Abandoned bus shelters – future uncertain

The future of the bus shelters on Tudor Road, which have not had a service for over 2 years, remains uncertain.

Not surprisingly the shelters are in good condition.

There is a site, at the Gale Lane end, which could accommodate a shelter, and which does lie on the now clockwise route taken by the number 4 service.

There are no notices in the shelters (or on the bus stop signs) indicating that the bus service only serves the opposite side of the road.

Even then the alternative bus stops are a testing sprint away.

Anyone texting the bus stop identification code to the information service gets a text back saying that no service is expected within the next 4 hours.

4 years more likely.

If you text for information it will cost you 12p

The stop reference (e.g.  32900872) produces no useful information when keyed into the “Bus York” mobile phone app. See  https://www.itravelyork.info/journey-planning/free-bus-apps/

Many people living in the Tudor Road area would prefer to see a 2-way service reintroduced.

If such a change is not imminent, the Council and bus service providers need to initiate a review of the quality of bus stop information, and shelter arrangements, that they provide in the area.

Abandoned bus shelters can be a magnet for anti-social behaviour, so some prompt action is required.

Wigginton Road and Haxby Road junction roadworks

Ageing and outdated traffic signals at the Wigginton Road and Haxby Road junction are set to be replaced next month by City of York Council, in a project partially funded by York’s bus operators.

Haxby Road – Wigginton Road junction

Works are estimated to take around six weeks to complete and will start on Sunday 19 May.

New, more reliable, traffic signals will be installed on the junction of Wigginton Road and Haxby Road. Layout changes are being made to make the junction work more efficiently, this will include realigning the outbound Haxby Road movement to make it straighter and making the pedestrian islands larger.

The new technology being installed will help to improve bus journey times and reliability on Wigginton Road 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 – 3pm. Temporary signals replicating, as closely as possible, the current operation of the junction will be in place throughout the works.

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

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. 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.

Temporary pedestrian crossing points will be available at all times during the works to ensure that pedestrian facilities are available.  Traffic marshals will be on site between 7am and 7pm, to help manage the traffic on site and to assist with pedestrians crossing the road.

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

Sort out sub urban bus shelters plea

Bus passengers in York are calling on the Council to review its bus shelter policies for suburban areas.

A lot of money has been spent on the bus stops on the York City centre in recent years. Hundreds of thousands more will be spent as the area outside the station is remodelled.

but there has been little progress made in providing “next bus due” real time information on most of the network. Even busy routes with inter -urban services like Tadcaster Road lack passenger information (and shelter)

Mobile device systems have been developed but they are not user friendly and often revert to providing just when the timetabled service should arrive.

In Leeds, bus arrival time signs are integrated into shelters.

Some bus shelters are redundant following changes to bus routes which took place several years ago. The shelter below on Tudor Road is an example. The local number 4 service only serves the opposite side of the road on its clockwise route round Acomb. Now all the shelter does is attract anti social behaviour

As a consequence there is a large amount of litter on the near by verge while ponding on the adjacent footpath has never been properly addressed.

Litter next to Tudor Road bus shelter

It is an issue that the various public transport pressure groups in the City have failed to get to grips with.

Time to tackle the potholes

When the list of streets which will be resurfaced this year was published a few weeks ago, it prompted disappointment in many areas.

For example the Herman Walk access road to Spurr Court had been scheduled to be resurfaced 4 years ago, but mysteriously disappeared for the programme before work could start. The carriageway has now almost worn away with the base layer increasingly vulnerable to ice damage.

Carriageway near Spurr Court breaking up

Not surprisingly other roads in the same area – which were laid at the same time – are also showing signs of wear and tear. Resurfacing now would avoid more expensive repairs in later years. (NB. The Council was allocated additional monies to cover carriageway repairs earlier in the year)

Potholes on the Foxwood estate are getting bigger each week

Highway defects represent a particular hazard for cyclists. We’ve reported several over the last few days that require prompt attention. The last systematic programme of cycle margin resurfacing works in York took place over 10 years ago.

Howe Street needs resurfacing

…as does Lowfields Drive

Some concrete surfaces are now breaking up. Heavy vehicles, accessing sites on Windsor Garth, are wrecking the Kingsway West highway. This is likely to get worse as work commences on the Ascot Way redevelopment plan

Concrete bays on Kingsway West are fractured
A resurfacing programme for back lanes is also required.

Speed cameras still focus on York southern by pass

The latest results from the county’s speed safety camera vans reveal that the proportion of drivers exceeding speed limits is stable.
Safety camera van

In York, the vans have concentrated their activities on the A64 southern by pass, where it is not unusual for several dozen speeders to be identified

On one day in February – the latest month for which stats are available – 29 speeders were caught on the A64 westbound near Fulford

North York’s Police are not publishing results as quickly as they have in the past

A separate programme of speed checks, which measures the average speed of vehicles on problem roads, hasn’t been updated this year. These checks involve the use of static equipment. They do not identify individual vehicles.

Roads in the York area waiting for checks – and subsequent remedial action – include:

  • Hawthorn Terrace
  • Hamilton Drive (20 mph)
  • York Road, Dunnington
  • Ox Carr Lane, Strensall
  • Bracken Road
  • Salisbury Terrace
  • Ullswater
  • Lords Moor Lane, Strensall
  • Church Lane, Bishopthorpe
  • Alcuin Avenue
  • Bad Bargain Lane
  • Osbaldwick Lane
  • Temple Avenue
  • Fourth Avenue
  • Towthorpe Road
  • Scarcroft Road

Most of these roads don’t have any recorded injury accidents. None are routinely checked by the enforcement camera vans.

And that remains the problem with the vehicle speed limit enforcement. The expensive camera vans may be influencing average speeds, but the police make no attempt to demonstrate this.

They don’t even publish comparative stats showing the trend in the percentage of speeders at regularly monitored sites.

Within the next few years it is likely that all new vehicles will be fitted with technology which will not only confirm the prevailing speed limit on a dashboard display, but also offer the opportunity for remote enfacement.

That may be a challenge for civil liberties but it could finally rein in the 100 mph plus drivers whose behaviour often irritates other motorists.

Speed/Safety camera results
Vehicle average speeds on York roads

Traffic signals to be upgraded at Monks Cross junction

New traffic signals will be installed at the pedestrian crossing/road junction in Monks Cross this month, ahead of the new York Stadium and Leisure Complex opening later this year.

Outdated traffic signals at the junction of Kathryn Avenue and Jockey Lane at Monks Cross are set to be replaced by City of York Council.

Works will start on Monday 29 April and are estimated to take around four weeks to complete. The hours of working will be 7.30am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday and 9am – 3pm on Saturdays.

The new technology being installed will help to ease congestion 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.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption. Residents are assured that everything reasonably possible will be done to keep this to a minimum.

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

Temporary crossing points will be available at all times during the works to ensure that all pedestrian crossings that are currently available are maintained.  Traffic marshals will be on site between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week to assist with pedestrians crossing the road.

Residents 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.

For information regarding the scheme during the works visit: www.york.gov.uk/KathrynAve

Council election manifestos compared

7. Transport

It is said that there are 200,000 transport experts in York. Unfortunately none of them seem to have got near the party policy manifestos this year

Transport is always a controversial area. It is important that parties put forward clear policies. This didn’t happen in 2011 when Labour omitted to mention that they intended to sell off City centre car parks (they tried to sell off Union Terrace car park within weeks of taking office), introduce a universal 20 mph speed limit at a cost of £600,000 (which actually saw both vehicle speeds and accident levels on some roads increase) or draconian access restrictions on Lendal bridge. They also halved the amount spent on road resurfacing.

The Coalition has fared a little better with road repair expenditure increasing (albeit, so far, with little obvious effect). Passenger approval ratings on most bus services have improved. The number of bus passenger trips has increased from 16.2 million to 16.8 million.

There have been mistakes. The decision to scrap the ResPark discount for low emission vehicles, and make it available only to drivers of electric models, was ill-judged. There are no electric vehicles charging points on York streets ( those in car parks are unreliable). “On street” and “on line” systems also fail to display the number of free car park spaces (a facility which was available 10 years ago). The Council resolutely refuses to publish bus service reliability stats (despite the facility being available since “next bus” technology was rolled out a few years ago).

None of the parties say what their policy is on the number of, and charges for, central area parking spaces. They also fail to offer any policies on taxis in general and whether UBER should operate in the City.

All parties offer more investment in resurfacing footpaths and roads. Labour quote £1 million pa. Given that the resurfacing of Stonegate this year will cost £1/2 million, the scale of the problem will be apparent. The LibDems promise to “reconstruct” all adopted highways. Reconstruction involves providing a new base as well as a wearing layer. It is much more expensive then either surface dressing or providing a bitmac overlay. The promise looks optimistic to say the least.

Similarly the Greens hopes for a discrete “off road” cycle network “as exists in some places on the continent” seems to ignore the constraints of an historic city layout… ..and the relative lack of success of the Baedeker raids!)

Although the manifestos avoid the usual mistakes (promising a central bus station, river buses, linear cable cars etc), there will be a feeling that none of the parties is yet ready to embrace the rapidly changing transport technologies which are becoming available.

New Scarborough Bridge foot/cycle path opens to the public today

Foot/cycle bridge opens today

York’s new Scarborough Bridge will open to the public today (Thursday 18 April) with work on the £4.4m scheme continuing on site for several )more weeks.

The new accessible bridge has been delivered in partnership by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority through its £60m CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to cycle and walk, City of York Council, and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (YNYER EP).

It is aimed at boosting access for people travelling by bike or on foot between the train and the city centre.

Although the bridge will be open to the public from 3pm on Thursday, work will continue to complete the new steps to the riverside paths and sections of the ramps. 

The river crossing will remain open to the public throughout these works, but with some minor width restrictions at times, as well as temporary lighting and a temporary handrail.

Improvement works include, on the southern side, a new path on the top of the embankment, which will mean people can travel directly between York Station and the new bridge, providing a traffic free scenic route to the city centre.  The new bridge will now be accessible even when the River Ouse is in flood. 

The £4.4m project has been funded by a £1.9m grant through the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, a £1.5m Local Growth Fund secured by YNYER EP and £1m of City of York Council funds. 

Scarborough Bridge has been closed to the public since the end of January to allow for ongoing construction works, including the old footbridge being lifted out by rail crane to make way for the new, wider and more accessible shared use bridge. 

More than 3,000 people crossed the old footbridge daily, despite access issues and this number is expected to rise considerably one the scheme has been completed.   

At 65-metres long the new bridge is three times as wide at 3.7metres, increasing access to more people.  It had to be lifted into place in four separate parts due to its size.

The new bridge is constructed of weathering steel – the same as Gateshead’s famour statue, The Angel of the North.

The reopening of the bridge has been delayed by a month due to the need for extra piling works in the railway embankments as well as dense fog during one of the weekends a section of the new bridge was due to be lifted in.

For more information about the Scarborough Bridge scheme visit www.york.gov.uk/scarboroughbridge

Residents urged to plan ahead for Tour de Yorkshire

The Tour de Yorkshire will once again return to the regions roads from 2-5 May.

The first stage, taking riders on a fast and flat route from Doncaster to Selby passes through several villages on the outskirts of York, including Elvington, Wheldrake and Escrick in the late afternoon on Thursday 2 May.

The A19 near Escrick will be closed to traffic when the race passes through the area.No parking will be permitted on the race route during the race period. Details of the route are available on the Tour de Yorkshire website at https://letour.yorkshire.com/tour-de-yorkshire-2019/

To ensure the safety of spectators and riders alike there will be a rolling road closure for most of the race route, this will be managed by the police. This means that the traffic will be stopped at any given point between 10 and 30 minutes ahead of the first cyclist.

When the race, and all the official and team vehicles, have passed the roads will reopen again. The last vehicle in the race group is a lorry with screens on both sides telling people watching that the roads are open again.

Typically the closure is in place for between 20 and 50 minutes depending on the severity of the stage, how far into the stage the race is and the weather.

It’s expected that the race will reach Elvington at approximately 4.46pm, Wheldrake at 4.53pm and Escrick at 5pm. The route joins the A19 at Escrick and turns off again to Stillingfleet. This will mean that the A19 will be closed whilst the race passes through the area affecting travellers.

Bus routes 18, 36, X36, 42, 45, 46, X46 and 415 will all continue to operate, but will be delayed as a result of the race. It is anticipated that the closures and additional race traffic will cause delays in the area. Motorists are advised to plan their journeys to avoid the route during the race period if possible.

For more information visit www.itravelyork.info/buses/bus-routes-and-journey-times/diversion-information

Pedestrian access will be available to polling stations throughout the period. Voters in the wards affected have been notified of the access restrictions.

Plenty of issues for Council candidates to get their teeth into

The new Scarborough Bridge cycle and footpath is due to open next week. Several of the paths linking to the bridge require resurfacing
Many other roads need to be resurfaced including Lady Road near Clifton School
The cycle path on The Mount is in particularly poor condition
Damaged fencing on Dame Judy Dench Walk near the “Inn in the City”
Corroded steps leading up to Lendal Bridge need a coat of paint