Cycling increasing in popularity in York

The number of recreational (fitness) cyclists has increased since the coronavirus lock-down started. Some cycle stores have even sold out of popular models.

Unfortunately the City is ill equipped to deal with additional demands on its creaking cycling infrastructure. Maintenance programmes have simply not been adequate in recent years. That neesd so chn ge in future.

We look forward to seeing what the new highway maintenance programme – which should have been published in March – will have to offer.

Idyllic day on the quiet York – Selby cycle track earlier today
Spoiled by some graffiti “artists”. No need for obscene slogans. Someone has to clean it off. They have better things to do
Unfortunately sections of the path are now very uneven. Hopefully some of the many new users will contribute towards repairs (the path is managed by SUSTRANs).

Hopefully those who left a pile of cans halfway down the path over the weekend will return and remove them.

Road repairs backlog building in York

Residents will have a lot of sympathy with local highways inspectors who have the unenviable task of allocation very limited resources to road repairs. Poor weather has increased the number of potholes appearing over recent weeks. The poor state of highway surfaces is a reflection of inadequate investment in maintenance by the York Council for nearly a decade.

An additional pothole filling team is promised to be in place from April. Their arrival can’t come soon enough, at least in west York.

The Councils on line “report it” system now monitors highway defect reports. It is possible to see which reports have been read by officials. Several, reported over the last month, are recorded as “solved”. In reality the problems remain. The potholes have simply been judged not to be deep enough to warrant filling.

That is potentially bad news for cyclists.

Councillors receive very little in the way of monthly performance reports on highways activities, so its impossible to know whether the condition of roads and footpaths is getting worse or improving. The number of reports and complaints received is not routinely published.

Complaints about damage to verges, like parking on footpaths, go largely unmonitored. In summer it is a similar situation with highway obstructions like over grown hedges and weeds.

We hope for better in the future.

Askham Lane carriageway, near A1237 roundabout, will not be repaired
We’ve asked for detritus to be swept from the gutters in Otterwood Lane
The thorn hedge on the snicket to the rear on St Josephs Court (Cornlands Road) needs to be cut back before it becomes a hazard for pedestrians
The Acomb car park recycling area is tidier than it has been on some occasions in the past. Someone is still fly tipping in the area though.

Really disappointing that potholes take so long to repair

Some potholes in York, reported weeks ago, have still not been filled. This is the time of year when the Council normally catches up on the pothole backlog which can develop during periods of icy weather.

The York Council doesn’t provide “real time” updates on the number of highway defect reports it receives and the progress made in addressing them, but there is a suspicion that some are written off without any action being taken.

Fortunately the LibDems, who lead the new administration at West Offices, promised in their election manifesto “to reconstruct all roads in York”.

Even allowing for hyperbole, that is a very expensive looking promise. Perhaps Council officials had better get on with drawing up a work programme?

Herman Walk potholes on access road
Corlett Court potholes (marked but not repaired)
Morrell Court has n uneven road

York parking account reveals £4.8 million surplus

Draft accounts published by the City of York Council for 2016/17 reveal that the Authority made a substantial surplus on its car parking activities.

Out of a total income of £7.3 million, nearly £5.5 million came from charges levied at off street car parks.

Residents parking schemes brought in £806,000 and penalty charges £600,000 while on-street machines took £466,000. The balance came from coach parks.

The Council spent over £1.3 million on its off street car parks with £1.2 million apportioned to enforcement and administration.

This meant that a surplus of over £4.7 million accrued.

Legally the Council must reinvest any parking profits in transport.

Most of the surplus was spent on highway maintenance (£4 million) and subsidised bus services (£670,000)  The rest went on community transport and shopmobility.

Some drivers may wonder why more has not been invested in resurfacing Council car parks, several of which are now in very poor condition.

The inaccurate “on line” parking space availability map has also been a source of criticism.

York gets extra £311,253 to fill in 5000 potholes

Click to access interactive map

Click to access interactive map

The coalition government has allocated York over £300,000 to deal with some of the potholes that blight local roads.

It is estimated that this will allow around 5000 holes to be filled in.

The money is in addition to the £245,719 allocated earlier in the year to repair the worse ravages of the winter weather.

However the central government initiative will do little to address the backlog in highways repairs which has built up over the last two financial years following a decision by the  local York Council Labour Leadership to lop a total of £4 million from the highways budgets.

The potholes represents a particular risk for cyclists with highway margin work (the 1 metre band near the highway kerbside) having been given a low priority by the Council over the last 3 years.

Some road humps are also in a particularly poor condition and represent a hazard for all road users.