“Retain Minster Badge petition” – only 1 week left to sign

Residents only have until 18th April to “sign” a petition on the Councils web site asking for the retention of the Minster badge.

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The badge entitles York taxpayers to discount car parking during the day and free parking in the evening.

It is due to be scrapped under a Labour proposal which would see a new badge introduced which anyone would be able to buy.
The petition can be accessed by clicking here

The petition reads,

We the undersigned petition the council to continue to supply Minster car parking badges to York residents free of charge. As one of the few councils in the country who have suffered council tax rises every year under the Labour council while the rest of the country hasn’t. We propose that residents have already paid for this right.

The many businesses that rely on local trade within the city centre are already dwindling. Also many businesses like restaurants and cafes rely on local trade throughout the winter months when there are few tourists. A further reduction in the number of residents visiting the town centre could prove fatal.

Contractors brought in to enforce parking restrictions on York Council estates

Over £14,000 raised in fines

Tudor Road garages - parking clampdown continues

Tudor Road garages – parking clampdown continues

A contract has been let by the Council which will see private contractors enforce parking restrictions on Council estates in York.

In the main, the contractors will patrol garage forecourts and communal areas.

A 3 year trial of a system – which involves issuing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for £30 to drivers who park in restricted areas – resulted in 900 tickets being issued.

Most were in City centre areas such as Castle Mills although suburban locations like the garage blocks on Tudor Road (21 tickets issued) also formed part of the trial.

Fines levied by site. click to enlarge

Fines levied by site. click to enlarge

Around £14,000, in fine income, was raised by the contractor.

The new contract will extend the enforcement to all similar areas in the City.

The scheme does not cover public highway or verge parking. Damage to verges is one of the biggest problems in some estates with heavy rainfall resulting in verges which have been badly damaged over recent months.
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While we accept that some enforcement  is necessary – if only to allow easy access by emergency vehicles – we believe that the Council should reintroduce its programme of providing dropped kerbs/vehicle crossovers, lay-bys and other, off street, parking spaces.

Where necessary, verges should be reinforced with matrix surfaces.

The Councils decision was taken last week in another “behind closed doors” decision.

The background paper can be read here.

Free City centre car parking on Saturday

Car park Richard iii

All council owned car parks are offering free parking all day and evening on Saturday 1 February 2014.

Thirteen car parks will be free to use for residents and visitors to help them enjoy York’s vast city centre offering.

The car parks that will be free to use on Saturday 1 February are: Bishopthorpe Road, Bootham Row, Castle, Castle Mills, Esplanade, Foss Bank, Haymarket, Marygate, Monkbar, Nunnery Lane, Piccadilly, St George’s Field and Union Terrace.

The initiative aims to counter the decline in shopper numbers in the City centre following the closure of Lendal Bridge.

The Council is already forecasting that it will be £200,000 under budget for car parking income this year.

Residents seek extra car parking space in Westfield.

Car parking problems growing in Westfield area

Car parking problems growing in Westfield area

Drivers living in the Kingsway West, Windsor Garth and St Stephen’s Road areas have started a campaign aimed at persuading the Council to restart its car park provision programme.

 

The programme, which provided dropped kerbs/verge crossovers and parking lay bys, was a victim of Labours cuts to ward committee budgets in 2011.

Although some work has continued using tenants estate improvement budget funds, provision has fallen behind demand.

Some spaces intended for residents use on Ascot Way are being monopolised by visitors.

Now additional pressure is being felt by on street parking spaces as the Council moves to redevelop garage areas while parking restrictions, on the link access to the new development on the Our Lady’s school site, seem inevitable.

In the meantime some drivers are parking on grass verges causing considerable damage and disfiguring the neighbourhood.

Bus use in York down by 10% last year

Bus use click to enlarge

Bus use click to enlarge

Over a million fewer journeys were made by bus last year in York.

This is equivalent to a 10% reduction in “stage carriage” service use. The figures are described as “provisional”.

The Council has yet to respond fully to a Freedom of Information request on bus usage in the City.

Requests for the City to publish bus reliability information are also mired in a legal wrangle.

Although Park and Ride use increased from 4.1 to 4.3 million trips, it did not offset what is the largest single year decline ever recorded in public transport use in the City.

The start of the decline can be traced back to 2011 when the Council confronted the major provider of services in the City (First) in an attempt to get the futuristic ftr taken off York’s roads.

The ftr had been popular with passengers but the dispute led to a period of conflict between the Labour run Council and bus operators.

Recent attempts to “hype” a fares reduction through the media proved to be ill judged as many users found that their journey was actually costing more.

The Council announced at its last meeting that it is scrapping the Quality Bus Partnership which has been a liaison point between bus operators, passenger representatives and the Council.

It will be replaced by another”behind closed doors” discussion group

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NB. Following on from the bad news about reduced footfall in the City, the Council report has also revealed a drop in car park use from 1.62 to 1.52 million.

They are forecasting a net shortfall of £250k (3.5%) from parking income following data from the first six months.

The decline in use followed a decision by the new Labour Council to implement a 36% increase in parking charges.

Oliver House – the parking issue

Thanks to those residents from the Bishophill are who contacted us to say that some people are apparently exploiting the Oliver House situation to get free car parking.

The property is located in the middle of a ResPark area with residents paying around £100 a year (depending on car size) for parking permits.

Cars parked at Oliver House

Cars parked at Oliver House

Apparently some drivers are monopolising the car parking spaces which were provided for the use of staff and residents at the elderly persons home.

The 8 spaces could bring in around £1000 a year from car parking charges.

On Sunday only one of the parked vehicles was displaying ResPark pass suggesting that the Council is loosing out on potential income.

It’s about time that the Council explained what is going to happen with this building and when.