The York Civic Trust was reported in the media today as backing a “go slow” by cyclists in the City centre. They were apparently highlighting the need to remove cars from roads to allow for safer cycling.
Any such plans need to be subject to detailed consultation. The Civic Trust could make a start by re-engaging with its own members.
We have already seen on half baked scheme – on Bishopthorpe Road – impact adversely on both shoppers and traders. Nearby roads became clogged at peak times increasing pollution levels.
A similar situation arose at Marygate car park where 40 spaces are currently coned off to provide a (largely unused) route for cyclists. Many cyclists choose to use the internal service road. Meanwhile pressure on parking spaces means shoppers are discouraged and prosperity in the City centre is put under more pressure.
The City does’t benefit from impulsive, uninformed, decision making.
If cyclists – with or without the support of the Civic Trust which really should have other concerns – choose to “go slow” then they will only be replicating life of many riders who try to use existing, suburban, off road cycle paths.
Too many of these are obstructed by hedges and weeds. Surfaces are damaged, signage faded and lines obscured by age. There are no regular maintenance inspections. Even local Councillors seem unaware of the problems or are indifferent to them.
If the Council has funding available then that is where they should make the first investments.
Following an exchange of views on social media we have received several more complaints about obstructions on foot and cycle paths.
In the main this is caused by overgrown hedges but in some cases low hanging tree branches are to blame while the, still out of control, infestation of hazardous weeds like nettles and brambles remains a problem.
Most of the overgrowing vegetation is the York Councils responsibility to cut back.
We urge residents to Report any issues. (Just don’t expect to get any feedback from the Council!)
If no action is taken then escalate the issue to your local Councillor.
We think getting problems like these sorted out should be a top priority for the Council as such obstacles represent an increased hazard as nightfall creeps ever earlier.