Askham Lane to be resurfaced

The carriageway in Askham Lane will be resurfaced next year at an estimated cost of £72,500. It is the only road in the Westfield Ward included on the provisional resurfacing programme for next year.
The footpaths in Acomb Wood Drive are on reserve list of work which may be completed if funds allow.
There is no funding allocated for continuation of the resurfacing programme in Chapelfields. It had been expected that the roads in the remainder of the estate would gradually be repaired following the start which was made in Chapelfields Road and Bramham Road.
No funding has been made available for resurfacing Vesper Drive and footpaths in the Huntsman’s Walk area also miss out.
In total the provisional budget announced for design purposes is £2.8 million. This compares to the £5.5 million approved by the former Liberal Democrat led Council for the current years budget.
The highways budget is usually increased before it is finalised in January.
Email us if you would like a copy of the complete programme which lists the work to be undertaken on 69 roads across the City.

Consultants report on car parking in York City centre

Haymarket car park could close

In September, the Council published a consultants report on the future of City centre transport systems in York. The proposals were referred by a working group for further development and consultation, with a promise that a further report “would be published before the end of the year”. As that deadline is fast approaching we are taking a closer look at some of the options included in the report.
Today we look at the car parking plans.
Perhaps first it needs to be said that the conclusions are marred by the fact that no costings have been undertaken and we still await the “modelling” work which will predict the effect that any road closures would have on other parts of the network. It is highly likely that many of the proposals will simply not be affordable in the foreseeable future.
Under the proposals, the number of municipal car parking spaces available in the city centre would be reduced by 350. This would be most noticeable on the west of the Ouse with Nunnery Lane being reduced in size, leaving only 206 spaces available (Nunnery Lane, Esplanade and Bishopthorpe Road).
The consultants want to close the Castle, Haymarket and Stonebow House car parks. A new multi storey car park would be built at the inner ring road end of Piccadilly. The Coppergate shopping centre car park would be converted for use by disabled pass holders only.
St Georges might accommodate a second tier but with a reduced footprint (leaving the rest as a park….. or water feature depending on the time of year!)
Other car parks – including, interestingly, Union Terrace – are regarded as important contributors to the economic health of the City centre and would be retained.
No reference is made in the report to “on street” car parking but is likely to be much more difficult to drive to spaces within the city walls under other proposals contained in the report.
The consultants refer to “pay on exit” being introduced at short and “medium” stay car parks…..although the latter were phased out some 4 years ago(!)
The report assumes an increase in park and ride spaces from 3750 to 5350.
Car park charges would be “sufficiently high to make park and ride attractive”
Resident parking discounts would be discontinued.
The consultants fail to appreciate that car parking revenue is one of the few ways in which York residents directly benefit from the City’s popularity as a tourist destination. Removing the York resident discounts would be hugely unpopular.
Rather the City should look to introduce a much more flexible system of charges which would encourage increased visits by providing off peak and frequent user discounts. The reintroduction of, fundamentally unreliable, electro mechanical exit barriers at surface level car parks would be a big step backwards. Instead use should be made of the new generation of smartcards which are now available.
The location of a large (450 space) car park on Piccadilly would mean a longish walk for shoppers carrying bulky goods.
It’s fair to say that the car parking proposals are amongst the least convincing of any included in the document.

Time to reinvigorate Acomb!

Green mould on Council noticeboard in Front Street

The Councils new policy of concentrating its resources on a City Centre “reinvigorate York” project is hitting Acomb hard.
They can’t even keep the Acomb Ward notice board free from grime and green mould growth
Nearby on Front Street, the hi tech bus journey planner terminal has been abandoned while further down the street offensive graffiti has appeared on one of the bus shelters.

Journey planner abandoned

Graffiti on bus shelter

With several empty shops now covered in advertising posters the image of the whole village is under threat.
Closure of facilities like the Councils Acomb office will only make things worse.
Time for a policy re-think by the Labour Council.

Bus service changes

We reported on changes to bus services affecting the west of
York in July. The changes will be implemented from 28th August. Details are now
appearing on websites like




The Yorkshire travel planner should be updated shortly

The Council has to invite tenders to operate subsidised bus services.

Some of the tenders received were substantially below those
that were eventually accepted.

Arriva in particular decided to withdraw their tenders after
the final deadline. Not necessarily in the best interests of taxpayers or bus users
(if the Council ends up not being able to buy as many services as they had
hoped to)

Transdev seem to have picked up some additional contracts

Park and Ride numbers up

The numbers using York’s Park and Ride service have increased by 0.7% comparing March 2011 with March 2010.
A 0.7% increase saw the total number of users in the month increase to 237,989.
The increase for the 12 months up to March is even higher at 1.2%, with Askham Bar and the Designer Centre being the showing the biggest rises.
In total over 2.8 million people have used the service over the last year.
See the following web page for details of services.

Number 4 ftr bus service safe from Labour cuts

The Council meetign held last night heard that Labour will not be able to carry out their threat to scrap the number 4 ftr bus service. Officials told us that the Council has very limited powers to specify vehicle types on commercial services. If a Low Emission Zone was put in place then this may be used to restrict access to certain vehicles including buses. Height/weight/length restrictions can be applied which would limit vehicle types. First could remove the ftr fleet at the end of the current agreement (june) but equally the service may continue unchange or be expanded.
The Council also heard that – against the national trend – use of bus services in York was stable. Total passengers trips in recent years have been:

2009/10 14,774,492
2008/09 15,334,448
2007/08 14,853,143
2006/07 15,144,371
2005/06 14,493,549

Traffic speed on Wetherby Road

Traffic speeds on Wetherby Road have been checked again following the installation of speed warning signs 3 years ago.

The recorded average speed was 31 mph with 85% of drivers travelling below 35 mph. This is fairly typical for main arterial roads which have a 30 mph limit.. The highest recorded speed was 71 mph but this was registered at 5:30am and could have been an emergency vehicle responding to a call (the recording equipment cannot distinguish between different types of vehicle).

Cllr Sue Galloway made representations to a meeting which took place on 4th January when speed checks for several roads across the City, including Wetherby Road, were considered.

The meeting agreed to consider what additional engineering measures might be introduced to deter speeding. Unfortunately the Police continue to rule out the use of mobile speed cameras and installing humps, on a busy road, is unlikely to be popular with neighbouring property owners.

Green Lane survey results

VASWe’ve been out this week in the Green Lane area surveying resident’s views on possible changes to traffic arrangements.

With over 50% of forms returned, we had a very good response rate. In summary the results are:

  • Residents support the provision of a speed indicator sign similar to that provided on Wetherby Road. (see photo)
  • Resident’s have voted, by a large majority, not to have traffic calming measures installed (either speed cushions or speed tables) on Green Lane.
  • Residents are also opposed to the provision of an off carriageway cycle path (although this wouldn’t have been practical on most of the length of the lane anyway because of the trees)

It is likely that the sign, together with the provision of an on carrigeway advisory cycle lane, will be endorsed when the issue is decided by the Council on 6th July.

Separately. residents gave the thumbs up to using the Lowfields school site (the footprint of the former buildings) for use as either elderly persons accommodation or a army cadet HQ. Many residents stressed that they wanted the green area to be retained and improved – possibly with part of it being used as a nature reserve. It is likely to be several months before any proposals are put forward for this site. 

The issue raised by the largest number of residents concerned poor parking near the Fish and Chip shop. It is likely that there will be more enforcement action taken in the area.

New card payment option for parking


New ticket machines have been fitted in the Piccadilly car park. The new system is proving to be popular with 14% of transactions already being made by either a charge or credit card.

It is likely that the equipment will be rolled out to other car parks in the City.

The service was launched with Adam Sinclair who chairs the City’s Business Development Forum