Museum Street bus stop to get 12th century style shelter

Under new proposals, passengers waiting for the Rawcliffe Park&Ride at the Musem Street bus stop will be able to wait under a new canopy shelter, funded out of the £3.5 million government Better Bus Area funding.

The canopy is adjacent to St Leonards Hospital which was founded in 1137. The canopy design will respect the setting of the adjacent building

Proposed shelter design

Proposed shelter design

The Council says that it undertook full consultation with key stakeholder groups including English Heritage, York Museums Trust, York Civic Trust and businesses who front Museum Gardens. The scheme is estimated to cost in the region of £75 to £80k.

The upgrade will improve the flow of pedestrians along the northwest side of Museum Street, reduce the conflict with bus passengers and improve passenger waiting facilities at the bus stop.

"best possible taste"

“best possible taste”

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member of Transport, Planning and Sustainably, said: The new shelter will be done in the best possible taste

In addition to the new shelter, the proposed alterations will include localised removal of the existing stone walls which will be reused where possible to retain the fabric of the original walling, and a new curved section of walling will be provided to ensure security to Museum Gardens is maintained.

The mature cherry tree will need to be removed as the roots are damaging the adjacent drainage system and are penetrating into the monument’s wall joints. Removal of the tree will open up the view of the adjacent Willow tree, which is considered to be the dominant and more attractive tree, as well improving the view to The Minster.

It is also proposed to provide new railings on the new curved walling to match the adjacent Brierley railings that link between the bus stop and the Library, as this is the natural continuation.

Alternatively, the original railing (which extends from the Museum Gardens entrance to the bus stop) is an option being considered.

To view the proposals or to attend the decision session visit: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=738&MId=8022

Passengers complain about “left luggage” mystery tour at York station while East Coast records £6 million profit

Passengers are complaining that the left luggage “office” at York station means a long walk for passengers.

The route from the station involves walking over the Queens Street Bridge to a site near the Railway Institute.

Left luggage office at York Station

Left luggage office at York Station

It will be a gloomy and slippery route during winter weather.

It has been branded as too demanding for elderly passengers with heavy luggage.

The York ”left luggage” facility is advertised on railway web sites but is poorly signed in the station and on the access route.

“Left luggage” used to be available near platform 1 but this facility has now disappeared.

Left luggage lockers also were taken away in the wake of security concerns.

A more direct route to the new cabin would be possible across the long stay car park but the perimeter is secured.

East Coast Managing Director Karen Boswell has been asked to intervene to ensure that the service – which is important for a City with a large tourism industry – is improved

Meanwhile Skeldergate based East Coast trains have reported increased turnover for last year.

Annual results released by DOR on Tuesday show it paid the government £208m in premium and dividend payments in the year to March 31.

The operator generated a turnover of £694m during the period, up from £666m the year before, although an increase in operating expenditure reduced profits. Pre-tax profit dipped to £5.9m from £7m previously.

A process to re-privatise the line will begin later this month. A winning bidder is expected to be announced in October 2014 before the franchise changes ownership in February 2015.

The contact is expected to be fiercely contested by a number of domestic and foreign rail companies. Eurostar announced last week it planned to bid for the contract as part of a joint venture with fellow French rail group Keolis.

Street level public service standards – plea to York Council next Thursday.

The York Council at a meeting next week will be asked to jettison its prestige expenditure plans and return to a more sensible economic policy.

Weeds need strimming at end of Ridgeway

Weeds need strimming at end of Ridgeway

A motion being put forward by the Liberal Democrats condemns deteriorating roads, footpaths and increasing litter as well as plans to reduce de icing services in winter.

It says that Labour’s decision to scrap the “York Pride” maintenance programmes means that many areas are now strewn with weeds and detritus.

Carriageway failed in Vesper Drive

Carriageway failed in Vesper Drive

Recent rain highlighted the impact that Labours decision to end the routine cleaning of gullies (road drains) is already having.

Meanwhile a rather disingenuous motion from Labour Cllr Burton, seeks to justify the bill for York staging the start of just one Tour de France stage.

The cost to taxpayers is already in excess of £1.5 million and rising.

The Labour backed motion says that any income to the Council from the event should be allocate to improve basic service standards.

It fails however to say that the income from a few hot dog stands is unlikely to make much difference.

The cost of the repairs back log on the City’s roads and footpaths alone now stands at over £20 million.

The Liberal Democrat motion reads
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Traffic signal reliability questioned

The seemingly endless series of faults on York’s traffic lights and signalised pedestrian crossings will be questioned at the Council meeting on 10th October.

Residents were particularly concerned when the pelican crossing on Front Street was faulty for several days last week.

The London solution

The London solution

The Council has not published any reliability statistics on traffic lights for over 2 years.

The response time targets for the Council’s maintenance contractor have also not been published

Cllr Ann Reid will ask the transport chief

“How many faults have been reported on traffic signals in York so far this year and what is the total time that signals have been out of service? How does this compare to the equivalent period last year?”

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The continued unavailability of traffic camera real time information on the Councils web site will also be highlighted at the meeting.

It is 6 months since the Council opened its new £300,000 CCTV control centre and put traffic camera icons on its web based congestion map.

In July the Council accepted that the move had been premature although the North Yorkshire Council has had similar camera access available for many years. Assurances were given that the links would go live shortly.

3 months later and the links still aren’t working.

Liberal Democrat Councillors have therefore tabled a question asking, “Why is the feed from the traffic cameras to the “itravel” York web site map still not working despite the assurances given at the July Council meeting? “

A list of all the questions submitted for the meeting can be read here: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=32384

£3 million a year fines income forecast for Lendal and Coppergate drivers?

Lendal bridge notice

Questions tabled for the Council meeting on 10th October will finally reveal the scale of fine income that the Council is now getting from drivers who use Lendal Bridge and Coppergate during restricted hours.

Unconfirmed figures, leaked by the Council, suggest that over 1000 drivers a WEEK are still using Lendal Bridge during restricted hours.

If everyone who received a penalty notice paid £60 then it would add a whopping £3 million a year to Council coffers in addition to income from Coppergate.

A private briefing to journalists accepts the 1000 figure but says that many drivers will successfully appeal, while others will quickly stomp up the £30 discounted rate.

Questions on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate tabled for Council meeting on 10th October click to enlarge

Questions on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate tabled for Council meeting on 10th October click to enlarge

Officials admit that bus reliability has not changed much since the Lendal Bridge closure, while traffic congestion is also much as expected.

The briefing comes from the same team that has yet to answer questions tabled during a “twitter debate” in early September. They promised then to answer all submitted questions and add them to the Councils web site.

They have singularly failed to do so.

So embarrassed are Council Leaders, with the scale of the contraventions, that they are floating the idea of an amnesty for first offenders.

A kind of yellow card system!

But there will be nowhere to hide on 10th October.

Not only will the scale of the PR disaster become apparent, but the impact on City centre trade will be revealed.

A question to the Council Leader, from Liberal Democrat Group Leader Keith Aspden, asks for daily figures from the Councils City centre footfall cameras since the beginning of August.

The improving economic situation suggests that there should be a major increase compared to last year.

We will see

A list of all the questions submitted for the meeting can be seen here.
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York to get more electric buses

Coalition government awards Councils £2.4m for new green buses

York will get seven new green buses and a pilot scheme to convert a diesel bus to electric propulsion.

Norman Baker MP

Norman Baker MP

Councils across England are gearing up to roll out a fleet of new low carbon buses and retrofit some of their existing models, after the government handed out fresh funding to reduce air pollution.

Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Norman Baker yesterday awarded £2.4m funding to help eight towns, cities, districts and counties improve their bus fleets, including York

York will receive funding for seven green buses and a trial to convert a diesel bus to electric.

Commenting on the fresh funding, Baker said cleaner and more efficient buses benefited both the economy and environment.

“This money will improve air quality in towns and cities across England and cut carbon, which is good for all of us wherever we live,” he said in a statement.

“Schemes like these are a cost-effective way of landing real benefits for the public and the environment.”

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Derisory response to Councils road gritting consultation – residents alternatives not published by Council

Only 285 residents responded to the Councils consultation on their future road gritting plans.

This represents only 0.14% of the population and is as clear an indication as possible that York residents are not prepared to answer “loaded” questions.

Only 146 responses were judged by the Council to be “valid” suggesting that many residents had simply told the Council to rethink it priorities.

Petitions, which have been submitted to the Council, have not even been recorded as having been received, while the views of Residents Associations have also been suppressed.

Although officials are recommending that some bus routes – which were scheduled not to be gritted this winter – are returned to the de-icing schedules, local residents pleas that the self help salt bin network be sustained, look set to be ignored at the decision meeting which is scheduled to take place on 9th October .

Many of the salt bins were installed by Ward committees as a result of requests by residents.

Amongst the roads reprieved in the proposals are Bellhouse Way, Ryecroft Avenue and Acomb Wood Drive which may now continue to be gritted. Click to see map

Revised gritting proposals click to see larger map

Revised gritting proposals click to see larger map

However the Dringthorpe estate, the whole of the Kingsway (West) estate, the little Moor Lane approach to Hob Moor school, Danesfort Avenue, St Stephens Road, and part of Chapelfields will not be gritted.

The Council have now admitted that the reduced number of gritting rounds will save only £20,000 a year.

This would compare to the £100,000 that the Council is planning to spend on an” Arts Barge” or the £600,000 reserved to sign new 20 mph speed limits.

Residents may attend and speak on the proposals at the meeting which is taking place at West Offices on Toft Green on Wednesday 9th October at 4:00pm..

You must register to speak before the meeting. The deadline for registering is 5pm on Tuesday 8th October 2013. Telephone – (01904) 552062 Laura Bootland.

Written representations must be made by 5pm on Monday 7th October 2013. They should be E-mailed to laura.bootland@york.gov.uk

Residents in the Middleton Road area are known to be collecting a petition this week which asks the Council to reverse the planned cuts on safety grounds.

40 residents in the Foxwood area – backed by the local Residents Association – have already submitted a petition asking for the existing network of salt bins to be retained.

Ford owners mostly likely to get parking fine in York

bad-parking

The Council has published a list of the makes of car that have attracted fines for parking outside allotted bays.

The list covers the last 5 years.

click for larger list

click for larger list

Top of the list are Ford owners, followed by Vauxhall and Volkeswagon.

In 2012/13 Mercedes tied with Volkswagon for third place

NB. At the end of 2012, the most common car in Great Britain was the Ford Focus (1.4 million) followed by the Ford Fiesta (1.3 million), a situation unchanged on the year before.

In total, Ford accounted for 15 per cent of all cars and Vauxhall for 12 per cent.

The top five marques (Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Peugeot and Renault) accounted for 48 per cent of all licensed cars in Great Britain.

The next ten (Toyota, BMW, Nissan, Citroen, Honda, Mercedes, Audi, Fiat, Rover and Volvo) take the total to over 81 per cent.

There were over 1 million cars licensed from each of the top ten marques (Ford to Honda).

Traffic congestion mounting in York this evening

click to update and get larger scale map

click to update and get larger scale map

Traffic congestion is growing in York this evening.

Meanwhile the Council has published what it describes as its first review of the Lendal bridge trial closure.

It implicitly admits that signage of the closure was initially inadequate.

Key data such as the number of fines imposed, the number of shoppers in the central area and the impact on residential pollution levels have not been revealed by the Council.

Issues like these are set to be raised by opposition Councillors at the Councils next full meeting which is to be held on 10th October.

Government to fund flood prevention works on A19 near Fulford

The coalition government has allocated millions in funding towards improving one of York’s key arterial routes. It will pay for much needed flood prevention works, new signalisation and improved access at key junctions on the A19 near Fulford.

A19 closed near Fulford last winter

A19 closed near Fulford last winter

The £170 million government Pinch Point Funding was announced earlier this year and part of it is to be used to protect the A19 from any future closure, following an unusual series of flood incidents in 2012 which resulted in the main road closing on three separate occasions. In comparison to a total of five days over the previous four years.

York will receive approximately £2 million from the Department for Transport towards the cost of the £4.7m project which will help towards supporting local transport schemes that tackle congestion and support growth.

The remaining funding will be provided from the private sector and existing council transport budgets.

Key elements of the proposals are to introduce a new left turn free flow lane from A19 into the Designer Outlet Park&Ride; inbound bus priority lanes on the A19 between A64 and Germany Beck, and bus priorities at the Naburn Lane junction and an enhanced junction at the proposed Germany Beck development.

The scheme will complement and enhance the improvements planned to be provided as part of the Germany Beck development, which will create new access to the site and raise the height of the road to be above flood levels.

There will be consultation on the proposed scheme details and the aim is to start construction towards the end of 2014.