Resurfacing works on Hawthorn Grove and Mill Lane in Heworth

City of York Council will carry out resurfacing works on Hawthorn Grove and Mill Lane between Monday 16 and Friday 27 September.

The works on Hawthorne Grove will take place between Monday 16 to Friday 20 September, between 7.30pm and 5am.

This will require a road closure from, and including, the mini-roundabout at Harcourt Street up to, but not including, the Eboracum Way junction. Mill Lane will also be closed but residents’ access will be maintained via Heworth Green.

The works on Mill Lane will be carried out between Monday 23 and Friday 27 September between 8am and 5pm. There will be a road closure from Heworth Green up to, but not including, the mini-roundabout at Harcourt Street.

The works will consist of resurfacing the road and the reinstatement of all road markings. In order to carry out these works safely the use of temporary road closures will be necessary whilst works are taking place. A clearly signed diversion route will be set out for all traffic.

All on street parking will be suspended at these times but any specific access requirements may be arranged by speaking to the site traffic management operativesm who will co-ordinate with residents and business requirements around ongoing construction operations.

Any vehicle remaining on the street during the suspension time may be liable to a parking fine and removal costs.

Household waste and recycling collections will take place as normal. For Mill Lane, residents are asked to ensure bins are placed on the kerbside by 7am on the day of collection.

During the closure of Hawthorn Grove, bus service 6 will be diverted via Eboracum Way, Heworth Green, Heworth Road, and Melrosegate (not serving Fifth Ave or Fourth Ave). Coastliner will be diverted via Eboracum Way, Heworth Green (not serving East Parade or Heworth Road).

In addition to the above, the council will be carrying out kerbing and drainage works between Monday 9 and 13 September on Hawthorn Grove working 9.15am – 4pm and also on Mill Lane on Monday 16 to Saturday 21 September working 9.15am – 4pm.

During these works the road will be open as normal to travel through, but all on street parking will need to be suspended during these times.

Emergency services will be permitted through the works at all times. Cyclists will have to dismount and use the footways.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption and inconvenience to the public, however the council will try at all times to keep any disruption to a minimum.

For more information about roadworks in York visit: www.york.gov.uk/roadworks

More traffic congestion expected.

Coppergate one way traffic restrictions in place from Sunday, for up to 8 weeks

One way traffic restrictions will be put in place on Coppergate, located in the city centre of York, for up to 8 weeks from this Sunday (1 September).

This is in order for the owner of a privately owned property to carry out maintenance works on Coppergate.

These works require scaffolding and due to the narrow width of footpath and carriageway in that location, City of York Council is required to put a one way traffic system in place for the duration of the works.

From Sunday 1 September vehicles (with the exception of cyclists) will only be able to travel on Coppergate one way westbound with diversions for eastbound traffic via Tower Street and Piccadilly.

There will be a lane set out for cyclists at the Piccadilly end of Coppergate at the signals.

All eastbound bus routes which normally use Coppergate will divert via Clifford Street, Tower Street and Piccadilly.

Delays are expected at peak times, so please allow extra time for your journey. Visit www.itravelyork.info for more information about bus journeys.

The restrictions have been planned to be put in place for up to 8 weeks, although the works are likely to be removed earlier if the works are completed. 

For more information about roadworks in York, visit www.york.gov.uk/roadworks

Traffic congestion caused by sewer repairs on The Mount

Increased congestion on The Mount today as Yorkshire Water repair a sewer pipe near the Holgate Road junction. Work is continuing.
Real time traffic congestion information can be found by clicking this link

Bishopthorpe Road/Scarcroft Road junction improvements

Ageing and outdated traffic signals at the junction of Bishopthorpe Road and Scarcroft Road are set to be replaced next month by City of York Council, as part of a scheme to help improve pedestrian access and ease congestion in the area.

The works will include replacing all the ageing traffic signal equipment, creating a new pedestrian crossing on Bishopthorpe Road, removing the small central triangular island on Bishopthorpe Road and widening/resurfacing the footway.

Works will start on Monday 9 September and are estimated to take around four weeks to complete. The hours of working will be 9.30am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm Saturdays and Sundays.

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

Works will be suspended between Friday 27 and Sunday 29 September due to the York Balloon Fiesta.

The new technology being installed will help to manage traffic in the area and enable the new systems to link direct to the council’s Traffic and Control Centre, so that Network Monitoring Officers can manage the flow of traffic better in busy periods.

The right turn from Scarcroft Road to Bishopthorpe Road will be closed during the works and diversion routes will be in place.

During the works it is anticipated that all bus services will operate as normal, however there will be delays when travelling through the junction. 

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

York Council plans more devolution to residents

The York Council says that it will give more powers to local residents to influence how resources are used in 4 key public service areas.

They are:

  • Increased ward budgets.
  • A “Safer Communities” fund to meet residents’ priorities.  
  • More ward control of spending on highways to meet residents’ priorities
  • Timely delivery of Housing Environmental Improvement Schemes (HEIP). NB.These are tenant funded.

The plans are broadly to be welcomed.

Over the last 8 years the number of locally determined improvement schemes has declined while those that have been approved have faced unacceptable delays in implementation.

One set of new parking laybys in the Westfield area took over 4 years to plan and construct.

Askham Lane lay by took 4 years to complete

A report to the Councils executive meeting this week, paints a confused picture of what is wrong with the current “ward committee” process and what might replace it.

Councillor dominated “Ward teams” will stand in for residents associations where the latter do not exist.

£250,000 has been allocated to wards for them to spend making local communities “safer”. Although joint working with the police is proposed, the major issue – an institutional reluctance to expand the use of technology solutions such as CCTV – remains. So, the most that residents will likely see will be “target hardening” style initiatives.

Two additional staff members are to be employed helping to administer ward committee improvements. Last year £157,000 of ward budget was not spent. This is put down to process delays.

£500,000 is being allocated for local highways improvements (road and footpaths). A further £500,000 is allocated for “walking and cycling” improvements. The irony, that better highways maintenance is the best way of encouraging safe walking and cycling, appears to be lost on the report authors. 

Perhaps School Street will now be resurfaced?

The £1 million simply should be added to the road and footpath resurfacing budget.

The budget is classified as “capital” meaning that it must be spent on an asset with a long lifespan. That would seem to rule out a crash programme aimed at removing the trees, hedges and weeds which obstruct many existing foot and cycle paths.

 The idea of recognising and responding to local concerns is the right one though.

Poor highway maintenance is invariably the most criticised local public service in residents satisfaction polls.

The Council plans to introduce a “6 stage” process in allocating the estate improvement budget.  As the main criticisms of the existing process is that it is cumbersome and slow, the introduction of additional bureaucratic stages is unlikely to be welcomed.

The report talks of the provision of parking lay-by taking up to 24 months to complete. In the past, the use of contractors had cut this target time down to less than 4 months. Councils should return to the old procedure where Residents Associations/Parish Councils took responsibility for drawing up improvement lists.

Walton Place footpaths need repairs

Finally, the report talks of using a mechanistic formulae for assessing the “social value” of each project. As a way of spending scarce public resources this is a discredited approach. The value of projects can best be determined by door to door surveys thus giving residents a chance to directly influence their neighbourhood.

The report does not propose any PFIs to monitor progress on any of these programmes.

It does, however, require decisions to be made in public and with a public record. Regular “on line” updates are proposed (although these have been  promised in the past but have never been produced in a timely or accessible way)

There are no proposals which would provide better support for Residents Associations. The Council recently refused to even publicise RA activities on its web site.

How much locally?

The Council has published a list indicating the amounts that will be available to spend in each ward. In Westfield (one of the largest wards) during the present financial year that totals £55,878  

With highways (£63,830) and safer communities fund (£17,181). That figure increases to nearly £120,000 over 4 years.

 To put that into context a 4 space parking bay costs around £10,000, while the resurfacing of Stonegate is costing £1/2 million this year.

Building works problems increasing

Residents are hoping that some solutions, to the problems caused by widespread building works in the Westfield area, will emerge from last nights public meeting.

There are acute congestion, parking and noise problems at and near sevral sites.

Contractors have been digging up Hob Moor as they proceed wit the Newbury Avnue development. To do so they have cut two gaps in the perimeter hedge (although its is still the bird nesting season)
Parking problems are increasing on Ascot Way. The Lincoln House forecourt parking has gone and the Council have not provided even a temporary facility near the gable end of the building (where there is adequate space). The area is currently fenced off. The parking crisis in the estate has been exacerbated by the demolition of the |Newbury Avenue garages.

Blossom Street roadworks

Ageing and outdated traffic signals on the Blossom Street pedestrian crossing are set to be replaced this month by City of York Council.

Works will start on Sunday 30 June and are estimated to finish on Thursday 11 July.

Blossom Street

New, more reliable, traffic signals will be installed and improvements will be made to the pedestrian crossing outside the cinema too.

The new technology being installed will help to improve journey times and reliability on Blossom Street and ease congestion in the area. 

The new traffic signals will also be cheaper to run and more reliable.  It 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.

To help minimise disruption work will be carried out from 9.30am – 4pm during the week and also will take place on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am – 4pm. Temporary signals replicating, as closely as possible, the current operation of the junction will be in place throughout the works.

To allow for the works to be undertaken safely it will be necessary, at certain times, to close lanes.  This will only be undertaken outside the peak periods to limit traffic disruption and delay. 

During the works it is anticipated that there will be significant delays when travelling through the junction.  

A temporary signalised crossing will be provided during construction to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. Pedestrian route, cycle routes and access to all businesses and properties will be retained throughout the duration of the works. 

Those using the route are urged to plan ahead, allow more time for journeys on these routes and to consider alternatives and to use public transport where possible. Bus services will be operating as normal for the majority of the works but passengers are requested to visit www.itravelyork.info/ for more information.

Information regarding this scheme is available at www.york.gov.uk/BlossomSt  

Weather warning – Wetherby Road resurfacing re-scheduled!

It looks like the resurfacing (dressing) of Wetherby Road between Ridgeway and Bland Lane has been re-scheduled for 20th June. It was due to be done this week but was postponed following a period of heavy drizzle!
Access to properties only sign at A1237 junction
Access only sign on Knapton Lane

It appears that the signs intended to discourage short cutting through Knapton have remained in place. This is somewhat confusing for motorists.

Meanwhile we’ve reported that the anti slip surface on the approach to the pedestrian crossing on Cornlands Road has disintegrated. The surface is now hazardous for cyclists.

Really disappointing that potholes take so long to repair

Some potholes in York, reported weeks ago, have still not been filled. This is the time of year when the Council normally catches up on the pothole backlog which can develop during periods of icy weather.

The York Council doesn’t provide “real time” updates on the number of highway defect reports it receives and the progress made in addressing them, but there is a suspicion that some are written off without any action being taken.

Fortunately the LibDems, who lead the new administration at West Offices, promised in their election manifesto “to reconstruct all roads in York”.

Even allowing for hyperbole, that is a very expensive looking promise. Perhaps Council officials had better get on with drawing up a work programme?

Herman Walk potholes on access road
Corlett Court potholes (marked but not repaired)
Morrell Court has n uneven road