Ride to Work Week starts in York on Monday

City of York Council is encouraging people across the city to ‘Ride to Work’ next week (12-18 March) as part of a national campaign to encourage cycling as part of the daily commute.

The campaign aims to get more people incorporating cycling into their lives, helping to keep them fit and healthy, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

By signing up to the national Love to Ride UK initiative, which runs Ride to Work Week, people can enter a monthly prize draw to win great prizes including a £500 city break or bike shop vouchers. Visit www.lovetoride.net/york for more information.

Idyllic scenes on the Ouse BUT…

Cyclists will be hoping that the York Council’s announcement that £500,000 will be spent upgrading major cycle routs in the City will allow for work to be undertaken on the York – Selby path. In places, the popular leisure route has become very uneven following the ravages of winter.

River Ouse at Naburn today. Well within its banks

Snow melt has caused large ponds to form on low woodland

The cycle track is still scarred by graffiti and dumping. The Council no longer clears graffiti unless it is judged to be obscene.

York praised for pothole filling by independent cycling group

The York Council is the best in Yorkshire when it comes to filling in potholes. It came 19th in a survey of cyclists who rated the performance of 214 local authorities nationwide.

Not only was York in the top 20, but the Council had responded to the largest number of reports (1362) in the area.

It has filled in 89% of the reported potholes

The Fill that Hole” website – run by Cycling UK – says that “the table ranks highway authorities according to hazards reported through FillThatHole.org.uk, and shows which authorities are best at fixing their road defects and reporting back to us.

We encourage highway authorities and hazard reporters to let us know when a road defect has been fixed. They can do this by replying to the emails we send them, using the contact form, or registering for an account and requesting to be associated with their authority”.

Hazards can be reported “on line” by clicking this link

Best rated with 100% filled in was Islington in London. Worst was Blaenau Gwent which apparently hasn’t managed to fill in any of the 20 potholes reported in their area.

North Yorkshire was ranked at 82 having added 24% of reports. Leeds at 178 had managed to fill in only 12% of potholes.

When the current icy conditions are over, it is likely that several more potholes will open up.

Hopefully residents, local Councillors and MPs will report any problems promptly.

A map of current hazards can be viewed by clicking here

Map of current pothole hazards in York


Cyclists urged to light up and be seen in York

 City of York Council is reminding cyclists in York to light up and be seen as the nights draw in ahead of the clocks changing at the end of the month.

The ‘light up be seen’ project will see cyclists at the University of York, York St John University, York College and Askham Bryan College receive free high-vis equipment and lights alongside safety advice from North Yorkshire Police. The high-vis and lights will be distributed on 17 and 19 October, from 4-6pm.

Cyclists will be advised on the importance of being visible and safe when travelling during darker hours, as well the potential legal implications of not having lights and dangerous cycling.

The campaign is now in its fourth year at the University of York and will be rolled out city-wide for the first time this year.

The four universities and college’s are part of the council’s ‘Travel2Campus’ project, which encourages students and staff to be safe and consider all modes of transport when travelling around York.

For more information visit www.itravelyork.info/for-schools/travel2campus-project


Get into gear for the Festival of Cycling


A renowned free event, the York Festival of Cycling will return once again to Rowntree Park on Sunday 3 September.

The cycling event has something for the whole family with all sorts of fun pedal powered activities and attractions for people to take part in.

There will be bikes and trikes of all shapes and sizes including adapted bikes, balance bikes and tandems for people to test ride on the day.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “The festival of cycling gives residents and visitors a great opportunity to find out about the travel and health benefits of cycling, no matter how old or fit you are. It’s also a fantastic way to see our great city!”

BMX stunt team ‘Savage Skills’ will be performing throughout the day showing some of the amazing stunts and tricks that can be done on two wheels. There will also be ‘The AirBag’ for those brave enough to try out their own airborne tricks without the worry of a hard landing.

North Yorkshire Police will be on hand with their state of the art ‘dot peen’ property marking machine. They will be security marking cycles and other valuable items during the day free of charge.

The i-Travel York team will also be available to provide travel advice and information for residents to encourage them to try out sustainable modes of travel, including cycling and walking. For more information visit www.itravelyork.info

Free cycling taster session at Energise aimed at older people


The council is inviting York’s older residents to saddle up and try cycling at a series of free taster sessions and courses that will help people new to cycling to build their confidence and skills.

Taster sessions will be on offer at the off-road York Sport cycle track on 23 March from 10am-12 noon and 28 March from 1-3pm.

Courses that aim to help those new to cycling to ride with confidence will be on offer across the city, taking place on:

  • · 6, 13, 20, 27 April at Energise from 3-5pm
  • · 5, 12, 19 and 26 April at York Sport cycle track from 1-3pm
  • · 6, 13, 20, 27 April at Rowntree Park from 10.30am – 12.30pm
  • · 5, 12, 19 and 26 April at Burnholme form 10.30am – 12.30pm (indoors)

Regular cycling has been proven to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes. It can also help to also enhance mental wellbeing. It’s also a great way to keep weight under control and contributes to the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise for adults.

Executive member for transport and planning, Cllr Ian Gillies, said: “Cycling is a great way to stay fit and healthy as it is a low impact activity where participants can do as much or as little as they feel comfortable with. It also offers a good low cost transport method for getting in and around the city.”

To book a place on a session or course email fiona.barker@york.gov.uk or call 01904 553377. Free cycle hire is also available on a first come first served basis for people who need a bike. For more information visit www.itravelyork.info

York #travelwithtots rides off with national award

City of York Council’s i-Travel York initiative has won a national award for the York Bike Belles #travelwithtots campaign at the annual Modeshift awards in the ‘Excellence in Cycling’ category.

cargo-bike-rolling-orange-e1310195710292The campaign which was run in partnership with Sustrans targeted parents and carers of pre-school children in mainly harder to reach areas. Over 600 carers and children took part in sessions over the course of the project. 95 per cent of carers who took part had not tried cycling with their tots before with 75 per cent now cycling more often thanks to the project.

#travelwithtots uses targeted social media messages and confidence-building activities to address safety concerns, lack of awareness of equipment and lack of confidence among participants.

The campaign has three main sections, Try Cycling sessions, bike loans and additional community support. At each Try Cycling session, participants were offered flexible support with free bike and equipment try outs, safety advice and cycle confidence training. Participants were also offered bike loans in partnership with Giant York and signposted to York’s Sky Ride Local and Ride Social programmes.

Modeshift are a not-for-profit organisation which promotes best practice in sustainable travel delivery. The York Bike Belles #travelwithtots project was funded by the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. (more…)