Summer evening Park & Ride service from Askham Bar

 

Users of York’s popular Park & Ride service will be able to enjoy the attractions in the city centre for longer this summer after it was agreed that the timetable should be extended into the evenings for a ten-week trial period.

City of York Council and bus operator First York have agreed that Service 3 buses from the Askham Bar Park & Ride site will operate until 10.20pm on summer evenings.

The move will give visitors to the city more time to enjoy its diverse range of attractions, as well as making it possible for those attending Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, which will be open next to Clifford’s Tower from Monday 25 June to Sunday 2 September, time to catch the last bus back to the Park & Ride site after evening performances.

The last Service 3 Park & Ride bus from Tower Street currently departs at 8.05pm from Monday to Saturday and at 6.05pm on Sundays. For the duration of the ten-week trial, there will be additional departures every half hour up to 10.20pm. The buses will also stop at Rougier Street and at the Railway Station in the city centre.
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Plan for improvements to Railway Station precinct welcomed

Unanswered questions about cost and sources of funding

The Council has published consultation plans which could dramatically change the area around the entrance to York railway station. The idea revolves around demolishing the Queen  Street bridge.

Although the basic plans have been around for more than a decade the Council has now committed to implementation before 2022.

It will however be a very expensive project to implement (demolition of the Queen Street Bridge alone will cost over £7 million) and the consultation papers are largely opaque on costs and sources of funding. Until more financial details emerge, the plans will simply be the latest is a series of artists impressions.

No journey time impact figures are provided.

Still the basic principle of separating pedestrian movements from traffic has to be right while the removal of cars from the portico and Tea Room Square will be welcomed by many.  Replacement car parking is promised on the west of the station.

Bus stops will remain “on street” but are rationalised over a longer distance.

Full details, including an explanatory video, can be found  by clicking here.

 

Spy camera fine income in York set to top £1/2 million this year

The York Council has issued updated figures indicating the number of Penalty Charge notices issued on Coppergate and Low Poppleton Lane.

ANPR “spy cameras” are in use in both locations.

The figures for Low Poppleton Lane in April are the first to be published since the Council discontinued issuing “warning letters”.

456 drivers were fined on Low Poppleton Lane in April. That could bring in around £20,000 in additional income for the Council.

The picture in Coppergate is similar, with 640 penalty charge notices issued, a big increase on the same month in 2017.

Taking both sites together, the Council could pull in around £500,000 a year in fine income – far above budget forecasts.

The use of “spy cameras” has been criticised in the past as an over-reaction by the authorities to relatively modest traffic problems.

In Coppergate, at least, most penalty notices have been issued to visitors to the City.

Signage, although now legally compliant, is difficult for motorists to interpret quickly as they search the City for their destination.

 

“Behind closed doors” decision on transport, and other investment, needed for York Local Plan

The Council has sent off to central government its proposed new Local Plan. It brings to an end (potentially) 25 years of agonising about the future size of the City.The plan is a compromise on growth rates with over 850 additional homes scheduled to be built in each of the next 20 years.

One key implications of this “Big City” policy is the impact that it will have on the City’s infrastructure. Health, education, leisure and – crucially- transport systems will come under even greater pressure as the population grows.

The additional homes could wipe out any advantages being seen as a result of the small scale improvements currently programmed for the A1237.

Arterial roads could also reach grid lock unless there is substantial investment.

Hopes for an alternative network of  public transport routes also hang on key investment decisions with part of the resourcing needing to come from  developers.

All the stranger, therefore, that a report on what infrastructure improvements will be needed, and how they might be funded, was take at a private meeting yesterday. The papers on the Council web site give little clue to the assumptions contained in the plan. The Council says that more information may be published on 29th May.

Too late then for any critical input on what may yet prove to be the Achilles heel of the plan

Decision taken just hours before the Local Plan was submitted to central government

Work set to start on Wetherby Road roundabout plus other roadworks in York

Work will begin next month to upgrade the first of seven roundabouts on the outer ring road in a bid to cut congestion and journey times.

Wetherby Road roundabout will be widened to create a three-lane approach and two-lane exit. Cyclists will also benefit from a council-funded off-road cycle route between Rufforth and Acomb.

Work will take place every weekday from 7:30am to 4:00pm, with the potential for evening, weekend and some overnight work at points before the improvements are complete next spring. Motorists can expect minor delays at as the roundabout’s approaches and exits have a reduced, 30 mile per hour limit throughout the works.

The total £38 million programme is funded through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and will take up to four years to complete all seven roundabouts.

The council is also asking for views on proposals to upgrade the second roundabout in the scheme, at Monks Cross. You have until Friday 1 June to comment on the plans, which can be viewed online at www.york.gov.uk/yorr, at the council’s West Offices on Station Rise, YO1 6GA.

All comments will be reviewed and changes to the design made where possible. The decision on the final layout will be taken at a public Executive Member for Transport and Planning Decision Session meeting later in the year.

Heslington road junction set to be improved

City of York Council is warning residents and visitors to expect disruption whilst we make improvements to the junction of Heslington and Cemetery Road.
The improvements include, replacing ageing and failing traffic signals, enhancing the pedestrian crossing facilities at the junction and adding a cycle lane on the Barbican Road approach.

The work is scheduled to start on Monday 4 June and is expected to take four weeks to complete. Work will be carried out Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 5.30pm and also take place on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 3pm.

Four-way traffic management will be in place at the junction and it is likely that the work will cause significant disruption to traffic. We are aiming to keep this to a minimum by working in phases to allow the junction to function as well as possible. However, residents, businesses and visitors are advised to expect delays.

Temporary crossing points will be available at all times to ensure that all currently available pedestrian crossings are maintained. Traffic marshals will also be on site to assist pedestrians crossing the road.

The five year traffic signal asset renewal programme was given the green light by the councillor responsible for transport and planning in November 2015.

The total replacement programme will cost £2.62m over five years and will be funded through the capital programme budget and the existing Local Transport Plan budget.

For information on travelling in and around York visit www.itravelyork.info/roadworks

Council launches new travel support service for local businesses

 York businesses will be able to get free advice on how they and their employees can make more sustainable travel choices, thanks to an initiative launched by City of York Council.

Funded by the council’s iTravel programme, in partnership with Get Cycling and Love to Ride, experts will be on-hand to visit businesses across the city to provide tailored travel planning advice and activities as part of the Travel2work scheme.

With a range of incentives, the service will help organisations to work with their staff to make commuting and work travel more sustainable – reducing car use and increasing the uptake of more sustainable travel options.

For more information and to book your free visit, go to www.itravelyork.info/travel2work  or email alice.thatcher@york.gov.uk/ 07917791489

Changes to traffic arrangements near Hospital on Wigginton Road

A meeting next week will consider plans to reduce bus journey times on Wigginton Road. There is a congestion black-spot near the hospital which may be made worse as more homes are built on land next to Nestle.

Wigginton Road mini roundabout set to be removed

A Council report says,

“Observation, analysis of bus journey time data and modelling all indicate that, since the improvements made at the Clarence Street/ Lord Mayor’s Walk junction, the worst source of unreliability for buses on the corridor is found on the stretch of Wigginton Road between the Crichton Avenue bridge and the Wigginton Road/ Haxby Road/ Clarence Street junction.

The delays are particularly severe at Hospital shift start and end times. At these times it usually takes around 8 minutes (and sometimes much longer) for buses to cover the 1.5 km between Crichton Avenue and the Bootham/ Gillygate junction – an average speed of 7mph”.

The proposals involve:

Remodelling the Wigginton Road/ Haxby Road/ Clarence Street junction (as shown in figure 1) to prioritise Wigginton Road traffic (saving of up to 20 seconds);

  • Replacing the existing mini-roundabout at the junction between Fountayne Street, Wigginton Road and the Hospital’s northern access road with a conventional give way junction

A council report says, “(saving of up to 10 seconds); and

  • Working with the bus operators to reduce the amount of time buses wait at the Fountayne Street pair of stops – by making changes to their fares structures and timing points so that vehicles no longer have to wait time at these stops (saving of up to 10 seconds)

Consultation on the plan will take place in the summer with a budget of £250,000 being set aside for implementation later in the year.

One major issue is likely to be the effect that the changes would have on the accessibility of the Hospital

Reporting poor driving – “Operation Spartan”

It is two years since the North Yorkshire Police launched “Operation Spartan”. It provided concerned residents with the opportunity to give the police details of poor driving practices across the county.

In York concerns about poor driving have concentrated on misuse of mopeds and well as the modified cars. Some roads like Bellhouse Way have seen problems for several months but when routinely reported to the police for enforcement action, the drivers have usually long since departed the scene.

Residents are being requested to submit details of instances of dangerous or anti-social driving they have witnessed to the Police using this “on line” form (click)

The police Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice/

New plans to cut congestion on York outer ring road roundabout near Monks Cross

City of York Council is sharing proposals to cut congestion and journey times on one of York’s busiest roads.

Residents and businesses have until Friday 1 June to view and comment on designs to upgrade the outer ring road’s Monks Cross roundabout. A leaflet can be downloaded from here

This will be the second of seven A1237 roundabouts set for major improvements over the next four years – a total £38 million programme funded through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund. The council is starting work on the first junction improvement at Wetherby Road this summer.

The roundabout upgrades will mean more lanes and space on the approaches and exits. Where possible the road layouts will be designed to accommodate the potential future scheme to bring the outer ring road up to dual carriageway standard.  The Monks Cross roundabout improvement works are planned for early 2019, although some site clearance work could start earlier.

 

Plans can be viewed online at www.york.gov.uk/yorr, at the council’s West Offices on Station Rise, YO1 6GA, or at two special public exhibitions at Monks Cross Shopping Centre management suite (in the corner by New Look) between 1 and 6pm on Tuesday 8 May and Tuesday 22 May.

All comments will be reviewed and changes to the design made where possible.  The decision on the final layout will be taken at a public Executive Member for Transport and Planning Decision Session meeting later in the year.

The York Outer Ring Road improvements programme is being funded through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

Road users warned of delays as busy Tadcaster Road/St Helens Road junction gets upgrade

City of York Council is warning of severe disruption as it replaces ageing and unreliable traffic lights at the junction of Tadcaster Road and St Helen’s Road from Monday (30 April).

The work is expected to last up to six weeks, and will include temporary lights. The council is advising drivers to allow more time for their journeys, consider alternative routes or travel options like Park and Ride!

While replacing the traffic lights,  the council is making changes to the junction which will improve traffic flows, take advantage of new technology and also prove cheaper and more efficient to run.

The changes to pedestrian crossing arrangements were discussed last summer (click).

Work is scheduled to take place from 7.30am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday and from 9am – 3pm on a Saturday. Evening work will be required during certain phases of the work, this will be kept to a minimum to minimise disruption to local residents.

Bus routes should remain unchanged throughout the junction improvements.

Work will be suspended from Wednesday 16 May – Friday 18 May and on Saturday 26 May due to race meetings at York Racecourse.

The five year traffic signal asset renewal programme was given the green light by the councillor responsible for transport and planning in November 2015.

The total replacement programme will cost £2.62m over five years and will be funded through the capital programme budget and the existing Local Transport Plan budget.

For information on travelling in and around York visit  www.itravelyork.info/roadworks

In a separate development the Council says it is “pioneering intelligent transport technology to tackle congestion on the city’s roads”.

In the first of two Department for Transport projects which could change the way traffic is managed in the UK, the council has installed special sensors from Lendal Arch gyratory and along the A59.

These will pick up anonymous (‘hashed’) mobile phone signals and data from ‘connected’ cars.

The council can then combine this with other data – like real-time bus movements – to give a complete picture of how traffic behaves.

This will help the council to set traffic signals which respond to how traffic actually behaves, especially in events like sudden downpours.