51% of those fined on Coppergate are visitors

ANPR cameras result in 3625 PCNs being issued between July and December

The York Council has finally responded to a Freedom of Information request tabled in January.

The response reveals that fines totalling £218,000 were levied.

£83,580 has so far been received by the Council. Most (2586) paid at the lower discounted fine rate

Since then (in January and February) a further 1131 fine notices were issued. This figure was suppressed by the road works which took place in the area during those months.

Of the fine notices issued in 2017, 1854 (51%) were to vehicle owners with addresses outside the YO postcode area.

Coppergate before ANPR cameras were re-introduced

There were 346 successful appeals against the penalty charge notices. Most of these were from “out of area” taxis and private hire vehicles.

No outstanding fines have yet been subject to a formal recovery process (use of bailiffs etc) .

The cost of administering the penalty charge process in 2017 was £61,958. The process is outsourced to a company from the south of England.

The figures are likely to give rise to concern. The levels of abuse suggest that the signage is still not being readily understood by drivers.

Coppergate fine information on Council web site

There are likely to be calls for a warning letter to be sent to first time offenders.

The Council was criticised in 2013/14 when thousands of fines were levied on tourists in the City who had used the – then restricted access – Lendal Bridge and Coppergate.

The resulting national publicity damaged York as a tourist destination, with its reputation only recently having begun to recover.

Visitor abuse of the restrictions is expected to peak in the summer months.

NB. The Council has not yet published details of the numbers of motorists fined following the introduction of ANPR surveillance of restrictions on Low Poppleton Lane.

“Resurface our roads” say York residents

£8.4 million budget allocated but disappointment for sub-urban areas

The York Council has announced which roads and footpaths will be resurfaced during 2018/19.

There is good news for Askham Lane, Middlethorpe Grove, Skelton, Marygate and the national cycle route 66 (which will get a £1/4 million resurface).

Much of the rest of the budget is taken up by the continuing street light upgrade programme, with £100,000 to be spent on remedying fibre excavation reinstatements  and £400,000 on City Walls repairs (up by 25%)

School Street – City’s worst carriageway?

The Council says that the priorities were determined following surveys.

“In order to produce the programme of highway works for each year, information is drawn from a number of sources:

· Visual safety survey of all our roads and footways.

 · Digital condition survey of all our roads and footways

· Detailed condition survey of all our roads and footways.

 · United Kingdom Pavement Management System (UKPMS) visual and machine surveys

The survey records five condition categories, being grade 1 (very good), grade 2 (good), grade 3 (fair), grade 4 (poor) and grade 5 (very poor).

The City of York Council commission the service of Gaist Solutions Limited who carried out a detailed video survey of the whole of the council adopted highway network. The survey was utilised to assess the condition of all parts of the network.

Poor roads and footpaths that didn’t make the resurfacing list

 Each road and footway is assessed and given a ranking (score) based on a range of criteria, all metrics of the network were collated and a treatment solution was determined.

The Council goes on to say that further assessments will be undertaken to identify the impacts that have arisen from the long spells of freezing conditions during winter 2017/18. Where necessary works programmes may be amended to address any change in risk arising from reductions in highway asset condition because of this

Nevertheless some residents may be bewildered when they find that their local footpath has not been included in the programme. Path surfaces in streets like St Stephens Square and Ridgeway are now very uneven.

Probably the worst carriageway in the City is School Street in Acomb which doesn’t get a mention.

There will be pressure for the council to publish the “score” that each road received when surveyed.  

Audit report lifts the veil on bus pass use in York

Huge use by tourists

An audit report into the use of elderly and disabled persons bus passes in York has been published. It can be found by clicking here

The report says that, “pass usage data for 2016-17 was analysed for trends, possible misuse and data quality.

Of around 160,000 passes used in York, around 70% were used 10 times or less.

By comparison, only 74 were used to make more than 1000 trips during the year.

As CYC has around 40,000 active passes, it is assumed that the other 120,000 passes were issued by other TCAs.

The low average usage likely reflects York’s popularity as a tourist destination. In other words, visitors are using their passes to make a small number of trips while visiting the city.

The most significant finding of the analysis was that disabled pass holders, who make up 10% of all pass holders, were disproportionately represented in the top 20 most heavily-used passes (11/20), suggesting they make more frequent use of their passes than people eligible due to age.

Two disabled pass holders in the top 20 were using passes that were hot-listed (marked as no longer valid) in 2013 and 2014 respectively, suggesting there may be more in use.

Currently, hot-listing (which could result in the pass being refused) is not in effect, so the holders were able to continue using the passes, but there are plans to implement it in the near future.

If this is done without any warning to pass holders, it may temporarily prevent disabled or vulnerable people from travelling freely on York buses”.

The report gives a “substantial assurance” that the system is not subject to abuse.

Bus stop changes affecting Foxwood from Sunday

Several changes to bus timings take effect from Sunday. For full details click here

The 12 service to/from Foxwood is affected with the terminus stop now on Bellhouse Way. It is hoped that this will reduce  bus parking conflicts near the Foxwood shops. The actual route is unchanged.

12/14 Monks Cross – York – Foxwood Lane

  • Buses retimed 5-10 minutes earlier into York
  • The evening journeys that terminated at Elmfield Avenue now extended to Monks Cross
  • All of the buses from Monks Cross now go via the Monks Cross shops
  • The services that previously terminated at Elmfield Avenue extended to Monks Cross (request of customers and drivers)
  • To prevent congestion at Foxwood Lane shops we’ve changed the last stop to Bellhouse Way (the start of the loop)

Complacent York highways maintenance report rapped

Potholes on the increase

A curiously complacent report on how the York Council has conducted its highways maintenance duties over the last year has just been published.

The reports list a series of successes.

However, it pointedly fails to admit that;

  • Potholes now pose a significant risk for road users and have done for several months
  • Promised resurfacing schemes simply didn’t happen with residents being left in the dark about the delays
  • Broadband network installation works have left verges and paths in a shoddy condition

    Cable works have damaged verges and footpaths

A new executive member has now assumed responsibility for highways (Cllr Dew). His appointment was part of the general “merry go round” of changes initiated by local Conservatives.

It is to be hoped he won’t be duped into thinking that all is well with highway maintenance in the City of York.

NB. The resurfacing programme for the new 2018/19 financial year still hasn’t been published by the Council. In previous years residents were able to see what was planned before the year started.

Overnight road closures in central York from 8th April for two weeks

Lendal Arch Gyratory set to be resurfaced

Following on from the extensive Lendal Arch Gyratory traffic signal works City of York Council is set to resurface the area next month to complete the upgrade scheme.

The resurfacing works includes sections of Rougier Street, Station Road, Station Rise(Leeman Road) and Station Avenue.

To minimise disruption, work will take place overnight (8:30pm until 5:30am) every night except Fridays and Saturdays. The work is expected to last up to two weeks, starting on Sunday 8 April.

Road closures will be in place during the works with diversion routes via Nunnery Lane and Water End/Clifton Bridge to avoid Lendal Bridge, Rougier Street and Leeman Road. Throughout the works, all vehicles will still be able to access the station from the Blossom Street direction.

There will be some single lane closures around bus stops on Station Road and Station Avenue as the new surfaces take 24 hours to cure, but these are planned to happen for only one day in the first week.

The Lendal Arch Gyratory work included a full renewal of the traffic signal equipment. Changes to the pedestrian crossing facilities, including widening and realigning the crossing to make the area safer and better for the thousands of pedestrians who regularly use the crossing.

The junction is set to be resurfaced in two phases. Phase one is set to be completed during the first week and includes Rougier Street, from the Tanner Row junction to the new signals, and sections of Station Road and Station Avenue. Phase two will be completed in the second week and includes the remaining sections of Station Road and Station Rise.

As with any resurfacing work residents are likely to experience some disruption. Residents can be assured that the council is doing everything possible to minimise disruption as much as possible. We have also contacted local residents and businesses to inform them of the work.

For information about bus diversions during the works, visit: www.itravelyork.info/

Big family friendly cycling event tomorrow (Sunday) in York

Travel together

Cyclists and budding-cyclists of all ages and abilities are being invited to the launch of a new initiative to encourage people to cycle together this weekend (Sunday 25 March)

The Travel Together initiative – run in partnership by City of York Council’s iTravel scheme, York Sport and local cycling organisation, Get Cycling – aims to encourage people to cycle in family and friendship groups, particularly children, older people and people with disabilities or those recovering from injuries or illness.

A launch event will be held at York Sports Cycle Village between 1pm and 4pm on Sunday. Regular rides – all free of charge – will be held at the venue’s cycle circuit each Sunday from 15 April until October.

People will be able to try an array of bikes for adults, juniors and cycles to suit any disability or requirement, as well as using the cycle circuit.

The circuit will be open to family groups between 1-2pm, with an inclusive session – particularly for individuals and family/friendship groups with a rider requiring a specialist bike – between 2 and 4pm. British Cycling will then be hosting an inclusive para-racing session for experienced riders with disabilities from 3-4pm, which will include the opportunity for riders to try fast race bikes.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: “The Travel Together programme is a fantastic way to encourage people of all ages and abilities to cycle together, for fun, in a safe, purpose-built environment. It’s a great opportunity for families to get out and get some exercise on a Sunday afternoon, with specialist bikes available to support older members or those with disabilities. And all free of charge!”

For further information email events@getcycling.org.uk

Ride to Work Week starts in York on Monday

City of York Council is encouraging people across the city to ‘Ride to Work’ next week (12-18 March) as part of a national campaign to encourage cycling as part of the daily commute.

The campaign aims to get more people incorporating cycling into their lives, helping to keep them fit and healthy, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

By signing up to the national Love to Ride UK initiative, which runs Ride to Work Week, people can enter a monthly prize draw to win great prizes including a £500 city break or bike shop vouchers. Visit www.lovetoride.net/york for more information.
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New pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting station to city centre given the green light

The design for a wider shared-use pedestrian and cycle bridge at Scarborough Bridge was unanimously endorsed by the council’s Planning Sub-Committee yesterday.

The new bridge will be nearly three times as wide, while the ramps at either end will mean cyclists, wheelchair users and people pushing prams will be able to use the bridge with ease.  New steps connecting the ends of the bridge with the riverside paths are also to be built.

The decision means the new bridge is on track to be constructed and in use by March 2019, with its estimated £4.5m cost coming from the council; the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect Programme; and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

Wetherby Road roundabout improvements – public consultation results published

The Council has revealed that 170 responses were received to its consultation on the design of the new Wetherby Road/A1237 roundabout.

In a report to a meeting taking place next week, officials claim that “as far as possible” the final design takes into account public views.

Officials highlight the following specific changes

  1. Proposed widening of the footway on the southern side of the
    B1224 to provide shared pedestrian/cycle route standard to
    enable users to cross at surface level to the B1224 heading
    west (see para 13 above)
  2. Proposed maintenance lay-by incorporated into the roundabout
    island
  3. Increase in provision of landscaping around the junction and
    on the roundabout island

The main issues raised by residents were:

  • The roundabout should include designated pedestrian / cyclist
    facilities
  • Spending money on this roundabout, and all the other roundabouts, is deemed “a waste of money”
  • Additional signing / road markings are required to ensure that
    vehicles merge in turn as part of the upgraded roundabout
    proposals
  •  The A1237 should be dualled
  •  The scheme is a good idea

A full list of the views expressed can be viewed by clicking here

The improvement is expected to cost £3.6 million

If approved, work on the roundabout is expected to start in June.

Separately from the roundabout scheme, work is progressing on providing an off road cycle/pedestrian link from Rufforth to Acomb