New pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting station to city centre given the green light

The design for a wider shared-use pedestrian and cycle bridge at Scarborough Bridge was unanimously endorsed by the council’s Planning Sub-Committee yesterday.

The new bridge will be nearly three times as wide, while the ramps at either end will mean cyclists, wheelchair users and people pushing prams will be able to use the bridge with ease.  New steps connecting the ends of the bridge with the riverside paths are also to be built.

The decision means the new bridge is on track to be constructed and in use by March 2019, with its estimated £4.5m cost coming from the council; the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect Programme; and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

Works set to improve Monkgate roundabout safety

City of York Council will be improving the layout of the roundabout on Monkgate in an effort to improve safety for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Work will start on Monday 6 November and is expected to be completed by early December. Work will take place from 7am-3.30pm, Monday to Friday. To ensure that it is carried out safely there will be some lane closures during the works.

The improvements will see the approach to the roundabout on Huntington Road altered with improved crossing facilities at the traffic island. There will also be a new mandatory cycle lane on Huntington Road o enable cyclists to bypass any queuing traffic to use the off road route.

A shared use foot/cycle path will also be created on the corner of Huntington Road and Heworth Green. The width of the traffic islands on Heworth Green will also be increased to allow cyclists to use them safely.

The scheme was originally approved at an executive member for transport and planning decision session on 13 October 2016. This followed a consultation with homeowners on Monkgate and Huntington Road with most supporting the safety improvements.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption. Residents in the affected area have been contacted directly and assured that everything reasonably possible will be done to keep this to a minimum. However, motorists should expect some delays and plan their journey accordingly.

New Scarborough rail bridge pedestrian/cycle improvement to cost £5 million

Plans for an accessible, traffic-free route connecting the station to the city centre could move a step closer next week.

Senior Councillors will consider the response to the recent public consultation over plans for a wider, step-free footbridge adjacent  to Scarborough Bridge at their Executive meeting next week.

Ramps at both sides of the proposed footbridge would mean people in wheelchairs and pushing prams will be able to use the bridge, and cyclists would no longer have to push or carry their bikes up the steep narrow steps.

Widening the bridge from 1.3m to 3.7m would also make for a far more comfortable crossing for the 2,600 pedestrians and 600 cyclists who use it daily.

The consultation carried out in July included a two-day public exhibit in York Station. Of the 142 individual responses, 135 were supportive with only 2 objections.

These positive posponses reinforced the council’s understanding of the issues with the existing bridge, and revealed a strong preference for new steps on the outside of the bridge to avoid the potential ‘pinch-point’ as people joined the bridge deck from the steps.

The new bridge could be in use by January 2019, subject to planning permission and securing funding for the estimated £4.9m costs (!)

The council intends to fund the bridge form multiple sources, including its own capital and local transport funds, the West Yorkshire CityConnect scheme and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

The new bridge will do little to improve connectivity into the new York Central site. The original intention had been to install a bridge which would span the east cost main line eliminating “pinch point caused by the bleak Leeman Road tunnel and the river. That idea now seems to have been abandoned.

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Scarborough Bridge cycle/footpath redesign: consultation starts

To help provide better accessibility, connectivity & more capacity, the council is consulting with residents, commuters and visitors on the construction of a new shared use bridge over the River Ouse.

The idea of such a link was first floated over 10 years ago so any progress is likely to be welcomed in the City

The new bridge will replace the current crossing adjacent to Scarborough Bridge, providing a much wider and accessible facility. The current narrow crossing is used by over 2,600 pedestrians and 600 cyclists on average each day. This is despite it having steep steps and being inaccessible for people with mobility issues.

The new bridge will be suitable for pedestrians, cyclists, pushchairs, wheelchairs and those with mobility issues. It will include ramps, as well as stepped access so that a wider range of users are catered for. Furthermore, the new bridge will be accessible during flood events, which the current footbridge is not.

Executive member for transport and planning, Cllr Ian Gillies, said: “This is a great opportunity for York to improve a key  route linking several important sites across the city. I hope residents and visitors will be forthcoming with their views about the new bridge so that we can ensure that it is suitable for the many people that I am sure will be using it in the future.”

This new bridge will provide a traffic-free, scenic and direct link for residents, commuters and tourists, on foot or bike, between York station, the city centre and residential suburbs located on the opposite side of the river.

This will also improve the connectivity of the National Cycle Network (routes 65 and 658) as well as providing an improved traffic-free route to the York Central site to the west of the station.

People will be able to view the plans and discuss this proposal with the project manager at an exhibition in the York Train Station foyer from 1pm – 6pm on Wednesday 12 July, and 8am – 1pm on Thursday 13 July.

Have your say by sending your comments to scarboroughbridge@york.gov.uk or post to: Scarborough Bridge Consultation, City of York Council, Transport Projects, Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York YO10 3DS.

The council, in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme and Network Rail are undertaking the consultation. All feedback will be carefully considered and included in a report to the executive member for transport and planning for a decision on how to proceed later in the summer.

For more information visit www.york.gov.uk/scarboroughbridge

Road Safety report reveals big increase in cyclist casualties in York

Still 4 school crossing patrol vacancies in City

Accident levels in the City started to increase in the wake of the ill judged wide area 20 mph speed limits introduced by the last Labour led administration in 2013. Comparing 2014 to 2015, total accidents involving a fatality or serious injuries was stable at around 74.

However serious accidents involving cyclists increased from 21 to 24. 

In 2015, of all casualties recorded in the City 30% were cyclists, (141 slight, 24 serious 0 fatal).

This is an increase in overall cycling casualties of 16% from the 2012 recorded figures.

This may be partly due to the significant rise in the number of people cycling for both transport and leisure, with monitoring showing an approximate 20 per cent increase in the volume of journeys undertaken by bicycle in York.

accidents-in-york-to-2015

National statistics show that York has the third highest percentage of adults cycling once a month in England. The increase in people cycling is thought to be due to a combination of cycle infrastructure improvements, local promotion through i-Travel York and the Tour de France and subsequent Tour de Yorkshire.

The report also highlights the work of the Road Safety team in three areas, including, Road Safety Training, the School Crossing Patrol Service and Regional Safety Partnership work.

The report highlights the road traffic casualty statistics for the York area and the work that is being done to continue to ensure that York has the lowest levels (per 100,000 of population) in the Yorkshire and Humber region for people killed or seriously injured. Understanding the types of accident and where these accidents occur helps the council and partners to better target campaigns and other safety measures.
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Police and council urge cyclists to “be bright, be seen” this winter

York Police to clamp down on cyclists without lights

Bike lights

City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police have joined forces to relaunch a successful scheme aimed at keeping cyclists safe this winter.

As the nights draw in, officers will be targeting cyclists in York who cause a danger to themselves and others by cycling without lights during hours of darkness in the morning and evening.

City of York Council has funded high-visibility rucksack covers and small sets of emergency cycle lights, which will be offered to cyclists who are stopped by North Yorkshire Police.

Not everyone stopped by officers will be entitled to the lights – they will be handed to young people and other vulnerable people who would otherwise have to walk home if they were forced to continue their journey without lights. Officers will continue to issue tickets for cycling offences if necessary.

Inspector Lee Pointon, of York Police, said: “This scheme gives us the opportunity to make a direct and positive effect on the safety of people in the city, particularly cyclists and other road users.

“Thanks to this campaign, cyclists can be educated and sent on their way, not just with a ticket or fine, but also with the means to get home safely without causing danger to themselves or others.”

City of York Council Executive Member for Transport and Planning, Cllr Ian Gillies, said: “As the clocks go back, we still see cyclists caught out by the dark mornings and evenings. This joint initiative is running for its second year and is a real positive move to educate cyclists. I urge all those who do cycle to forward plan and ensure they have working lights that they check regularly and bright clothing.”

The campaign ran for the first time last year, and was well-received by cyclists and parents of young people who received the lights and reflective covers.

10 November 2015

“Finished” Park and Ride site a big let down.

Still work to do at Poppleton Bar

Weeds2 Park adn Ride site

The York Council issued a statement on Friday claiming that work at the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride site had finally been finished – 5 months behind schedule.

But as our photos reveal, this is far from the truth with both landscaping and white lining work still outstanding. The site compound is also still in place.

Sadly the City has become all too familiar with weed growth in gutters, public spaces and even bridges around the City over the last 6 months.

However claiming a site is finished while it is still covered in 3 foot high weeds is surely a bit too disingenuous for even the Councils Labour Leadership.

It is after all the first point of call for some tourists and their impression of the City is likely to be coloured by their early experiences.

Low flying cyclists?

Low flying cyclists?

More seriously, from a safety perspective, is the Councils decision to encourage shared cycle/pedestrian use of the path from the A1237 underpass to the Park and Ride site.

unsegregated cycle/pedestrian path

unsegregated cycle/pedestrian path

Apart from one sign – which we suspect most pedestrians will not recognise – there is no reminder of the need to take extra care because of possible conflicts.

At the very least there needs to be repeater signs and warnings painted on the surface of the path.

At the moment, there not even a white line separation.

Organisations represented partially sighted people have been very critical about this kind of arrangement in the past.

No doubt they will be knocking on Cllr Levene’s door before very long!