Quiet time for shoppers in York today

The first Saturday since shops reopened in York saw modest numbers of customers returning.

Parliament Street was quiet this afternoon with few queues
Similar picture on Goodramgate
and Kings Square
Ice cream vans attracted a queue
and a Busker
One sign of a return to “normality”. Gangs of youths cycling the wrong way down footstreets doing “wheelies”.
Some shoppers headed for the out of town centres. The Cr park at Tesco Clifton Moor was about half full.

Path obstructions hinder social distancing

The Council has started to put signs out warning about upcoming road resurfacing schemes in areas like Tadcaster Road, Nunnery Lane and James Street.

Unfortunately some of the signs are blocking footpaths making “social distancing” more difficult.

Council signs blocking footpaths on Tadcaster Road

Some Councillors have promised to take up the issue but really a more fundamental change is needed.

Signs could be place on lampposts at a height that would inconvenience no one while being clearer to all road and path users.

Weed growth and faded signage on neglected cycle paths near A1237 at Clifton Moor

There are also increasing problems with paths being blocked by overgrown hedges while weed growth go unchecked on the path surfaces.

Social distancing difficult on the River Ouse cycle/foot path near Scarborough bridge

There are concerns that some locations, which had problems with weed growth in 2019, have again been omitted from this year’s treatment programme.

No sign of weed “die back” on Tadcaster Road cycle track

There is little evidence of “die back” on some routes despite the first treatment cycle having finished.

Overgrown hedges have blocked the footpath at Clifton Moor
Carriageway and cycle lane impeded also at Clifton Moor

York Police appeal for information following bike theft at Clifton Moor, York

CCTV images released

North Yorkshire Police have released images of a man they would like to speak to, in relation to the theft of bike from outside Pure Gym on Clifton Moor, York.

CCTV Pure Gym 1

At around 9.20am on 26 October a green Claude Butler racing bike with flat handlebars was allegedly stolen from outside the gym.

The man pictured was seen leaving the gym on Stirling Road at around the same time and may have important information that could assist the investigation.

CCTV Pure Gym 2

Anyone who recognises the man pictured in the CCTV image is asked to contact the police on 101 and ask to speak to PC James Jones. Alternatively please email James.Jones@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Please quote reference number 121501899 in connection with this incident.

Council claims that the Clifton Moor – Haxby Road cycle path is finally useable

An embarrassing 18 months behind schedule, the £1 million cycle track linking Clifton Moor to Haxby Road has finally been declared officially “open”.

The Council says that, “the scheme has created a safe off-road shared cycle and pedestrian route along the A1237 outer ring road between the Haxby Road roundabout and the B1363 Wigginton Road roundabout, connecting over 15,000 people living in this area of York.

The measures also include new links with Haxby Road near to the roundabout, a new bridge over the York to Scarborough railway line with approach ramps on the existing embankments and an additional crossing point on Wigginton Road to safely connect with Clifton Moor.

The provision of an off-road route/safe link opens up access (sustainably, via cycling and/or walking) between Haxby, Huntington, New Earswick and to the retail, leisure and employment destination of Clifton Moor as well as students attending Joseph Rowntree School“.

The delays to the completion of the scheme – which was scheduled to start in 2013 – have been put down to “poor ground conditions”

Secret decisions on bus shelters and road improvements

Behind closed doors logo

Following the move not to allow Cabinet members to take decisions in “private” sessions, the gap has been filled by Council officials who are queuing up make the most use that they can of  their “delegated” powers.

Rougier Street

This week, the much delayed project to replace the (admittedly odious) bus shelter on Rougier Street next to Roman House was formally shelved.

Developers had been planning to convert Roman House into flats. There were concerns that a new shelter might be damaged during building works.

It now appears that the flats project has been abandoned and new owners are looking into providing a hotel on the site.

The scheme is being funded by the – time limited – “better bus fund” . This is the same fund that the Council misused to subsidise their ill fated Lendal Bridge  adventure.

With little prospect of the development on Rougier Street starting in the near future. it would have been sensible to divert the funds into sub-urban areas where bus stop and information facilities have had little improvement during the last 4 years.

Instead officials decided to mothball the project. (Their decision rather strangely refers to the shelter being located in the Skelton ward !!)

St Leonards

Separately – and not yet formally reported to the Council – we understand that improvements to the Theatre Royal bus stop have also been suspended. Apparently English Heritage were concerned that the works might endanger the adjacent listed buildings.

The improvements to the Theatre frontage include glazing the area between the columns.

It appears however that these glazing panels – rather  than filling in the gaps in between the masonry – will actually be recessed further back.

This raises concerns that a litter trap – or worse – is being constructed.

Clifton Moor

Clifton Moor link foot and cycle path click to access

Clifton Moor link foot and cycle path click to access

Plans to connect the two sides of the Clifton Moor retail park are being redesigned following the opening of the DFS store.

A new combined cycle/foot path has been approved. The  costs will be born by developers and land owners.The design is reproduced right

Burdyke Avenue plan click to enlarge

Burdyke Avenue plan click to enlarge

Burdyke Avenue

Obstructions on Burdyke Avenue have been causing delays to local bus services. The Council plan to install a parking lay-by with associated parking restrictions. Telecoms equipment in the verge means that the project will cost £55,000. 

The plan doesn’t provide any additional parking space and an alternative, which would have utilized gardens for parking, does not appear to have been fully explored.

Estate car parking is an increasing issue.

Labour slowed the improvement programme when they took office in 2011. Until then most wards had allocated money for  dropped kerbs, lay-bys and off street parking near flats.

The installation of matrix reinforcement on verges was also being developed as a way of protecting them.

In a further leap back into the dark ages, it appears that the convention that the spokespeople for each Group represented on the Council (together with local ward members) are given the opportunity to comment, before delegated decisions are taken, has also now been abandoned.







Empty offices at Clifton Moor to become flats?

Clifton Moor office empty

The York Council is to remove restrictive covenants from some commercial properties in Clifton Moor.

This will allow buildings to be converted into residential use.

The Council says that it is doing this because there is little demand for office blocks on the development and a lot of property is empty.

The Council also claims that demand for City centre offices is buoyant.

The covenants were imposed several years ago when the area was first developed.

The area suffers from significant traffic congestion which is unlikely to be sorted until expensive improvements to the northern by pass are completed.

There are some fairly big question to be answered about the quality of residential accommodation that could be provided by converting modern office and commercial buildings.
Huge areas of green field land have been reserved for this purpose – including a nearby site at Westminster Business Park – with many sites being some miles from the City centre.Behind closed doors logo
 It also brings into question (again) the assumptions that the Council has made in its draft Local Plan about the demand for office and commercial development land in the future.

The Councils decision was taken at a “behind closed doors” meeting.

There was no consultation with local residents or businesses about the proposal.