annual so called “pot hole” fund – which make long term investment planning difficult. A late announcement of funding for the resurfacing of Tadcaster Road came only weeks after the work had been completed using local taxpayers money (and is now being done again).

However, there will also be concern that some money has been taken from the maintenance budget to fund other projects. Several new schemes, such as rural cycle routes, are sucking funds from the budgets needed to repair existing cycle paths..

The Council has never recovered from the major reductions made to highways funding some 8 years ago.

Successive administrations have failed to find ways of returning investment levels to those seen earlier in the century.

It is estimated that the backlog in maintenance work nationally would require investment of around £11 billion to rectify.

Micklegate Bar reopened

Micklegate Bar has reopened to eastbound traffic. All lanes are now open on Blossom Street.

According to Council sources the contractor responsible for removing the temporary road closure signs did not act promptly to remove them when the gas main replacement work was completed.

We think that the Council could have done much better in keeping users updated on the reasons for the delays.

Further down Tadcaster Road, the gas main replacement works are still behind schedule, but there is one piece of good news.

It appears that there will be no total closure of St Helens Road when the works reach that junction. Instead 3 way temporary traffic lights will be used.

It remains unclear when this part of the project will actually start.

Gas main replacement completed – but roads stay closed

Micklegate Bar and Blossom Street lane closures still in place

Work on replacing gas mains on Blossom Street and next to Micklegate Bar were completed 2 weeks ago it has emerged today.

Micklegate Bar was due to reopen to traffic today and the two lane closures on Blossom Street were also due to end.

Sources at Gas Networks are now suggesting that the closures could remain in place for another 3 weeks as the York Council is apparently struggling to coordinate carriageway resurfacing works.

An expected closure for further gas main replacement works on St Helens Road was due to start today, necessitating a bus route diversion. There is no sign of such a closure which was originally scheduled to start two weeks ago.

No updates have been issued on social media by either the Council or Gas Networks.

The Council has not issued any information to the media and both the road closure list and map showing current roadworks have not been updated.

The road network is expected to become gradually busier as the lockdown restrictions are eased. The restricted lane widths on Blossom Street represent a particular hazard for cyclists.

St Helens Road still open today

Good work by York Council in tacking blocked paths

It looks like the York Council may be getting the message over problems with obstructed cycle and footpaths.

Last year Millfield Lane near Poppleton was overgrown with vegetation making social distancing unnecessarily difficult.

Today workers were out cutting the obstructions back.

We hope that an audit of similar problem locations will result in action to prevent a reoccurrence of the problems this summer.

Road works set to continue on Tadcaster Road

Road users face several more months of congestion on one of York’s main arterial routes.

We commented on Friday that it seemed that gas main works at Micklegate Bar would not be finished by todays deadline.

Gas main replacement work on Tadcaster Road 27th February 2021

Further down the route gas main laying is edging forward but with no end in sight.

Work at the St Helens Road junction is due to start tomorrow.

Now the Council has said that it will also start drainage testing, cleaning and improvement works on the section from the A64 to the Askham Bar roundabout.

The work is expected to last for 5 weeks. (This is the section of carriageway which wasn’t resurfaced last year). Most of the work is expected to take place in the late afternoon or overnight.

When this work is completed, works are planned for the section between Askham Bar and Blossom Street.

The improvements are expected to cost around £5 million.

While we think that the Council is right to get as much work done, on well used roads, while traffic levels are relatively low, we are not convinced that the last years work, and this years projects, could not have been better coordinated.

Micklegate road works nearing completion

According to the Council web site works on replacing gas mains in Micklegate and Blossom Street are due to be completed today (26th February 2021).

Works in St Helens Road are due to start on Monday

The restrictions at Micklegate Bar have been awkward for pedestrians and cyclists, while other vehicles have been banned from using the route altogether.

Some attempt has recently been made to allow for cycle movements to be restored through the Bar.

Yesterday there still appeared to be a lot of work remaining to be completed.