The York Civic Trust was reported in the media today as backing a “go slow” by cyclists in the City centre. They were apparently highlighting the need to remove cars from roads to allow for safer cycling.
Any such plans need to be subject to detailed consultation. The Civic Trust could make a start by re-engaging with its own members.
We have already seen on half baked scheme – on Bishopthorpe Road – impact adversely on both shoppers and traders. Nearby roads became clogged at peak times increasing pollution levels.
A similar situation arose at Marygate car park where 40 spaces are currently coned off to provide a (largely unused) route for cyclists. Many cyclists choose to use the internal service road. Meanwhile pressure on parking spaces means shoppers are discouraged and prosperity in the City centre is put under more pressure.
The City does’t benefit from impulsive, uninformed, decision making.
If cyclists – with or without the support of the Civic Trust which really should have other concerns – choose to “go slow” then they will only be replicating life of many riders who try to use existing, suburban, off road cycle paths.
Too many of these are obstructed by hedges and weeds. Surfaces are damaged, signage faded and lines obscured by age. There are no regular maintenance inspections. Even local Councillors seem unaware of the problems or are indifferent to them.
If the Council has funding available then that is where they should make the first investments.
Its taken a long time, but the cycle path on Tadcaster Road (A1036) has finally been cleared of obstructions. A one metre margin has been cut and the worst of the overgrowing branches have been trimmed.
The Council still needs to apply some weed killer where grass is breaking through tde surface of the path.
There really needs to be an inspection regime put in place to avoid problems in the future on this, and other, dedicated paths.
Residents say they want a ResPark scheme on Albemarle Road according to areport being considered by the York Council next week. The move comes in the wake of a move to open up a Multi User Games Area (MUGA) for public use at the nearby Millthorpe School.
The proposal includes the extension of parking restrictions in the area. As we reported some weeks ago, there is already an issue with the narrow highway being obstructed as a result of parking. It is thought that ResPark would reduce the pressures on the street.
Officials say that they cannot complete the ResPark processes before the MUGA opens in the summer bringing the prospect of increased disruption for at least a limited period of time.
Bishopthorpe Road parking restrictions
The meeting will also hear about representations made regarding the installation of a pedestrian refuge in the Bishopthorpe Road area.
The original proposals attracted a large number of objections.
The plans include the creation of a “clearway” from the racecourse to Bishopthorpe Village.
We were pleased to here that the JoRo housing team have agreed to trim back hedges from Bellhouse Way near their Woodlands estate. The path there is obstructed as it is further round near The Gallops, although the problem there involves a more hazardous thorn hedge.
Some of the hedges to the rear of Foxwood Lane are also obstructing footpaths.
Anyone expecting the York Council’s Executive to take decisive action, to address declining public service standards at their meeting yesterday, will have been disappointed.
Despite a plea from Independent Councillor Mark Warters that a team be set up to deal with outstanding complaints, the Councils leadership remained tight lipped.
Cllr Warters was echoing a similar call from a growing number of Liberal Democrat supporters in the City
Many residents may conclude that there is something seriously wrong at West Offices.
Not only is there no timetable for addressing outstanding issues, but communications with residents are poor while many local Councillors (not all) fail to roll their sleeves up and tackle issues directly in their wards.
The York Council is no longer a “can do” organisation. It’s become a “maybe things will get better next year” type authority.
That won’t do. Its the kind of complacent attitude that has prompted a rise in more extreme political ideologies elsewhere in the country and abroad. It needs to be reversed, and quickly.
Not everything is bad, of course. Some individual Council officials are making limited progress in improving our streets as we show here.