A59 weeds finally gone..leaf clearance starts,

Its taken over 4 months, but weed growth has finally been cleared from the drainage channels on the A59 near Poppleton. The work, undertaken yesterday by Council staff, has improved the appearance of this key entry into the City

Weeds on the A59 reported in early July
A59 gutters clear of weeds (17th October 2019)
The only area left to treat is the slip road onto Longfield Lane.

It remains unclear how far the Councils weed control contractors have got with their “3rd application” of weed killer.

Attention will now switch to the autumn leaf removal programme. This is due to start on Monday. It will last for about 8 weeks.

Councillors have been briefed in the following terms,

“The leaf clearance will be undertaken using both mechanical and manual means.

We will have two trailer drawn leaf vacuums, our teams will use these to remove leaves from pavements and grass verges.

Our two large mechanical sweepers will be targeted at streets with trees, using the local knowledge of our staff, members and reports made by residents.

These leaves cannot be recycled because they are cleared from nearby or on the roads and are treated as contaminated waste.

As always we cannot see and clear every street at one time, so we would be grateful for the following

  1. If you aware of leaves that are causing a ‘danger’ i.e. on a major footpath, near a school, elderly persons home etc.  and are wet and slippery, please report these to member enquiries, if not a ‘danger’ please monitor and we will get there!
  • Once the main leaf fall is over, if there are leaves, which appear to have been missed, please pass these through member enquires.

You may be interested to know that the Communities and Equalities team, who work with volunteers across the city have recently ‘enrolled’ about a dozen volunteer leaf clearers.

They are also working with volunteers from Goodgym to clear leaves from large grassed areas in the parks and these are recycled in leaf bays within the parks”.

£18,000 spent by York Council on ineffective weed control contract

It emerged today that the York Council has already handed over £18,498.70 this year to the contractor charged with controlling weed growth in the City.

The figure conflicts with assurances given at a public review meeting held earlier in the week when the impression was given that payments were being withheld because of poor performance.

The contract states that treated areas must be “98%” free of weed growth. Clearly this isn’t the case in most of the City. In additional several major roads and areas were omitted by the Council – in error – from the contract. These areas, including parts of the A59 and A1237, are still not showing any “die back” as a result of the promised “third treatment”

The meeting on Monday was largely indecisive. A further review is promised but it appears that the existing contract isn’t being terminated.

There are no plans to undertake weed control activities in at least a “trial” sector of the City using the Councils own workforce. This would have allowed work quality claims to be tested.

The latest revelations are likely to lead to renewed calls for greater transparency on the activities of the Councils’ partners. One Councillor (Mark Warters) has already asked for copies of weed control activity worksheets for his ward to be published. In addition, many residents believe that the results of contract supervisory checks should be made public. These issues may be subject to a Freedom of Information request.

A list of suggested initiatives was presented by residents to the meeting (above right).  A response is awaited.

More on weed control in York

The Council has now replied to our complaint about inadequate weed control on public areas this summer.

They candidly accept now that the spraying has not been satisfactory.

They are now commencing a re-spray. The spray will include a colouring agent which will show which areas have received attention.

Weeds on the A59 have not been treated

This will be supplemented by Council staff who will work on areas not included on the contract. The areas near Poppleton on the A59 are a high priority.

Another problem has developed with obstructions to public cycle and footpaths.

Again the path on the A59 is one that is blocked

Path near Poppleton is still blocked
Brambles over growing the cycle path on Tadcaster Road may become a safety issue with darker nights coming.
Bushes are impeding access to the Hob Moor cycle track
Hedges blocking the cycle path at the rear of Hob Stones still haven’t been cut back
Someone has spent some time on this graffiti near the southern by pass
But less time on this!

Cars set to chat to each other on Holgate Road

York has been selected by the government’s Department for Transport (DfT) to trial new technology that could revolutionise the way we manage traffic flow and digital technology in vehicles in England.

The DfT announced today that City of York Council (CYC) was successfully awarded a share of £2million funding from the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems grant (CITS) to lead on this special project.

The £300k funding will be used to gather research, intelligence and data in York over a two year period from April.

The aim of the trial is to demonstrate that the new technology will improve traffic flow, congestion, road safety and online connectivity.

The trial in York will focus on the A59 corridor from the Park & Ride site to Holgate Bridge. It will start by using location data collected from vehicles monitored by company INRIX Ltd, which monitors traffic flow across Europe, and are one of the project’s partners to trial better phasing of traffic signals.

In later stages, parts of CYC’s fleet and other vehicles will be fitted with communications to allow them to ‘speak’ to traffic signals along the A59. The trial will also provide the commercial partners in the project from across the country with the opportunity to showcase their products here in York.
(more…)

Poppleton Bar – delays continue as Council responds to Freedom of Information request

At the last Council meeting Councillors were told that all work on the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride project would be completed by the end of July.

No end to Poppleton Bar works

No end to Poppleton Bar works

However there is still a considerable amount of work outstanding with periodic impacts on congestion levels in the area.

While the final May deadline for conclusion of the whole Access York contract is long past, it is unclear why there are continuing delays at Poppleton (other than the obvious one that the contractors are simply not fully resourcing their contract obligations).

Cycle tunnel in use but no lane marking on paths

Cycle tunnel in use but no lane marking on paths

Councillor Ann Reid is now pressing for answers and some have emerged as responses to Freedom of Information requests

One (click to download)  confirmed that the whole Access York project – of which the Poppleton works form part – was due to be completed by 23rd May.

Details of the road closure orders have also been published on the Council’s web site

Meanwhile, the permanent traffic signals at the A59 junction with the Park and Ride access road are now in place, but the following work is still outstanding

  1. Considerable surfacing and landscaping work
  2. White lining (e.g. on the cycle path exit from the A1237 pedestrian/cycle tunnel. (If this is intended to be a shared cycle/[pedestrian space then it does not seem to comply with the specification agreed with the Blind and Partially Sighted Association)

24 hour lighting on new roundabout

24 hour lighting on new roundabout

Yesterday (Thursday) the street lights in the area were permanently lit. Taken with the decision to exclude the provision of on-site electricity generation from the project, this does seem to fly in the face of the Councils environmental policies?

Drivers now want a realistic completion date for the project.

Residents would also like to be reassured that there are penalty clauses in the contract which will be invoked to compensate the Council, taxpayers and drivers for the inconvenience and additional expense that they have suffered over the last few months.