Football pitch provision hitch could hit Lowfields development

Delays in commisioning new football pitches near Sim Balk Lane could delay the occupation of houses at Lowfields. The pitches, part of a Bishopthorpe FC expansion project, were part funded by developer contributions from Lowfields.

The Council at the time argued that the pitches would replace those lost at Lowfields.

One of the conditions attached to the granting of the Lowfields development was that the homes there would not be occupied until the new pitches had been brought into use.

It has now emerged that completion of the Sim Balk Lane scheme is delayed.

Essential work to the adjacent cycle track, – which provides a link to a parking area – has not been started.

The work proposed includes widening and resurfacing of the path down to the underpass, resurfacing of damaged areas, installation of bulkhead lighting to the underside of the underpass and the repainting of the underpass walls. There will apparently also be a a proposal for a “community mural” provided by Sustrans.

The work will require approval by the Council and is unlikely to be completed until late in the year.

The developers say that they have already installed new bins as part of the project which has helped reduce the littering issue in that area.

The planning permission for Lowfields included the following condition.

34 No dwelling within the red line area highlighted on the attached plan (insert plan reference ) shall be occupied until three replacement football pitches of the same size as those on land subject to this planning application, have been created. The three pitches shall be on land ‘To The South East Of 235 Tadcaster Road’, subject planning permission Ref. No. 18/00251/FUL. The completed works shall include all levelling, drainage, ground preparation and grass seeding works
Reason:- To ensure that appropriate replacement playing pitch facilities are provided for those lost in association with the development and to secure compliance with paragraphs 73 and 74 of the NPPF.

Application ref 17/02429/OUTM

Separately the Council claimed earlier in the week that all available properties at Lowfields had been reserved by prospective purchasers.

Weather brings bumper free harvest of berries

Still problems with hedges and trees blocking cycle and footpaths

The weather has had one positive influence. Brambles have flourished and their is an abundant free harvest available at places like little Hob Moor.
Unfortunately the adjacent cycle track on little Hob Moor can now be added to the list of obstructed paths. We’ve suggested to the Council that they need to organise a “task force” to go round removing overgrown branches and weeds from paths. They’ll also need to monitor highway trees as several are now banging on the sides and roofs of double deck buses as they pass.
A task group might also usefully clean off signage which is now unreadable. This sign is intended to help disabled users to access Hob Moor.

This sign is on Bellhouse Way
One piece of good news though is that the bramble bush which was blocking the little Green Lane footpath near the school entrance has been cut back.

Check your hedge!

Council says weed killer being sprayed this week

Some bushes have been cut back from the entrance to the Thanet Road cycle path but tree roots are destroying the surface. The white lines need to be refreshed and the signs on Bellhouse Way also need to be refurbished. (Photos above Thanet Road Cycle track)
Boundary hedge owners are asked to check that, following the recent warm/damp weather, thorn branches are not blocking public paths. The Council says that their contractors have started to spray weed killer on paths but are impeded by the rain. Unfortunately there are now many instances of footpaths and gutters being blocked with weeds. (Photos from top left above, Wordsworth Crescent, Wharfe Drive and Foxwood Lane)

All issues have been reported via the Councils “do it on line” service (click)

Rufforth off road cycle track opens

Link to A1237 incorporates bridleway friendly gates.

Gate design allows horses to step through without opening gate.

The long awaited off road cycle track link from Rufforth to the northern by pass has opened. The route finishes opposite the entrance to Main Street Knapton.

The path offers a relatively quiet link for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

The route was not entirely uncontroversial with some fearing that it might be misused by motorcyclists.

There was also a concern that cyclists would find it hazardous to cross the busy A1237 although this would have been an issue at other possible locations.

NB. One parent, on reaching the cycle path this afternoon, explained to his young son that the dip in the middle of the gate was to allow access for large animals. His son replied, “Large animals? Like horses, elephants and dinosaurs?” An unexpected new hazard for residents of Knapton perhaps!

Scarborough Bridge work set to start next week but maybe a missed opportunity

Work is set to start on-site at Scarborough Bridge on Monday 29 October to create a new shared use pedestrian and cycle bridge.

The new bridge will provide a better traffic free route for residents and visitors travelling between the railway station and city centre.

Unfortunately it will do little to assist cyclists wishing to access the new York central development. They will continue to face a ride through the unremittingly oppressive Marble Arch tunnel.

The new bridge will have ramps at either side making it accessible for a range of users, including cyclists, wheelchair users and people pushing prams. It will also be nearly three times as wide to ensure there is sufficient space for everyone.

Preperation works will start on-site at the end of October with the construction of the ramps and steps likely to be finished in the new year. The existing footbridge will be closed from late January when it will be removed and the new bridge will be put in place.

The new bridge will be in place and open to the public in March, weather dependant.


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”

Work gets underway to create new cycle/pedestrian bridge in the North of York

Works will get underway from next week to construct a new cycle/pedestrian bridge over the York to Scarborough railway line in Haxby.

Cycle track

This will complete a new 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 contractor PBS Construction (North East) Ltdwill fabricate the main bridge structure off-site, and then plans to lift it into place over the weekend of 15/16 November.

The works were originally planned to commence in 2013, but have been rescheduled to accommodate an alternative design to address ground condition problems, and to meet Network Rail’s requirements to enable contractors to have access to and work close to the railway line.

Works to complete the approach cycle paths will start soon after in late November as well as the installation of a new Toucan crossing on Haxby Road. The new path is planned to become fully operational in early 2015.

Unfortunately cracks have appeared in the section of the cycle track west of the railway line which was completed last year. These appear to be due to the dry summer causing ground movement in some isolated areas.

The council is currently assessing its options to address this problem, which may involve relaying some areas of the path surfacing and filling/sealing the cracks.

Neil Ferris, Assistant Director for Transport, Highways and Fleet, said: “This is one of the largest investments in York’s cycling infrastructure since the introduction of the Orbital Cycle Route in 2011 and will invest £925,000 from the government funded i-Travel, and Local Transport Plan (LTP) funding.

“We’d like to thank those living and working nearby for their patience throughout the period of the works and for the unforeseen delays that we’ve experienced. We are looking to find a solution to address the current issues that will be both long lasting and cost effective.  In the meantime we have put up signs that say the footpath is closed to deter people using it in the unfinished state, and while the overall route is not available.

“We would urge parents not to allow their children to walk or cycle along this path until the full route is open.”

The measures also include links with Haxby Road near to the roundabout, as well as approach ramps on the existing embankments to the new bridge and an additional crossing point on Wigginton Road to safely connect with Clifton Moor.

In addition to main bridge works, and the construction of the link paths, the council is also planting a new hedge alongside the A1237, next to the new fence line that has been established as part of the scheme. This planting is expected to happen in October/November.

The council intends to also amend the Public Right of Way across an adjacent field just west of the railway, with a view to improving access and reducing potential conflict between pedestrians, cyclists, and agricultural vehicles in this area.

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

The new cycle route will be the flagship scheme of City of York Council’s four-year i-Travel initiative, made possible by £4.6 million of government funding which the council successfully bid for in 2011.

The Clifton Moor retail, leisure and employment area attracts around 6-million visitors every year and supports 6,000 employees.

In addition to the new cycle route, the council has also addressed the lack of good pedestrian and cycle routes within the Clifton Moor retail / leisure area itself by investing almost £100,000 of government funding in 2013 on new pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities, cycle lanes, and measures to slow traffic speeds, by introducing easier and safer access for pedestrians and cyclists.

To find out more about the new cycle route and bridge visit: