Confusion over Gale Lane diversions

Yorkshrie Water works in te area mean that there ae two separate raod clsures within a few hundered metres on each other today.

There are two road closures affecting Gale Lane
Signs on Gale Lane warn that Tudor Road is now closed to traffic. Bus services have been diverted.
Tudor Road will be closed for at least two weeks in connection with works at the Lowfields development. No special arrangements have been made for cyclists who are currently using the footpath.
Gale Lane is also closed at the Foxwood Lane/Thanet Road junction. This work results from a water main burst at the weekend. The diversion is via Askham Lane.

Road closures in Groves area “within 2/3 weeks”

Road closure plans

The Council is poised to make major changes to the plans for traffic restrictions in The Groves area which were agreed last year.

According to a report being considered at a meeting on 22nd June, additional road closures will be implemented. Some additional “on street” parking spaces will be lost.

The closures could be implemented within 2/3 weeks. The experimental traffic order would last for up to 18 months.

The revised plans include several “contraflow” cycle lanes on relatively narrow streets – a system criticised on safety grounds by some cyclists.

An expected restriction of school “drop off” arrangements has not materialised.

The Council has been reluctant to publish traffic modelling figures which would reveal the impact on congestion, journey times and pollution in this part of the City.

Residents comments

A large number of objections to the original plans were received by the Council. Residents were concerned about additional pollution on the longer diversion routes. Some cited difficulties with severance from key facilities like the hospital and Monks Cross. Others said that deliveries would be hampered while some local shops and businesses said that, if passing trade was lost, then they might close.

The haste to implement additional restrictions under the cloak of a COVID response will cause more general concerns. The City centre economy faces a major challenge over the next few months. Either people will return to shop there despite restrictions on public transport, or they will go elsewhere. Those measures, along with plans to close the key Castle car park, may be bad news for those retailers who are on the financial brink.

While the current lower traffic volumes may appear to be an opportunity for experiments, as we try to move out of recession, a more cautious approach is required.

Revised road closure plans – June 2020

Council publishes its post COVID 12 month plan

Coppergate to become one way.

Castle car park to be closed

The York Council has published for the first time its post lockdown strategy. The report was considered and agreed today. There was no prior consultation.

The Council has decided to make Coppergate one way (east to west) cutting one of the City’s key bus routes for the next 6 months “or until a vaccine is available”. Cyclists will be able to continue to use the  street in both directions although, at the “pinch point” near the Coppergate centre entrance, this may compromise social distancing objectives.

The Council strategy says there will be, ”Active discouragement of the use of public transport and the promotion of walking and cycling”.  (Paradoxically the Council has also announced today a bid for funding for more electric buses)

The Council isn’t expecting many retail workers to return to City centre jobs much before December. Restaurant and pub (hospitality) workers may be out of a job for even longer.  

More local and county residents are expected to start to visit the City centre from the autumn together with smaller numbers of day visitors from other parts of the region. Later they will be joined by tourists from other parts of the country.

International tourists are not expected to return in any numbers before the late Spring of 2021.

The “strategy” pointedly does not propose a marketing plan aimed at actually promoting the City, and its key visitor/retail economy, over the next few months.

The Council leaders plan involves the closure of the key (for the retail economy) Castle car park without its planned multi storey replacement being opened at St Georges Field.  

The notoriously unreliable “pay on exit” mechanisms will also be rolled out to all car parks – negating the  social distancing preferred option of contactless payment via smart phone Apps.

The strategy offers little for the suburbs. The option of encouraging devolved open air markets is not even mentioned.  There is no publicity support on offer for neighbourhood businesses. More cycle parking is, however, promised.

Many may have sympathy with a key message included in the strategy which “proposes to invest and make bold interventions to create new networks of park and cycle hubs, priority cycle routes, subsidised cycle hire and cycle parking to prioritise active travel”.

Those reading further  will see that there are no actions proposed to address the natural barriers to two wheeled transport (poor infrastructure, uneven highways, obstructed paths, etc.) Much less does the statement recognised that some sections of the community because of distance, fitness, luggage or just poor weather, simply don’t have a realistic two wheeled travel option.

No forecasts of modal change are included. The Council simply doesn’t seem to know what effect implementing such a rag bag of tactical polices might have.

So we judge the document to be a profoundly superficial and disappointing proposal shuffled into the light of day with no prior consultation and apparently lacking even sensitivity to the difficult choices now facing many sections of the community.

Hopefully work will have already started on producing something more convincing. First step should be to regain the trust and supportl of local residents.

Highway repairs list for “second quarter” revealed

The council has published details of the footpaths, cycle routes and carriageways that it plans to resurface in July, August and September.

There is more than a little irony in some of the choices. Bishopthorpe Road – part of which is currently closed to traffic – will be resurfaced. Tadcaster Road is mentioned although this work has effectively been completed.

£408,000 is to be spent on the National Cycle Route 65. The local part of this route links Selby via York to north of Skelton. The section from Naburn to Riccall has been criticised as being virtually impassable for ordinary road bikes because fo tree root damage. It is understood, however, that this is not the section that will be reconstructed. (NB. A section of Terry Avenue is likely to be badly affected by flood prevention works over the next 2 years)

National Cycle Route 65

Number 4 bus service diversion from 13th June

The closure of Tudor Road for 2/3 weeks means that the number 4 bus service will be further diverted (it recently was rerouted via Ridgeway) .

We understand that the diversion will be

Sat 13th – Sun 28th Jun

Tudor Rd closed at Gale Lane end during sewer connection works for new housing development.

Suggested diversion for service 4 Gale Lane, Front Street, Green Lane both ways then to Acomb Green terminus. Inbound Ridgeway, Askham Lane, right into Gale Lane then right into Cornlands Road

£173,000 to support cycling and walking in York

City of York Council has been indicatively allocated £173,000 to support and maintain the growth in walking and cycling seen across the city during lockdown.

THESE 18 GIFS THAT END TOO SOON ARE A LESSON IN FRUSTRATION ...

The Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund is designed to support walking and cycling as a long-term method for commuting, as the country emerges from the pandemic. To receive any allocation from the fund, the Council has to demonstrate ‘swift and meaningful plans’ to support cyclists and pedestrians in York.

This funding is the first of two phases, with the second being conditional on demonstrating how we are able to adapt the city’s infrastructure to support more active travel, and how quickly these additional measures can be delivered. City of York Council has submitted a programme of actions to support walking and cycling at key locations as alternatives to travel by bus or car. 

The Council says that it is allocating the funding to the following measures:

  • Extensions to existing Park and Pedal facilities at the Park & Ride sites, alongside a new cycle route from Rawcliffe Park & Ride site along Shipton Road
  • Enhanced cycle lanes on Bootham
  • Improved cycle parking in the city centre
  • Extensions to the footstreets area
  • Temporary footway widening at pinch points near shops
  • Alterations to signal timings to reduce pedestrian queuing at city centre traffic lights.  

There is no mention of any action to remove the overgrowth obstructions on foot and cycle paths which have made social distancing all but impossible particularly in sub-urban areas

Many paths in west York are now obstructed

The Council says that the funding will also allow The Groves’s neighbourhood traffic reduction 18-month trial to move ahead more quickly. Details of the location of the closures to prevent through-traffic are subject to a council Decision Session on 22 June, when local residents can comment on proposals and all consultation feedback will be reviewed.

This scheme has nothing to do with the COVID crisis. Some Councillors were advocating the scheme over a year ago. It looks like the Council are trying to slip it through with minimal consultation although the congestion impact figures still haven’t been published.

This work will be co-ordinated with the council’s Economic Recovery Strategy, which will be delivered over the next few months. The strategy focuses on prioritising active travel, working with bus and rail operators to ensure people can continue to use public transport with confidence and creating a more people-focussed city centre. These measures will be delivered at pace to best accelerate the recovery of the economy, allowing businesses to open safely through June, whilst protecting residents’ safety.

Council report reveals over 60% wanted Bishopthorpe Road reopening

Council report 1st June 2020 Page 1
Council report 1st June 2020 Page 2

The Council has finally published the report which it says supports the decision to keep the southbound lane of the Bishopthorpe Road closed for at least another 2 months. The report became public yesterday (6th June) , some six days after it was tabled for a “behind closed doors” decision meeting.

It reveals that there is a lot of opposition to the Councils policy including a 1600 signature “on line” petition.

Both it and email representations were ignored by the Council.

No consideration was given to changing the hours or scale of the closure and no consideration was given to implementing a shorter diversion route.

There is no evidence that stakeholders – including traders and those living on the diversion route – were consulted about options.

The report talks about additional stores opening next week “resulting in increasing queue lengths”. It omits to point out that these are located on the west side of the road where properties have a forecourt.

Resurfacing works on Nunnery Lane will take place from Monday 15 June for seven nights, working between 7.30pm and 5am Monday to Friday only. This will mean an additional diversion for drivers, including buses, of around 1.5 miles via City centre streets.

Bishopthorpe Road closure set to continue for at least 2 months

Another behind closed doors decision by York Council

With almost breath taking arrogance, the York Council has issued a statement saying that the closure of the southbound lane at Bishopthorpe Road shops will continue for another 2 months.

There has been no debate about other options and a large petition – which asked for the road to be reopened – has been ignored.

No report on the success or otherwise of what the Council describes as a “trial” has been published.

One of the earliest criticisms of the scheme was that the Council had failed to identify how the success or otherwise of the project would actually be judged. It simply referred, rather loftily, to social distancing and government policy.

In reality, the array of bollards has made little difference to social distancing while the contraflow bike lane has introduced another, unwelcome, hazard for cyclists. There has been no consideration of opening up parallel routes (Darborough Street/Cherry Street & St Benedict’s Road) which would at least have provided a much shorter diversion

Bishopthorpe Road lane closure. Petition calls for lane to be reopened.

Nor has the opportunity been taken, during a relatively quiet period, to test an off peak pedestrianisation of the shops area between 10:30am and 4:00pm. Such a scheme would also have aligned with the governments policies while also providing much more room for social distancing. The impacts both economic and on transportation would have provided some real food for thought.

Too late now though, as imminent road works in the Nunnery Lane area are set to cause even bigger traffic congestion problems with the bus services one likely early victim. Works on the nearby South Bank flood alleviation scheme (subject to a planning committee decision next week) will further add to transport woes in the area.

Not content with increasing pollution levels on Scarcroft Road the new diversion via the City centre will add over a mile to some journeys.

The Council says that residents can Email them with their views. The address is Bishrd@york.gov.uk

We doubt that many will bother. Rather the pressure for the Council to adopt an open and inclusive approach to decision making will mount. The Council leadership needs to move out of its bunker mentality and start to re-engage with the local community.

Kent Davison Selina Meyer Gary Cole GIF | Gfycat

We saw in 2015 what happened when a particularly stubborn administration tried to force the Lendal Bridge closure on an unwilling population.

The same will happen again unless polices and attitudes change and change quickly.

9 months before new refuse collection vehicles arrive in York

Electric Vans Archives - Electric vehicle news by Fuel Included

As attention focuses on the major backlog in waste collection that is developing in York, another “behind closed doors” decision has been taken to order 12 new refuse collections vehicles.

Two of the 12 will be electric vehicles. These vehicles cost approximately 2.5 times more than their conventional counterparts but are cheaper to run. They have range limitations.

There is only 1 supplier of these types of vehicle in the country and they say that January 2021 is the earliest that delivery can be expected.

The 12 vehicles will cost £3 million in total.

A further order is expected to be approved later in the summer bringing the total investment to over £6.6 million

Much of the Councils waste management fleet is well beyond its normal lifespan. This has resulted in unreliability with missed collections a feature of the last 18 months of operation. The COVID crisis has simply magnified the problems.

The Council has never satisfactorily explained why it did not continue its annual vehicle replacement programme to ensure that overall reliability levels remained acceptable.

It appears that indecision – prompted perhaps by a hope that more electric options would become available  –  led to unacceptable delays in placing orders.

The Councils internal scrutiny and audit processes should have  revealed the risks associated with such inaction.

Sadly that process didn’t seem to work.

Quite what quality of service residents can look forward to over the remainder of this year remains unclear.

York Council report May 2020

New safe travel measures on buses in York

Many Park and Ride services will remain closed

waiting for a bus gifs | WiffleGif

As schools and shops will begin a phased reopening in June, bus operators, rail operators and City of York Council are making changes to ensure that safe travel options are available for residents.

More buses and trains will be operating and appropriate health and safety measures will be in place to ensure that social distancing guidelines can be adhered to, which may mean reduced capacity on board.

To help support essential journeys, on peak times, please plan ahead and travel outside of the busiest times, particularly first thing in the morning.
Changes on board

Bus operators are putting in place new safety measures to protect staff and customers. These include reducing the number of available seats on board each bus, encouraging the wearing of face coverings, ensuring alighting passengers are clear of the bus before anyone else boards and keeping a safe distance when boarding.

Please be patient and observe all the safety measures when travelling.  You should not leave your house if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. There’s lots more information on how to travel safely available online.

Customer safety information will be displayed at bus stops. When queueing please maintain a 2 metre distance between yourself and other passengers. Additional measures may be put in place at stops to manage social distancing

To help prevent unnecessary contact, please use cashless payment methods, such as contactless debit cards, smartcards or M-ticket apps wherever possible. To help support essential journeys on peak time buses, normal concessionary travel rules will apply from Monday 1 June.

Bus passes will be accepted for concessionary travel only after 9am on weekdays and at any time on weekends, with the exception of blind persons who are permitted to travel at any time of day in York.

Bus operators and the council are working to update timetables as quickly as possible. Please note that due to the short notice nature of these service changes, some timetables on journey planning websites, apps and real-time information screens may not be updated immediately. Please visit bus operator websites for the latest timetable information.

Park & Ride:

  • Services 2A, 7 and 9 (Rawcliffe Bar, Designer Outlet and Monks Cross) will run every 10 minutes at peak times, 15 minutes during the day and every hour during the evening. A half hourly service will be provided on Sundays
  • Last Park & Ride buses from the city centre will depart at 10:15pm (service 2A), 22:45 (service 7), 8:05pm (service 9, Mon-Sat) or 7pm (service 9, Sundays)
  • The Designer Outlet car park remains closed until further notice- service 7 is using the same stop as service 415 (on the roundabout)
  • Services 3, 8 and 59 (Askham Bar, Grimston Bar and Poppleton Bar P&R) will remain suspended until further notice

Further information about Park and Ride can be found online. You can also find information about how to support social distancing by using Park & Pedal from Monks Cross or Rawcliffe Bar:

A summary of all bus service changes is also available. Rail service levels are gradually being increased. Please use contactless card payments wherever possible and note that most rail services now require seat reservations before travelling. For the latest updates visit train company websites: