Changes to pedestrian/cycle crossing planned for Thanet Road

The Council is planning to remodel the pedestrian/cycle crossing at the junction of Thanet Road and Kingsway West

We understand that, as part of the changes planned for the traffic arrangements on Thanet Road, the pedestrian and cycle crossing will be modified.

The proposals look to change the cycle crossing to a Toucan crossing and amend the footways to create areas of shared pedestrian / cycle space.  The main changes that we are proposing are as follows:

Creation of a new traffic signal installation to form a Toucan crossing This replaces the existing cycle crossing with a parallel pedestrian crossing at the same location.  The new Toucan crossing will include near sided pedestrian / cyclist red / green aspects.

  • The Toucan crossing will be located on a new “bus friendly” flat topped raised table over the carriageway.  This will require additional gullies for drainage to be installed.
  • New shared use pedestrian / cycle areas will be formed with appropriate tactile paving, road markings and signing.
  • The southern cyclist on / off carriageway sections will be re aligned to tie in with the shared use areas and new northern cyclist on / off carriageway sections will be created.
  • The cycle tracks in the western verge are slightly realigned to fit in with the shared use areas.

We are surprised that changes to the present arrangements are planned. Generally the crossing works well.

Some changes should, however, be made at the junction when the lights are modernised.

  • The hammerhead on Kingsway West is in poor condition and needs resurfacing
  • The central bollard on the footpath link to the crossing needs to be replaced. It’s dull colour is very difficult to see in murky weather.

The plans will be available to view at the Ward Committee meeting which is scheduled to  take place at the Bowling Club from 6:30pm on Tuesday

Residents reject plan to fence off Chesneys Field

Chesney’s Field development plan

A Council proposal, that part of the Chesney Field amenity area should be fenced off, was criticised at a meeting of the Foxwood Residents Association last night.

Of those attending the meeting, only Council officials spoke in favour of the plan.

Now a formal representation has been made to local Councillors in the hope that the scheme can be quickly dismissed as an option.

This would allow other aspects of the project to move forward. These may include the provision of a trim track or “outdoor gym”.

Residents urged the football club that wants to erect the fencing and a storage container, to look to an arrangement with the Acorn Ruby Club who operate on an adjacent, and secure, site already.

The matter is likely to be discussed again at a Ward Committee meeting which is taking place next Tuesday at the Bowling Club (7:00pm)

York Council to sell Bootham Row car parking spaces

New threat to sell off Council housing land

Land at Bootham Row to be sold

The York Council’s Executive is being recommended to sell off 5 car parking spaces at Bootham Row car park. The land (see map) also accommodates motorcycle parking.

The Council is hoping to raise £155,000 from a local developer who hopes to remodel 27 Bootham.

The car parking spaces generate over £7000 a year for taxpayers

Coming at a time when pressure on City centre car parks is being blamed for the accelerating decline in the City centre retail economy, the plan is bound to raise eyebrows. It is reminiscent of the plan, hatched in 2011 by the then Labour led Council administration, which proposed to sell off the nearby Union Terrace car park. That idea collapsed after being heavily criticised by both residents and traders.

Housing land sale

More alarming is the publication of a lofty document which seeks to justify a new “Asset Management Strategy”. It is due to be discussed by the Council’s Executive on 28th September.

The report claims that the last strategy, launched in 2011, has been a success.

Amongst the credulous statements that Councillors are being asked to believe, are claims that that the York Central and Castle Gateway sites “have been made more economically active” (In fact very little progress has been made on either project over the last 6 years).

The report goes on to claim that older people’s accommodation has been improved. Again, the reality is that the project is running 4 years behind schedule.

Sanderson House community centre

Most bizarre is a claim that leasing community centres to local organisations  “have allowed voluntary groups to flourish, increase activity, improve outcomes and attract external funding”. The reality, at least at the two community centres in the Westfield area, is that volunteers have been given a crushing burden to handle with minimal Council support.  Most ad hoc leisure events at the centres have stopped with most bookings now being from third parties (which the management committees have to accept simply to pay for running costs)

The Council has similarly jettisoned its commitment to many local sports facilities.

The report talks vaguely of joint use arrangement with other public-sector providers such as GPs.

It seems likely that the Council intends to target staff who work in neighbourhood buildings potentially repeating the disastrous policy – from a customer service perspective – of closing facilities like the Acomb Housing office and the Beckfield Lane recycling centre.

Derelict site behind Acomb Explore Library

The report says that 5 (unidentified) Housing department owned sites will either be sold or freed up for redevelopment.

The report pointedly fails to identify the location of these sites.

There are of course pieces of Council owned land which are crying out for development.

These include the land to the rear of the Acomb Library, which was schedule as an extension providing “one stop shop” facilities – with residential accommodation above – over 8 years ago.

We are still waiting to see some progress.

York Local Plan- another consultation!

Just when you thought that the Council had finally decided on a Local Plan that would take York into the 2030’s, the authority has launched another public consultation.

The last consultation  took place in the spring.

The Council says that”homes  in the city will receive a special edition of the Our City publication over the next two weeks, which explains the plan and how to have your say.

The full version of the Local Plan pre-publication draft – and comment forms which can be sent freepost –  is available to view online at www.york.gov.uk/localplan,  in all the city’s libraries and the council’s reception at west offices.

Residents are also invited to one of eight special consultation events, while additional information will also be available at all ward committees which meet during the consultation period.

You can also get involved via twitter @CityofYork or facebook.com/cityofyork, using the hashtag #YorkLocalPlan

There wil be a public consultation event on Monday 16 October at Acomb Explore Library, Acomb (3-7.30pm)

Additional information will also be provided at the ward committee meeting (Dringhouses & Woodthorpe joint with Westfield) – Tuesday 26 September  York & District Indoor Bowls Club, 302 Thanet Road, Dringhouses, York, YO24 2NW 6.30-8pm)

The published plans still involve development of the Lowfields playing field, so it is important that residents record their objections to any proposals that they disagree with

There is expected to be an “examination in public” by an independent inspector early next year.

Land use leaflet

York Police appeal for information on Acomb Chemist burglaries

The Police have issued a statement saying,

“In the last couple of weeks we have had a number of reports of burglaries at chemists in the Acomb area of York.

We ask if you have any information in relation to this please contact us on 101 quoting incident 12170164309.

We also ask that if you see any suspicious behaviour around such premises please report this to the police.”

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Below is the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the words highlighted in blue

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                9A Hawkshead Close York YO24 2YF

Proposal              Single storey rear extension and 3 no. rooflights to rear elevation of main roof slope

Reference           17/01660/FUL

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82 Bramham Avenue York YO26 5DE

Conversion of garage into living accommodation and extension to front and rear

Ref. No: 17/02083/FUL 

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 Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

  1. The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

Site visit to decide on pruning plan for trees in little Green Lane

Most residents, who responded to a survey conducted by local Councillors, said that they wanted the trees in little Green Lane (Acomb) lopped.

The trees hadn’t received any maintenance by the City of York Council for over 20 years. Now some are interfering with communication wires and several are blocking street lights.

Councillors have arranged to meet local residents on Tuesday 26th September st 5:45pm on the bridge at the school end of Green Lane.

It is hoped that a consensus will be developed on precisely how much work needs to be undertaken on each tree (there are about a dozen in the street)

It is hoped that a tree expert will be present at the site meeting, and later at the Ward committee meeting (see below), when the crisis in tree management in the ward will be discussed.

The Ward Committee has allocated over £3000 to pay for urgent works required to trim trees and remove self seeded bushes which are causing problems in parts of the Westfield area. This work is best undertaken in late autumn so decisions need to be taken quickly.