Acomb Moor footpath problems continue

Its over 4 months since Councillors told residents that a blocked Public Right of Way (PROW) would be reopened . The access to Acomb Moor from Foxwood Lane had been via a stile for over 20 years.

It gradually fell into disrepair and the Council declined to stabilise it.

An application to define the route as a PROW was submitted in late 2018 and supported by the Council some 12 months later.

Shortly afterwards the tenant farmer blocked the access with a large tree trunk. He went on to plant crops in the field (for the first time in over 25 years).

Local residents agreed to use a footpath route which skirted around the outside of the field and this has become a well established exercise route during the lockdown period.

Unfortunately an assurance from local Councillors – that the tree trunk would be moved to allow for single file pedestrian access – was not fulfilled. As a result an new access point has now been forced near the Askham Lane junction.

Of more concern, many walkers are now trying to climb a 5 bar metal gate. A potentially hazardous activity for the elderly and infirm.

There are other points on the route which have also fallen into a, potentially hazardous, state of disrepair.

There are easy and relatively cheap solutions to this problem. The Lockdown period has simply reinforced the importance of informal walking routes near the City.

The Council should act now to make these footpaths accessible and safe.

Good news and the bad news

Good to see that the Post Box on Beagle Ridge Drive has finally been reinstated. It was first sealed off over 6 months ago

Meanwhile, across the street, the long term empty Council bungalow – which the Council has been unable to re-let – is regularly being vandalised. Several other properties have also been targeted.

We are beginning to lose confidence in the York Councils housing management officials.

The Council has been without a permanent head for its Council housing team for nearly a year now. Estate management vacancies are not being filled despite the housing accounts showing a substantial surplus.

York deserves better

Meanwhile the next Councils meeting agenda has been published. Anyone hoping for evidence that Councillors are addressing the major decline in public service standards will be disappointed.

With NHS staff being undervalued, unemployment rates rising, highway network maintenance standards at a new low, street level crime on the rise and housing in a management vacuum, you might have expected at least the official Labour opposition to highlight the issues. In fact you could reasonably expect most back bench Councillors of all parties to start to seriously question what is going wrong.

But no. Labour use an agenda motion to agonise about transgender recognition. They want to instruct schools to use trans childrens “preferred name pronoun”.

Ice gone, potholes appear, flood warnings

The ice and snow has largely disappeared from York today.

In its place are a new – and not so new – crop of potholes.

Please help to make the City safer by reporting any that are a danger to road users.

Potholes on Foxwood Lane are multiplying.

The next problem we are likely to face is flooding. Three Flood Warnings are already in place for the City.

It will be two or three days before the snow melt in the Dales & Moors catchment areas reaches the City.

Progress can be viewed by clicking the image below.

Surface water drainage seems to be less of a problem at the moment.

The Knavesmire flood works seem to have reduced the standing water problem which was a feature of most winters until recently.

We’ve reported some rubbish which was revealed as the snow melted, including this black bag on Hob Moor.

Ice taking its toll on local roads

The current icy spell is taking its toll on poorly maintain road and path surfaces. The Council recently agred to undertake some repairs on teb potholed – and well used – section of Foxwood Lane near the sports area. The work has yet to be completed and the potholes continue to pose a hazard particularly for users of two wheeled transport.

Foxwood Lane potholes are a safety hazard

The Council promised to repair damaged roads, paths and verges when the building works on Newbury Avenue and Ascot Way were completed. There is little sign of progress.

Kingsway West traffic cushions now breaking up
Kingsway West- Newbury Avenue verge has been damaged by delivery vehicles
Not for the first time, we have reported poor rubbish storage, and some fly tipping, to the rear of the Front Street shops.

Winter woes – time to report problems with ice

The arrival of icy weather will put additional pressures on some public services.

Snow brings problems as well as scenic relief

The recent snowfall, and subsequent icy road and footpath surfaces, means the the gritters have been out working full time.

There was even a promise from the Council this year that cycle path would be salted but so far this seems to have been sporadic. The Tadcaster Road cycle path, for example, was icy earlier this week.

Click to access map of gritting routes and salt bin locations

Some Councillors have reported that they have been out checking local salt bins. They have found some empty, some “solid” & some contaminated with rubbish

We’re not sure that this audit has been completed everywhere though.

With Council resources stretched by the pandemic, this is an activity where residents can help by checking their local salt bin and by removing any litter.

Please let your local Councillor know if a bin needs filling.

Ice and frost will also have a major impact on poorly maintained road and footpath surfaces.

We’ve recently reported potholes on Askham Lane (near the A1237 roundabout) and on Foxwood Lane (near the Thanet Road Sports Area).

There are likely to be many more examples around the City. The sooner the potholes are filled in the less damage will occur (and the safer our roads will be).

We urge residents to use the 24/7 “report it” system (click) to highlight any concerns to the Council

Night-time closure of Foxwood Lane (north) and part Askham Lane from tomorrow

We understand that the Foxwood Lane/Askham Lane roundabout will be closed for roadworks from 7:30pm to 5:00am on Nov 9th-11th. This includes the section of Foxwood Lane up to Otterwood Lane.

The Number 4 bus route will be diverted

No notice has been given to the residents association or neighbours of these plans

A Council reports says,

“City of York Council will be carrying out road maintenance works at Askham Lane commencing on 9th November 2020 for a period of 3 nights (weather permitting). The works will be carried out between 7.30pm – 5.00am

To carry out the work safely, the use of a full road closure on Askham Lane and Foxwood Lane will be necessary.

This is to ensure that adequate health and safety is maintained for both local residents, the travelling public and the contractor. Site staff will be on hand to advise and assist residents about any access restrictions once the works are ongoing.

The contractor will be operating under social distancing guidance wherever possible due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, and has permission from the local authority to undertake this essential work at this time. Your co-operation throughout the duration of the works will be much appreciated.

All on-street parking will be suspended during the hours of the works for the full duration, but specific access requirements can be arranged by speaking to the site Traffic Management Operatives, who will coordinate with residents (and business requirements) around the ongoing work operations.

Bus Service 4 will be diverted straight along Gale Lane, not serving stops on Foxwood Lane, Askham Lane or Cornlands Rd.

Emergency services will be permitted through the works in any situation. However, please note that cyclists will be required to dismount and push their bikes along the footways.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption and inconvenience to the public. However, the contractor will at all times try to keep any disruption to a minimum”.

Improve playground plea

Local Councillors are claiming credit for a programme which has seen some of the pieces of play equipment in the Foxwood Lane playground painted. Some new “busy bee” rides have also been installed.

This is welcome news.

However there is still work needed on the surface of the park.

The entrance to the kiddies area is subject to ponding and is virtually inaccessible after rain. All that is needed is some hard core putting down.

Nearby the safety surface under one of the swings, aimed at older children, is badly worn and is also subject to flooding.

We hope that both of these issues can be remedied quickly

New “busy bee” play units
The access to the park needs to be repaired
Area under swing needs upgrading

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

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61A Gale Lane York YO24 3AD

Conditions 3, 14, 15 & 16 of 20/00494/FULM

Ref. No: AOD/20/00231 

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9 Branton Place York YO26 5BQ

Erection of single storey extension extending 6.00 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.40 metres and a total height of 3.40 metres

Ref. No: 20/01647/LHE 

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119 Foxwood Lane York YO24 3LQ

Single and two storey side extension, porch to front, single storey rear extension

Ref. No: 20/01617/FUL 

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6 The Green Acomb York YO26 5LR

Replacement roof to single storey rear projection, raising of roof to garage to create annex

Ref. No: 20/01553/FUL 

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29 Bradley Drive York YO24 3NX

Two storey rear extension

Ref. No: 20/01565/FUL 

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Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

Homeless problems – still too many long term empty Council houses in York

The was some surprise a few days ago when a scheduled report on homeless problems in the City was pulled.

The Council failed to explain why the report was abandoned and it remains unclear what the report contained.

It may be that the Council is embarrassed by the seeming increase in the number of empty homes that it owns.

Two on Foxwood Lane have been empty for over 6 months (i.e. from before the pandemic caused delays) . Both properties are bungalows which are always popular with “downsizers”, so finding new tenants shouldn’t have been a problem.

On the basis of the last published stats, there were 22 homeless households with dependent children in living in temporary accommodation in York.

According to the Councils own figures, the average number of days to re-let empty properties has risen from 27 days to 37 days during the last couple of years.

There are 1597 people registered on the York housing waiting list.