Big increase in road deaths in York

Accident figures from the Department of Transport

The number of people killed on York’s roads almost doubled last year.

The figures have been released by the Department of Transport ( and show that there were 7 fatalities on York’s roads in 2011 compared to only 4 in 2010.

The overall number of killed and seriously injured (KSI) shows a small increase although the total number of injury accidents (including “slight”) did reduce from 559 to 552.

Surprisingly the York Council has so far failed to debate the new figures which do suggest that a fresh initiative is required if the downward trend in accident numbers (KSI stood at 160 in 2006) is to be sustained.

There is no item in the Council forward programme which would allow the issue to be debated during the next 4 months.

The DpT report also makes gloomy reading for those who believe that 20 mph speed limits may be the solution to the problem. The biggest increase in accident numbers nationally occurred in 20 mph zones where there were 25% more accidents than in 2010.

All other built up areas – with speed limits of 30 and 40 mph – showed a small fall in accident rates.

Council playground neglected but Acomb Green equipment proves popular

Grange Lane playground equipment abandoned?

Scarcely 12 months after being officially opened, is the Grange Lane playground showing signs of neglect.

One piece of equipment has been unusable for several months.

The playground was one of several provided by the Council when it was under Liberal Democrat leadership.

With the Ward committee annual allocation for improvement to play provision in the Westfield area having been scrapped by the new Labour Council, it is to be hoped that existing facilities will not be allowed to rust away.

Acomb Green playground

Meanwhile the new play equipment provided by the Friends of Acomb Green is proving to be very popular with dozens of families visiting the facility each week

York800 – Some things never change.

In 1200, King John became involved in a long-drawn out war with France. This war was expensive and John was forced to introduce new taxes to pay for his army. This created a great deal of resentment in England, and John’s position was not helped when, in 1205, the king’s army lost control of Normandy, Brittany, Anjou and Maine.

Today we face a referendum on our continued participation in the EU.

In 1215, King John made another desperate attempt to gain control of his lost territory in France. Once again he was defeated and was forced to pay £40,000 to obtain a truce. When John tried to obtain this money by imposing yet another tax, the barons rebelled.

Today we complain about a North South divide in the way that our taxes are spent.

The king was obliged to sign a Magna Carta. In this charter the king made a long list of promises, including no new taxes without the support of his barons, a reduction in the power of his sheriffs and the right of a fair trial for all freemen.

Today everyone enjoys the right to a fair trial (other, possibly , than bankers, politicians and failed football club managers).

It was King John himself who gave York the chance of self-government. The disastrous and expensive military campaigns left him sorely in need of funds, and one way to raise them was to allow a town’s citizens to buy the right to rule themselves. York’s charter came in 1212, when King John allowed York’s citizens, rather than the Sheriff, to collect and pay the annual tax to the Crown, to hold their own courts and to appoint a mayor.

From then on, until local government reorganisation in 1974, York was a self-governing city under its own mayors.

In 1996 it threw off he yoke of Northallerton and once again became a prosperous and independent City.

Free compost on Sunday 9.30am until 2.30pm Harewood Whin

City of York Council and Yorwaste have teamed up to give local residents free compost this spring and summer.

Green fingered gardeners will be able to collect their free compost from Yorwaste’s Harewood Whin site, on Tinker Lane, off Wetherby Road on:

• Sunday 8 July
• Sunday 5 August
• Sunday 2 September
• Sunday 7 October

The compost will be available from 9.30am until 2.30pm each day and residents are asked to bring a shovel and bags or containers to take the compost home in

Fresh witness appeal for York collision

North Yorkshire Police are renewing their appeal for witnesses after the death of a man who was seriously injured in a road traffic collision near York.

It occurred at 3.50pm on Monday 2 July 2012, on A19 outside the Fairfield Manor Hotel in Skelton.

The collision involved a dark grey Ford Focus travelling from the A1237 towards Skelton and an 80-year-old man, from Helmsley, who was crossing the road walking towards the hotel.

The pedestrian was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance, where he sadly died on Thursday 5 July 2012.

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Ouse will be 2 metres above normal levels In York but escapes worst of rainfall

York has escaped the worst of the flooding seen in the region and is expected to attract large numbers of visitors over the weekend.

Check out the current river level position on this Kings Staith web cam

Visit the Environment Agency web site at this address for more information on flood risks in the region

Westfield PCSO wins Safer Neighbourhood award

North Yorkshire Police Authority last week celebrated the work of Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers and Volunteers in the North Yorkshire’s Safer Neighbourhoods Awards 2012.

At the presentation evening last Friday (29 June) PC Ray Milligan from York was named as the North Yorkshire Police Officer of the Year 2012, with PCSO Stacey Taylor named the Police Community Support Officer.

Both PC Milligan and PCSO Taylor work in the York Safer Neighbourhood Command Area.

Flooding & driving

York is expecting very heavy rainfall today. Here are some tips on driving in potentially flooded areas. You can register to receive flood warnings from the Environment Agency here

Eight things to think about…
•Flash floods can come rapidly and unexpectedly. In the UK they are usually cause when rivers break their banks.
•You may not have warning that a flash flood is approaching.
•Never attempt to drive through a flood that you couldn’t walk through and be aware that water hides dips in the road. Worse still, there may be no road at all under the water. Flooding can wash away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground beneath.
•Just six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars; this depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.
•If negotiating a flooded section of road, drive in the middle where the water will be at its shallowest.
•Consider other drivers – pass through flooded sections one car at a time, don’t drive through water against approaching vehicles.

•Many cars will start to float in as little as one foot of water – this can be extremely dangerous because as the wheels lose grip, you lose control.
•Two feet of flowing water can sweep away most vehicles — including large four-wheel drive cars. Don’t try driving through fast-moving water, for example approaching a flooded bridge – your car could easily be swept away.

Negotiating floods

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Steve Redgrave visits Westfield

Olympian Steve Redgrave at Energise sports centre

Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave visited York High School yesturday.

Sir Steve Redgrave is one of an elite group of only 5 athletes in history to have achieved 5 gold medals in consecutive Olympic Games.

Steve is without doubt Britain’s greatest Olympian and indeed one of the greatest Olympians the world has ever seen. Steve led a motivational and inspirational school assembly about his career and later watched as pupils joined in sports activities. Steve also offered interactive rowing tips to York High pupils.