New pedestrian crossing plan for Jo Ro school

Jo Ro crossing plan click to enlarge

Jo Ro crossing plan click to enlarge

Walking and cycling in the vicinity of Joseph Rowntree Secondary School have been reviewed by Council officials.

Pupils who live south of the school were found to have fewer direct facilities.

To address this, a highway improvement scheme has been developed to provide a raised zebra where most pedestrians cross, and off-road cycle links to give less confident cyclists an alternative on this busy narrow road.

There have been no objections to the principle of the scheme during consultation.

Safety improvements planned for Clifton/Burton Stone Lane junction

Burton Stone Lane junction improvements click to enlarge

Burton Stone Lane junction improvements click to enlarge

One road that will be getting some investment aimed at reducing the number of accidents is the Burton Stone Lane/Clifton junction.

The junction has been identified as an accident cluster site, and a scheme has been developed to address the types of accidents that are occurring, by realigning the junction to improve visibility.

There have been 5 injury accidents during the last 5 years. All of these accidents involved a vehicle pulling out of Burton Stone Lane.

Three were very similar with a right turning vehicle colliding with another heading south-east on the A19. Two of the accidents involved cyclists. This suggests that poor visibility when pulling out of the junction is the main issue

Officials say it is proposed to realign the junction by building out the existing cobbles on the south east side and modifying the lining to bring forward the give way line by 1 metre. Road markings on the A19 Clifton would be adjusted to suit, and the opportunity taken to increase the width of the existing cycle lanes.

Acomb, Dringhouses and Westfield shunned in new York Council Transport programme

Following the lamentable failure by the York Councils leadership to invest the money available last year to upgrade transport facilities in the City, a new programme has now been published.

Behind closed doors logo

Those hoping for a better deal for west York will be disappointed.

Most of the money – other than the behind schedule new park and ride sites – goes to the City Centre and the east of York.

The is no money to address the accident risks on streets that will not see their speed limits changed by the wide area 20 mph zones.

That’s bad news for users of Wetherby Road, Holgate Road, Moor Lane, Tadcaster Road, Acomb Wood Drive and Boroughbridge Road. Most have high vehicle speeds and poor accident records

Nor is there any funding for the regeneration of the Front Street area.

Those hoping that some of the (government funded) bus improvements would find their way to local sub-urban locations will be disappointed. All the money goes to few City centre bus stops – now labelled as “interchanges”.

Hopes for real time information at well used sub-urban bus stops have been dashed again.

As is the norm now, Labour Councillors decided to take the decisions on allocating the £24 million budget behind closed doors.

The new transport programme can be seen by clicking here.

York rises to the Cycle Challenge

The York Cycle Challenge has got off to a flying start with over 100 organisations from across the city registering to taking part, including the University of York and major employers such as York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Over 1,500 people have taken to their bikes so far and pedalled more than 50,000 miles.

With less than two weeks to go, it’s hoped that even more people will choose to get involved before the challenge ends on Sunday 21 July.

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4 out of 5 west York residents oppose Labour’s 20 mph speed limit plans

Nearly 100 formal objections to the Traffic Order, which would create a wide area 20 mph speed limit in the west of York, were received by the Council. This is one of the largest ever responses to the formal advertising of a Traffic Order in the City.

A decision is due to be taken at a meeting which is being held on Friday 19th July in the Council’s West Offices starting at 4:30pm.

Had the consultation leaflet issued by the Council included a simple “yes or no” survey form then the response is likely to have been much higher.

Many residents did not receive the leaflet. The Council claimed to only have delivered 13,000 leaflets to the 20,000 homes in west York.

240 residents signed up to an Epetition opposing Labour’s plan

Public opinion polls in the area have consistently shown that over 80% of residents are opposed to the plan which will cost taxpayers over £600,000 to implement.

Accident levels after 20 mph speed limit introduced in Portsmouth and Oxford. click to enlarge

Accident levels after 20 mph speed limit introduced in Portsmouth and Oxford. click to enlarge

The Press are running their own “on line” poll on the issue click here

An officer report which will be presented to a decision meeting scheduled for Friday 19th July (4:30pm at West Offices & open to the public) raises even more concerns about the effect that the change could have on accident numbers.

In two Cities (Portsmouth and Oxford), which “pioneered” wide area 20 mph speed limits, the total number of road accidents continue to increase (see left).

The trend in York – which mirrors the national trend – has been for accident levels to fall over the last 5 years.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, the report reveals that even those residents in Bristol who identified speed as a major concern believe – after a brief honeymoon period – that the problem had actually worsened since the City introduced the 20 mph limit.

60% thought that the new limits hadn’t made roads safer.

Post 20 mph speed limit Bristol residents views click to enlarge

Post 20 mph speed limit Bristol residents views click to enlarge

There can really be no reason to press ahead with the new limits other than stubborn political dogma.

The £600,000 is desperately needed to improve safety on roads which do have high accident records. In particular, to improve enforcement of the existing 30 mph speed limit on some roads.

Residents have two final opportunities to persuade the Council to pull back from the brink.

Written representations can be emailed to the following address with a request that they be circulated at – or before – the decision meeting laura.bootland@york.gov.uk copied to cllr.dmerrett@york.gov.uk .

The representations should be made before 5:00pm on Wednesday 17th July

You can register to attend and speak at the meeting. You must register before 5:00pm on Thursday 18th July. Telephone Laura Bootland on (01904) 552062 to register

As Cllr Merrett has publicly said that he intends to press ahead with the new limits and overrule residents views, it is likely that opposition Councillors will “call in” any such decision for further consideration.

Last chance to have your say on First bus services in York

bus-stop1

First, the city’s principal bus operator, is looking to consult with people to seek their views on what they want from bus services and to then consider what changes can be introduced. First have held 5 meetings so far as they meet directly with customers or anyone with a view on buses and how the services can be improved and what links they would like to see

The last two opportunities to attend meetings are:

• Sat 13/7: Acomb Parish Church Hall, 0900 – 1200

• Tues 16/7: York city centre, West Offices, 1000-1400

People who can’t make the meetings need not worry. There is the opportunity to fill in a customer survey online (www.firstgroup.com/yorkconsultation) or write to First (address below) by no later than Friday 26 July.

We have already recorded a view that the 4/5 should be re-routed via Acomb Front Street (old village) to improve access to the many facilities that are located there.

First is responsible for 11 million passenger journeys a year across a network of 15 routes including 5 Park & Ride services.

However the city’s principal bus operator is determined to grow the number of people using buses in York which will help ease the congestion on York’s roads and in turn lead to better air quality in the region – one of City of York Council’s key environmental objectives.

Coppergate bus lane camera income expected to produce a profit for Council

Behind closed doors logo

The Council have agreed the final details of its plan to use CCTV to enforce the bus only ban on Coppergate. In a report to another “behind closed doors” meeting

Officials admitted that “overall, the income generated through the issue of penalty charge notices will be greater than the operating costs and the scheme is likely to generate a revenue surplus for the Council”

A background report said, “The scheme will involve the use of ANPR Automatic Number Plate Recognition), camera technology to Coppergate between the hours of 07.00 and 11.00 and 16.00 and 19.00, seven days a week.

Coppergate bus lane enforcement plans Click to enlarge

Coppergate bus lane enforcement plans Click to enlarge

An access and loading restriction is in place between 11.00 and 16.00.

The details of drivers contravening bus lane restriction will be retrieved from the DVLA based on images captured by the ANPR cameras and issued with penalty charge notices as per the approved Traffic Regulation Order charging regime.

The scheme will involve automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) traffic enforcement cameras installed onto the traffic island on Coppergate’s junction with Castlegate. This will enable a monitoring system to detect offenders, secure evidence and allow for civil prosecution to be carried out during the times of operation.

To ensure that only appropriate vehicles receive penalty charge notices, a list of approved vehicles will be generated and maintained within the processing unit. This will allow all vehicles passing the enforcement camera to be cross-referenced and only those genuine cases will be processed further”.

There were no objections to the traffic order when it was advertised earlier in the year.

Lendal Bridge closure “trial” could last for 18 months

Behind closed doors logo

It has become clear that the Council made a number of important decisions on 20th June. The results of decision meetings held on that day are only now beginning to emerge. The decisions were taken behind closed doors and residents had no opportunity to make representations.

Even opposition Councillors – who responded to an appeal for their views – found that their views had not been recorded before the decision was taken. This has led to an official complaint being recorded by LibDem spokesperson Ann Reid.

The comments were added retrospectively on 28th June!

No objections were recorded by Conservative Councillors while the Greens said they were generally in favour of the plan.

The biggest shock is that the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order – needed to legally enforce the closure of Lendal Bridge to private vehicles – could last for 18 months.

Previously the Council had talked only of a “6 month” trial.

Many thought that this was too long a period.

Lendal bridge without traffic

Lendal bridge without traffic

Officials have confirmed that “Enforcement will be carried out by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras under City of York Council control”. This in itself is likely to be highly controversial. The Council have still failed to explain why web access to their traffic cameras is not available.

ANPR does work when police use it to pull up drivers who are suspected of committing an offence. It is less effective when used to enforce parking restrictions and there are numerous examples of “cloned” number plates being used to evade detection.

There will be access to the national “Traffic Penalty Tribunal” for anyone who wishes to appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice.

It remains unclear whether there will be a general exemption from the ban for disabled drivers.

There will be numerous knock on effects from the closure.

Coaches will be allowed to use the bridge outside the affected hours (10:30am – 5:00pm).

• A right turn from Lendal will be reinstated, as will the right turn into Library Square.

• On Station Avenue, the left hand lane will be designated as a bus lane.

• The Lord Mayors car will not be excluded from the restrictions “other than when it is carrying a visiting dignatory”

• St Leonards Place will become “Access Only”

The use of an experimental traffic order means that the Council does not have to consult residents before imposing the change. They must however consider any objections raised during the first 6 months of the trial.

The Lendal Bridge clsure proposal is likely to be debated by the full Council at its meeting on 18th July.

Despite £300,000 cost to taxpayers, new York traffic camera output still not on web.

County Council weather camera. Click photo to access North Yorkshire cameras

County Council weather camera. Click photo to access North Yorkshire cameras


The York Council was today celebrating opening a new CCTV control centre.

It was immediately criticised for not making the output of traffic/weather cameras – which monitor congestion levels in the City – available on the internet. Anyone currently trying to access the York Live web site will find that all the displayed cameras are marked as “unavailable”

York Live traffic information. Click image to access

York Live traffic information. Click image to access

This contrasts with the policy of the neighbouring North Yorkshire County Council which has, for several years, allowed travellers to check the traffic and weather conditions displayed by 12 “real time” cameras.

The York Council media release says,

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The York Cycle Challenge 2013 – 1 week to go!

cycle to work

Workplaces in York are being invited to take part in a free competition to encourage more people to ride bikes as part of the 2013 York Cycle Challenge – and potentially win a bike worth £1,000.

More than 81 businesses and 1,500 people are set to take to the streets over the three week period from 1 to 21 July for the annual event.

The challenge is supported by City of York Council’s i-Travel initiative, made possible by £4.6 million of government funding which the council successfully bid for in 2011.

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