The Council has not said why it is set to discuss the issue halfway through winter or why the plan had not been included on its “forward plan” of decisions.
According to the Press, it says it will pay for any changes using “contingency” funds (which have been available since last April).
The decision to salt the 24 bus route will be welcomed. It was a major bone of contention in 2013.
The Council have been lucky that in the intervening period the City has enjoyed relatively mild winters.
We can’t expect that to continue.
It looks like we may get our first freeze of the winter shortly so we hope that residents will check that their local salt bins are full (and free from litter).
Its also a good idea to know which local streets are routinely de-iced by the “gritting” lorry.
Easiest way to find out where your local services are is by accessing the above map which can be found at:
Click i to see where your nearest salt bin is
Then click the fourth symbol along.
This will allow you to tick a box next to “primary” and” secondary” gritting routes. The primary gritting routes include most bus routes and are salted as a precaution when weather forecasts predict icy conditions.
You can find out whether the gritters are working by “following” them on twitter @yorkgritter
A quick check of the salt bins in the Westfield area yesterday revealed that most have salt in them. In some cases this has been left over from previous years – last winter was particularly mild.
Most had been used as litter bins and several had been vandalised with the lid hinges broken in many cases.
The Council promised to complete a review of it’s salt bins in September but nothing seems to have come of this. No attempt was made during the summer to recover the bins for maintenance. We hope the new Council will order that the bins be refurbished in the spring.
In the meantime – before we get the inevitable snow – the litter needs to be removed and the bins topped up where necessary.
A map of the location of salt bins in York can be accessed by clicking here
Empty and damaged salt bin on Dijon Avenue still not relocated away from former school entrance
Salt bin on Tennent Road empty
Kingsway West salt bin empty
Hinges broken on Askham Grove bin
Rubbish in salt bin in Kingsthorpe
Spindle Close – full of rubbish
Dumping on the Cornlands Road park has been reported
It shows the location of many local services including individual street lighting columns (with their I/D number and type) plus litter bins and poop scoop bins. It also shows which roads and footpaths have been adopted for maintenance purposes.
At this time of year the map can be used to locate salt bins while also displaying the route that the gritting lorries follow.
You can get daily updates on twitter from the gritting teams https://twitter.com/yorkgritter
The map indicates how many volunteer “snow wardens” there are in the area. There are seven in the Westfield ward
Volunteer snow wardens are residents who give up some of their time to clear snow during bad weather. There are 211 registered volunteers across York. The Council provides volunteers with:
- high-visibility vests
- snow-clearing kits
We know that some of the local salt bins have been filled with litter.
If one needs attention please report it at https://www.fixmystreet.com/
The reduced frequency of gritting (salting) on York’s roads – introduced in 2013 but not really tested last year because of the mild winter – will be under scrutiny for the next few weeks.
Several roads – including the 26 bus route and the Green Lane access to Hob Moor school – were taken off the de-icing schedule.
Other public services are also suffering from neglect with large volumes of fallen leaves still on roads and footpaths, and the arrival of ice could make conditions lethal for elderly pedestrians and cyclists.
Many salt bins also still require maintenance.
Accident levels will also be under close scrutiny.
The Council has now said that it will cut the costs of running its “Cabinet” and put the savings into “winter maintenance”.
But this (welcome) initiative looks to be a case of “too little, too late”.
Fly tipping on Council garage areas
Leaves blocking drains in Green Lane
With the York Council seemingly preoccupied with internal political discussions, service standards continue to decline.
There is a lack of preparedness for winter. Salt bins have no lids and the contents are leeching onto the streets and adding to the problems with blocked gullies.
Some bus routes – including the number 26 which provides a lifeline service for elderly people living in the Windsor Garth and St Stephens Road areas – are still excluded from the de-icing schedules with little chance of a review before the worst of the winter weather hits the City.
Bus stop waiting areas over grown
Salt bins left without lids. This one is in Woodford Place
Perhaps the worst examples of neglect can be found on some of the City’s Council estates. Areas without an active residents association fare particularly badly with many communal areas, garage forecourts and verges all in a desperate condition
Salt bins filled with rubbish
Following our story of a few days ago, the Council has said that it is checking all salt bins.
Where necessary they are being repaired before being filled with salt.
Hopefully they will also remove the accumulated rubbish and update the salt bin map displayed on their web site.
Andrew Waller is actively pressing for some of the salt bins in the Westfield area – axed 2 years ago by Labour – to be reinstated,.
Cllr Andrew Waller with one of the salt bins that he has asked to be refurbished and refilled
Liberal Democrat councillors are urging Labour run City of York Council to be properly prepared for winter and not to gamble on continuing mild weather.
The warning comes amid growing concerns that York will not be able to cope with snowy and icy weather following cuts to the winter maintenance budget.
Since 2011 Labour has cut the council’s winter budget every year and last year took 30 miles of road off the priority gritting list and stopped funding two-thirds of salt bins. Whilst Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners worked with parish councils and residents groups to save some salt bins, many were still lost.
Council budget cuts meant that despite last year’s mild weather, York still overspent its winter budget by around £100,000 leading to fears how it will cope with bad weather this year.
Now Lib Dem councillors have written to the Labour Cabinet Member responsible calling on the council to make sure it is ‘ready for winter’ and to work with local residents to identify gaps in provision.
Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Services, commented:
“Despite the recent mild weather I have spoken to many residents in recent weeks who are asking for salt bins to be replaced and roads to be put back on gritting routes as we approach winter. Residents have also raised concerns about salt bins which have been left to rot and are now without lids or full of rubbish.
“Last year the council was fortunate to have a particularly mild winter, but it must make sure it is ready for winter this year and able to cope if more seasonal weather comes in the next few months. It needs to work with local residents and community groups to identify and tackle gaps in provision. These frontline services need to be the priority rather than Labour’s vanity projects in the city-centre.
“While I am pleased to see that the snow warden service is restarting – now in its fourth season having been brought in by the previous Lib Dem administration – this team of volunteers needs proper support from the council, and officers who work hard to keep the city running need support from the top.”
Liberal Democrat councillors have sent the following letter to the Labour Cabinet Member responsible: