Public transport users in York will not benefit from fuel price reductions

The media is reporting that First buses do not intend to reduce fares to reflect the 20% reduction seen in diesel costs.

Fuel price graph Aug 2015

Pump prices have fallen from a high of 150 pence per litre to just 112 ppl in York this week. The downward trend in diesel prices has been significant and sustained since First last increased their prices.

In some cases such as  season tickets prices will actually increase.

The decision mirrors that of the taxi trade which declined to pass on the benefits of lower fuel prices to customers earlier in the year.

Yesterday the government announced that regulated rail fares would increase by 1% in January. A study has suggested that regulated fare prices jumped 25% between 2010 and 2015, while average pay rose 9% over the same period.

Unfortunately there is currently no independent organisation in York lobbying on behalf of public transport users. The Council’s scrutiny committee pointedly ignores the subject of public transport costs and punctuality.


Reports are coming in that the Council may continue the 13A bus service after First stop running it at the end of July.

Save our 13A bus service

This would allow time for a full review of subsidised bus routes during the autumn by the new Council Executive.

Westfield LibDem Councillors  had passed on residents concern about the threatened axing of this route to First and to the Council.

Options for continuing the service to this area might include re-routing other subsidised services. This would avoid passengers – many of whom are elderly –  having to walk long distances.

It is anticipated that the re-introduction of two way routes along Tudor Road and Green Lane would also form part of any service review.

At the moment the number 4 bus service only travels clockwise round the Green Lane/Tudor Road loop.

The decision on the 13A was taken behind closed doors with no pre-meeting agenda or background papers published. The new Council will rapidly lose credibility if it doesn’t become more open and shed the mistakes of the past …..and quickly.

Set back for electric buses in York?

There are calls for electric buses to be removed from  York roads until the cause of today’s fire in one of the vehicles has been traced.

The affected vehicles only joined Firsts fleet a short time ago but any incident like this is likely to dent passengers confidence.

York Press:

The fire occurred in the Hungate area. At one point there was a small explosion. Firefighters were initially hindered by high electric currents in the vehicle

The bus driver has been praised for promptly ensuring that his passengers evacuated the vehicle. There were no reported injuries.

Monks Cross Park&Ride gets new fleet of electric buses

P & R Electric buses May 2015

The UK’s top Park&Ride (P&R) service is further expanding its offer to customers by introducing a new fully electric fleet of buses at Monks Cross Park&Ride.

In partnership with First who operate the site, the introduction of six new electric buses this month follows on from the success of the introduction of a fully electric fleet onto the new Poppleton Park&Ride last June.

New threat to Foxwood and Chapelfields bus services?

Now First start consultation on “low usage” bus services

Just a few weeks after the York Council withdrew its threat to withdraw subsidies from bus services like the number 12, it seems that First themselves are now planning cuts.

On the buses

Their web site says

“We’re undertaking some face-to-face consultation events and running an online survey to seek your views on services operating in the South West of York covering Acomb to Copmanthorpe as well as Haxby in the North.

Some services operating in these areas are experiencing low levels of usage which we’d like to address, to ensure that our buses go to the right places and that the levels of service meets the demand.

Our survey asks for feedback on your travel choices made within your area as well as ways to improve or amend our existing services.

It’s hoped that this feedback will assist in the development of the network to improve usage and long term viability of these services.

Come and meet us face-to-face at these events:

  • Thursday 12 February 1000-1300 Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre
  • Thursday 12 February1400-1600 Copmanthorpe Youth Club, School Lane
  • Friday 13 February 1430-1730 Snow Room G035, City of York Council Offices
  • Tuesday 24 February 1230-1530 Haxby & Wigginton Methodist Church Hall

If you’re not able to see us at one of these events, we still want your views – please let us know what you think by completing our online survey which is open until Saturday 28 February”.

The main concerns relate to possible reductions in the frequency of the number 1 service which serves Chapelfields and the number 12 service which provides a link for Foxwood and Woodthorpe. The future of the popular number 4 service is also understood to be under review.

We hope that First will provide quickly much more detail on what they regard as “low usage” services, and also state precisely what changes they are thinking of making!


Changes to traffic priorities on Clarence Street

Clarence Street proposals - click to access

Clarence Street proposals – click to access

Following consultation with residents and businesses a new scheme to improve one of York’s key city centre bus routes is set to go to a Cabinet Member meeting for final approval.

The proposals include introducing a longer lane for vehicles turning left into Lord Mayor’s Walk from Clarence Street, so that straight-through/ right-turning traffic is not held up by queuing vehicles.

Traffic signals will be changed so that the left turn from Clarence Street into Lord Mayor’s Walk gets additional ‘green time’.

The scheme is supported through part of the £3.5 million Better Bus Area Fund (BBAF) awarded to the council from the Government’s Department for Transport in 2012.

The five-week consultation took place in September and October and asked for views on the proposed measures on Clarence Street to help improve the reliability of bus services on the approach to York city centre.

The findings of the consultation will now go before the Cabinet Member for Transport’s public Decision Session on Friday 21 November for final approval.

The improvements will help three of York’s five most frequent bus services, specifically routes 1, 5 and 6 which can experience some delays on Clarence Street, Gillygate and St Leonards Place.


Andrew Waller takes action to deal with footpath hazard

Andrew Waller tackles hedge

Andrew Waller tackles hedge

BEFORE - Hedge blocking Askham Lane

BEFORE – Hedge blocking Askham Lane

AFTER - bus shelter revealed

AFTER – bus shelter revealed


The bush blocking the Askham Lane footpath has been cut back by Andrew Waller and a team of volunteers.

The path had been blocked by the overgrown hedge for a couple of weeks forcing pedestrians to walk in the road.

The bush also potentially could have damaged passing vehicles.

The overgrown hedge has been reported to the Council several times during the summer with passengers, waiting in the shelter, complaining that they could not see buses approaching

The hedge still needs cutting back further with specialist equipment and we hope that the Council will do that and treat the nettles – which make access to the shelter difficult for elderly people – as quickly as possible.

Historic 1909 tram shelter to be restored


An historic shelter, provided for York’s electric tram services in 1909, is being restored as part of the Better Bus Area Fund (BBAF), awarded Council by the Department for Transport in 2012.

Used by millions of passengers over the years catching trams, until the system was decommissioned in 1935, then buses, the half timbered passenger shelter outside the Railway Station is being restored through York’s Better Bus Area Programme.