York Councillors asked to approve funding for York outer ring road dualling

Councillors will be asked to approve match funding for the dualling of the York outer ring road from the A19 Shipton Road through to Little Hopgrove (Malton Road), when they meet at Executive on Thursday 20 December.

The plans don’t include improvements to the Ouse river crossing, one of the main pressure points on the existing network. Nor are there plans to introduce split level intersections  raising concerns that the existing junctions, even with larger roundabouts, will continue to be pinch pints on the network.

A Council report asks the Executive to recommend  that £2.8m match funding, approximately 10 percent of the estimated £28m cost of the dualling element of the overall upgrade scheme, is provided in the Council’s Capital Programme.

The opportunity for funding of the scheme using the new Major Road Network Fund was announced by the Secretary for State earlier this year.

This follows on from the outer ring road roundabout upgrade scheme which will see seven roundabouts upgraded ready for dualling as part of a West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund scheme.

Work is nearly complete at Wetherby Road roundabout after starting earlier this year. Monks Cross is the next in line with ground clearance works set to take place early in 2019. It is proposed to join the dualling and roundabout schemes together as early as possible to reduce overall costs and disruption.

Subject to the decision on the match funding proposal at this Executive meeting a formal Outline Business Case (OBC) would be submitted to the DfT this month.  This is the first stage of the DfT’s approval process. Dependent on a positive assessment of the OBC and Ministerial approval it is anticipated that Programme Entry status would be granted for the scheme by March 2019.

Increasing the capacity of the ring road leading to the redistribution of trips will complement the city’s transport policies and help to enable more sustainable travel options to be delivered in the urban area of the city.

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.

For more information about the York outer ring road roundabout upgrades visit www.york.gov.uk/yorr

Executive takes place on Thursday 20 December from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

To find out more about the report, or to attend, visit: https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=10475&Ver=4

York to trial electric waste vehicle

City of York Council are set to trial a new state of the art, zero emission, electric refuse collection vehicle this week.

The vehicle is the first of its kind, using electric to both power the vehicle and compact waste, meaning there are zero emissions.

The three day trial will give the council time to see how the truck performs. The 27-tonne truck runs on lithium-ion batteries and is designed for urban environments with short routes and can complete a full ten hour shift on one charge.

Deputy leader of the council and executive member for the environment, Cllr Andrew Waller, said: “As a council we’re always looking at ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint and emissions to improve air quality. Electric vehicle technology has progressed at an extremely quick rate over the past years, allowing larger vehicles to travel longer in between charges.

“We’re keen to see expanding our electric vehicle fleet with electric waste vehicles is a way in which we can look to reduce our carbon footprint without affecting the serve residents receive.”

Russell Markstein, Electra’s Commercial Director commented: “The City of York is the conclusion of six months of trials of the Electra in both urban and rural locations. York is the perfect environment for the Electra to operate, with zero emissions and near silent operation, the residents and businesses in the City will visibly see the Council’s efforts in reducing its carbon footprint”

The trial has been offered to the council for free from Electra Commercial Vehicles.

Public Right of Way between Foxwood Lane and Osprey Close

Foxwood Lane access

The Foxwood Residents Association  have today launched a project aimed at getting the footpath which links Osprey Close to Foxwood Lane (opposite Foresters Walk) designated as an official Public Right of Way (PROW).

Doubt had been cast on the status of this well-used path by the landowners who are we understand objecting to its inclusion on the definitive footpath map.

The path forms part of a network of walks which are particularly popular with dog owners.

The landowners stopped grazing the field last year. As a result, sections have become overgrown

About 6 years ago the owners tried to get Acomb Moor (of which the affected fields form part) allocated as development land. This proposal was rejected in 2015 but a public inquiry into the Council’s new “Local Plan” is due to start shortly and there are concerns that the green belt boundary may once again be brought into question.

Confirmation of the line of the path would help to ward off any change and would also allow much needed repairs to be undertaken to the access stile

To register a Public Right of Way, at least 20 people are needed to sign a document saying that they have used the route during, at least, part of the last 20 years.

It is clear from the wear on the entrances to the path that many people do use it.

If you are prepared to sign an evidence form confirming that you have used the path during the last 20 years (or more) please Email: foxwoodra@btinternet.com We will arrange for a form to be sent to you.

Following the delivery of a newsletter over the weekend several people have already come forward and offered to fill in evidence of use forms.

 

New restrictions for vehicles on Micklegate to be introduced from 10 December

Micklegate Bar

City of York Council is introducing new restrictions on Micklegate from Monday 10 December, to prevent vehicles travelling outbound from the city and reduce the impact of traffic on the historic bar walls.

A statement from the York Council says,

“A call for the outbound closure of Micklegate Bar was debated by councillors at a Full Council meeting on 19 July. Following this, a report was taken to a transport and planning decision session meeting on 13 September, to take these proposals forward.

This has paved way for an experimental Traffic Regulation order (TRO) to be introduced for a maximum of 18 months, during which time the changes could become permanent.

The TRO will help determine the benefits of restricting vehicles in Micklegate and will allow the local community and businesses the opportunity to experience the changes before making representations.

During this 18 month period, there will be an outbound road closure only (cycle access will be available in both directions). This means the road will be open to inbound traffic through Micklegate Bar from Blossom Street/Nunnery Lane/Queen Street.

Signage will be installed at Micklegate Bar, with temporary information signs placed on all approaches”.

During the debate on the plan concerns were expressed about increased traffic congestion on alternative routes. Some traders feared a reduction in “drop in” trade.

The Council has also announced major road works on the alternative inner ring road route which passes the railway station. It is expected that the Queen Street bridge will be demolished as part of that programme of works.

For more information about the scheme, a report from the decision session on Thursday 13 September can be read at: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=738&MId=10859 “

Wow, this isn’t good!

York station train services amongst most unreliable in country.

According to the web site https://www.ontimetrains.co.uk train service reliability in York ranks at 2521 out of 2605 stations in the country.

Amongst eye catching stats on the site is the revelation that, during the last 12 weeks, only 4% of the morning peak journeys from York to Manchester Airport left and arrived on time.  A significant proportion of passengers have been eligible for compensation

The Tory transport minister Chris Grayling has been heavily criticised in the region for presiding over a series of timetabling blunders.

These have been exacerbated by the industrial action taken by one of the rail unions.

Local rail services are slightly more reliable at weekends. Most delays occur during the working day.

16% of journeys are delayed by 10 minutes or more.

3% have been cancelled altogether.

Some passengers have experienced very long delays

York Station front – 1,500 public consultation responses

Councillors will receive an update on the York Station front project and be asked to approve the submission of a planning application and the progression of the scheme to detailed design when they meet on Thursday 29 November.

The York Station front project aims to revitalise and re-imagine the historic station to ensure it is a fitting and prestigious gateway into York.

The project has had significant public interest, with nearly 1,500 responses during the extensive public consultation. This has lead to design changes for Executive to now consider.   Permission to enter into land acquisition negotiations with stakeholders and landowners is also requested.

York Station consultation leaflet

The York Station front masterplan has four main aims:

  • create new public spaces and a more inclusive, pedestrian-friendly experience
  • create an improved setting for the City Walls and other heritage buildings in the area
  • make it easier to change between modes of transport
  • keep vehicles and pedestrians apart

If approved, it is proposed that the planning application based on the amended masterplan will be submitted soon after.

Changes to the masterplan following the consultation include:

  • Moving the cycleway on Queen Street to reduce conflict with on street parking spaces
  • Providing safe access for cyclists to the station from the west-bound carriageway
  • Provision for a suitable system for managing rail replacement buses
  • Incorporating appropriate counter-terrorism measures that are sympathetic to the station setting

The station masterplan is based on eight key features which work together to improve how the space is used in front of York Station. It is dependent on removing Queen Street Bridge to create extra space, which would then be used to separate vehicle and pedestrian access, create new open areas and reveal long-hidden views of the City Walls.

Executive takes place on Thursday 29 November from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online 

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Petition calls for Kingsway area road improvements

Andrew Waller who is backing the petition

A petition has been handed to the York Council demanding that roads in the Kingsway West/Ascot Way area be improved before there is any additional development in the area.

At the moment the only access to the estate – which contains over 600 homes – is via the section of Kingsway West lying between Danesfort Avenue and Ascot Way.

Residents point to congestion problems for buses, emergency vehicles, bin wagons and delivery lorries.

The numbers of off-street parking spaces has been criticised. Residents feel this will get worse following a decision to demolish garages on Newbury Avenue.

The petition was prompted by an announcement that the Lincoln Court sheltered housing building would be expanded. In addition, the adjacent Windsor Hose site will become a centre of excellence for disabled children.

The principal route into both  these developments would be along Kingsway West and Ascot Way.

Campaigners have called for a service road access to be created from the adjacent Hob Moor Oaks school site where many of the disabled children spend their school hours.

The future of the Multi User Games Area (MUGA) on Kingsway West is also under threat as officials are understood have targeted it for use as a building compound

The petition reads;

“We the undersigned request the York Council to undertake the following improvements prior to any further building work starting in the Hob Moor area

  1. Improve the access road along Kingsway West/Ascot Way, removing, where necessary, the grass verge
  2. Provide dropped kerbs or lay-by parking where this doesn’t already exist
  3. Provide alternative, modern, children’s play facilities before any existing provision is removed”.

The petition is being backed by local Councillor Andrew Waller.

The planning applications are expected to be considered by the Council at a Planning Sub Committee  meeting taking place on 6th December starting at 4:30pm

York tech companies invited to supply £2.85m project

The city’s tech companies are being urged not to miss the opportunity to supply City of York Council on a ground-breaking £2.85m project to change the way the city manages traffic.

We want to hear from companies that supply high quality IT infrastructure, transport technology, data collection/processing or have an expertise in data visualisation and presentation to join our Smart Transport Evolution Project (STEP). STEP is a £2.85m project funded by the Department for Transport which looks how digital technology can improve travel.

Companies are being invited to an event on Friday 23 November at the National Railway Museum where we will be running two sessions. Spaces are limited so people are urged to sign up in advance. During these people will be given a short walk through of the STEP project, an opportunity to meet the project team to Explore how your service or product could develop the project and to meet other companies in the supply chain.

This DfT funded project will change the way York and potentilly all historic cities manage traffic, relieving congestion and reducing emissions in York and potentially across the globe. To learn more, visit https://www.york.gov.uk/smart

For more information or to register visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-tech-supplier-event-for-step-a-285m-project-in-york-tickets-51580813602

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Wetherby Road traffic speed petition handed to Council

Cllr Andrew Waller has today handed a petition to the City of York Council asking them to address speeding concerns on Wetherby Road.

The move comes only a few days before work at the nearby roundabout junction with the A1237 is due to reach its final stages. Residents are concerned that the easier access to and from the roundabout will result in higher speeds in the built-up area.

About twelve months ago a flashing speed warning sign was removed form the road. The petition calls for it to be reinstated and the Police mobile camera van to pay occasional visits to the street.

When the flashing sign was working around 39% of passing vehicles trigger it, suggesting that there was already a speeding issue on the road.

Some residents have suggested that any new sign should display the actual speed of the passing vehicle. This type of sign has proved to be effective in neighbouring counties in reinforcing the speeding message to motorist.

The petition will now be considered by the Council prior to a report and recommendations for action being published.

Wetherby Road roundabout – final resurfacing works due to start next week

Work on Wetherby Road roundabout proceding on schedule

The final stage of the Wetherby Road roundabout upgrade, the first of seven to be upgraded, will begin on Monday 19 November when overnight road surfacing works take place.

To keep disruption to a minimum work will take place overnight from 8pm-6am. The work is scheduled to take ten nights, from 19 – 28 November  including Saturday and Sunday

In order to carry out the works safely the use of a temporary road closure on the A1237 from the roundabout at A59 to the roundabout at Askham Lane and the closure of Wetherby Road from the junction of Beckfield Lane to the junction of Grange Lane will be necessary whilst works are taking place. The road will remain open as normal outside the above hours.

Clearly signed diversion routes will be set out for traffic. The closure is to ensure that health and safety is maintained for everyone.Site staff will be on hand to advise and assist residents about the access restrictions once the works are ongoing.

Emergency services will be permitted through the works in any situation, however, cyclists will be subject to the same traffic management as other vehicular road users.

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

There may be further works following on from this period but these will be carried out under lane closures and temporary signals with the A1237 and Wetherby Road remaining open.

When the roundabout is completed it will be the first of seven to receive three lane entrances and two lane exits as part of a £38m scheme to reduce congestion on the York Outer Ring Road.

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 Regio

For more information about the York Outer Ring Road improvements visit www.york.gov.uk/yorr (more…)