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Looks like “eyesore” payphone kiosks will stay

Two payphone kiosks, criticised for their appearance by local residents, will not be removed say BT.

The kiosks, one on Beagle Ridge Drive/Foxwood Lane the other on Kingsway West, have been damaged are often covered in graffiti, weeds and fly posters.

BT says that despite the growth in mobile phone use, the payphones are still occasionally used.

They acknowledge though that the payphone on Foxwood Lane isn’t working. It will be repaired.

BT promise that the payphones will also be thoroughly cleaned inside and out.

Kingsway West

Foxwood Lane

Crime in North Yorkshire up by 9%

The increase is revealed in a Office of National Statistics‚Äô (ONS) ‚ÄúCrime in England and Wales, year ending June 2018‚ÄĚ bulletin

It shows there were a total of 40,782 crimes in North Yorkshire during the 12-month period, giving a crime rate of 49.7 per 1,000 of the population.

This 9% local increase is below the national average crime increase of 10%.

Broken down into the main crime categories, the ONS figures for North Yorkshire show:

  • Burglary decreased by¬†1% (3,658¬†crimes in total, of which¬†2,235¬†are recorded as domestic burglaries and¬†1,423¬†non-domestic burglaries)
  • Drug offences increased by¬†6% (1,592¬†crimes in total)
  • Violence and against the person increased by¬†20% (11,811¬†crimes in total), which is broken down into Violence with Injury (5,112¬†crimes in total, a¬†10% increase); Violence without Injury category (4,821¬†crimes in total, a¬†22% increase); Harassment and Stalking (1,849¬†crimes in total, a¬†47% increase)
  • Possession of weapons offences up by¬†22% (247¬†crimes in total)
  • Robbery increased by¬†14% (183¬†crimes in total)
  • Theft offences increased by¬†4% (16,822¬†crimes in total)
  • Theft from the person down by¬†1% (444¬†crimes in total)
  • Bicycle theft reduced by¬†12%¬†(1,095¬†crimes in total)
  • Shoplifting increased by¬†11%¬†(4,686¬†crimes in total)
  • All other theft offences up by¬†2% (4,466¬†crimes in total)
  • Criminal damage and arson up by¬†3% (5,934¬†crimes in total)
  • Vehicle Offences were up¬†15%¬†with¬†2,473¬†crimes in total
  • Sexual offences increased by¬†13% (1,649¬†crimes in total). As previously highlighted, this rise is regarded as a reflection of the confidence victims have in North Yorkshire Police, particularly those making historical complaints in the wake of high profile historical sexual abuse cases, plus support from dedicated facilities for victims of sexual assault
  • Public order offences up by¬†18% (1,774¬†crimes in total)
  • Miscellaneous crimes against society, which includes the possession and publication of extreme sexual images, fell by¬†2% with¬†743¬†crimes in total

Chief Constable Lisa Winward said: “Today’s figures show North Yorkshire remains the lowest crime area in England and Wales. There has been an increase in recorded offences, but this is also slightly lower than the national average.

Low Poppleton Lane spy camera rethink

Day time only operation now proposed. Concessions for moped riders.

A report on the Low Poppleton Lane spy camera controversy has been published. We pointed out two months ago that the number of motorists caught by the Number Plate Recognition cameras seemed to be disproportionately high.

Over 2500 drivers (now increased to over 3300) ¬†had been caught misusing the ‚Äúbus gate‚ÄĚ in just 5 months. The Council is currently pocketing around ¬£30,000 a month in fine income.

Motorists contacted us to say that the signage was unclear (from the Boroughbridge Road direction). It was a problem for drivers of high cab mobile homes (there is a caravan site nearby). Others claimed that Sat Nav systems didn’t recognise the restriction.

We asked that the report reviewed these issues and that a survey of offenders be undertaken to try to understand why so many were ignoring the restriction.

The report fails to address these fundamental questions.

The Councils own consultation exercise found that most respondents were opposed to the bus lane, many saying that it was unnecessary since the sugar factory had closed, while others pointed to additional mileage, and risks encountered, by using the northern by pass.

A meeting next week is being recommended to introduce revised hours of operation. The restriction will apply only between 7:00am and 7:00pm.

In addition, powered two-wheel riders will be allowed to use the road as may taxi drivers. The latter two changes would bring the restriction into line with other bus lanes in the City.

Any revision would be introduced on a trial basis, raising again the question of whether Sat Nav systems would be updated to reflect the restriction.

Officials say that revised road markings have been introduced by there remains a suspicion that the Council has not yet got this right.

Spark- FOI reveals email exchanges on planning, cladding and loans

The York Council has shed some light on what they told the Spark developers in the spring of this year.

Copies of Email exchanges have now been published on the “What do they know” web site. Click for details

As early as last April, York council officials knew that the developer was intending not to provide cladding on the external face of the containers. This would have breached planning conditions.

Spark was advised that they had to apply for a variation to the planning permission.

This they subsequently did but the application was refused.

Spark have since said that they will appeal against the refusal.

It also appears that the Council was aware that Spark were borrowing significant sums of money to fund the ¬£500,000 set up costs for the development. It is unclear from the exchange whether the Council’s position¬†as the land owner and preferential creditor was, and remains, fully indemnified.¬†

At a meeting held in April, Spark were seeking an extension to the ‚ÄúJune 2020 end date‚ÄĚ for their lease. They were told that this was not possible, although one official hinted “if the venture is well supported and doing well then they (sic) maybe opportunities”.

Another Spark tenant (“Once across the Garden”) announced this week that they are moving from Spark.

NB. Spark started trading in May 2017 having, by then, been on site for over 6 months.



What’s on in York: Moving on with Family History

Oct _20Family

York Explore Library

Sat 20 Oct :

1.00pm – 4.00pm :


Have you been researching your family history online, but reached the end of the road?

Or maybe you’ve got lots of basic information about your ancestors but are looking to put some flesh on the bones?

Then this is the course for you.

Join Explore’s Archivist (Access and Engagement), Laura Yeoman, for this hands-on workshop looking at some of the sources that might take you further in your research.

To book tickets please click here.

What’s on in York: Dancing Through Storytime

Oct _20Dancing

York Explore Library :

Sat 20 Oct :

10.00am – 4.00pm :


Dancing Through Storytime Created by Campbell Edinborough

Dancing Through Storytime is an interactive performance for families, integrating dance, movement and storytelling.  During the 15 minute performance children aged 4-8 and their grown ups will hunt for sea creatures, get lost in a forest and float into space.  It’s a show for everyone who has ever wanted to jump into their storybook.

This is a free event which will last for 15 minutes. !5 minute slots are available to book throughout the day please call 01904 552828 to book or book in person at your local library.

What’s on in York: Caring for old photographs

Oct _20Caring

York Explore Library :

Sat 20 Oct :

9.30am – 11.30am :


Do you have family photographs, negatives or slides hidden away in your home?

Are you concerned about their condition, or unsure what to do with them? Join Explore’s Archivist (Access and Engagement), Laura Yeoman, to learn more about what causes photographic materials to deteriorate over time, and the best ways to care for them at home.

To book tickets please click here.

Council set to back track on Wigginton Road traffic scheme

The York Council is set to abandon its plan to remove the mini roundabout on Wigginton Road at its junction with Fountain Street.

Most respondents to a consultation exercise said that the mini roundabout was essential for drivers wanting to turn right at the junction.

There has been some scepticism about the plan which is aimed to reduce bus journey times past the hospital by 90 seconds in the AM peak.

The Council will, however, press ahead with a reconfiguration of the Wigginton Road/Haxby Road junction.

The changes are expected to cost around £200,000

A copy of the report can be read by clicking here

New Wigginton Road/Haxby Road junction plan

Mini roundabout

Projects reported “on target” to meet promised completion dates

The Wetherby Road roundabout improvement is on course to meet its expected Spring 2019 completion date. In total the improvement will take around 40 weeks to construct.

Wetherby Road speed sign missing for over a year now

The design of the improvement has raised concerns that the speeds of vehicles leaving the junction may be higher than are currently recorded.
In turn, that has prompted some residents on Wetherby Road to ask for the missing flashing speed warning sign to be reinstated. The sign on the odd numbered side of the road has been missing for over a year now. When it was last in place, around 20% of passing vehicles caused it to operate.
A petition is being collected asking for the flashing signs to be modernised. Residents are also calling for an occasional visit by the North Yorkshire Police speed camera van. There are already signs in place warning that there are speed cameras in the area (there aren’t any fixed cameras in this location or anywhere else in York for that matter).
Nearby York Civic Trust engineers have confirmed that they will complete the restoration of the stonework on the Acomb War Memorial before 11th November.
A Service of Remembrance is scheduled to take place then with wreaths being laid at around 11:00am.
The York Council has not yet confirmed that it will complete work on trimming trees and branches in the garden of remembrance before the service. Work on providing an improved access for disabled people is also outstanding.

Bogus speed camera sign on Wetherby Road

Work on Wetherby Road roundabout proceeding on schedule

Acomb war memorial



Now Hope Street residents join clamour for York Council to invest more in road and footpath repairs

Following yesterdays appeal by residents living in Welborne Close for improvements to roads and footpaths in their area, people living in Hope Street have added their voices to the campaign.

In the City centre street, which lies close to Walmgate, parts of the carriageway have  worn away with the surface of the road now turning to dust. This is particularly dangerous for cycle and moped riders.

Footpaths also have become a patchwork of temporary reinstatements.

The Council will be considering its budget plans for next year shortly and campaigners will be seeking a substantial increase in allocations for road and footpath resurfacing across the City.