Cycle path maintenance still poor

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.

Moor Lane shared cycle/footpath obstructed by overgrown hedge

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.

Cycle path cleared of obstructions

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.

Obstacle removed from York – Selby cycle path

A few weeks ago we reported that a part of a tree had fallen onto to he York – Selby cycle path. It was blocking part of the path and posed a potential hazard at night.

The Council told us that they couldn’t do anything about it so today we trimmed it back

Likely that this peaceful route will become popular with “self isolators” undertaking some unaccompanied exercise over the next few weeks.

We’ve also reported broken glass on the cycle path on Tadcaster Road near Tesco. Hopefully the Council will also sweeping detritus from the adjacent area

ResPark plea for Albemarle Road area

Residents say they want a ResPark scheme on Albemarle Road according to a report 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.

Part of the planned restrictions which also affect Philadelphia Terrace and Ovington Terrace

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.

Planned parking Restrictions on Bishopthorpe Road

The original proposals attracted a large number of objections.

The plans include the creation of a “clearway” from the racecourse to Bishopthorpe Village.

Time to tackle the hedges

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.

The Council will be dealing with these issues

JRHT will trim back hedges near their Woodlands estate
Gathering of milk bottles where the slide used to be on the Teal Drive playground. We’ve requested a tidy up
Thorn hedges like this one near The Gallops junction are a safety risk as darker nights approach
Householders are being asked to cut hedges back form public footpaths
With heavy rainfall expected, it is important to report blocked drainage gullies. This is a particular issue at the moment because of increased leaf fall and inadequate weed clearance during the summer months. Blockages can result in localised flooding

York cycle paths still obstructed

The Council’s PR department is saying that mechanical means may be used in future to remove weeds from footpaths and gullies in the City.

That can’t happen soon enough for most residents following the collapse of his years – chemical – treatment programme.

More of the cycle network is now subject to obstruction from overgrowing vegetation. It is a problem on Bishopthorpe Road near the Racecourse while the Naburn Lane path is impeded by nettles.

Naburn Lane path impeded by nettles

Timetable to address York public service woes needed

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.

The drainage channel on Foxwood Lane has been cleared
The Field Lane cycle track has been cleared of obstructions
But for every success there is a failure. The footpath on Hull Road remains obstructed despite pedestrians being forced onto the busy highway
and weeds still haven’t been treated even on streets where Councillors actually live!
New issues are emerging each day. This footpath on Field Lane, near the Hull Road junction, is now obstructed.
Not the Councils responsibility, but there has been a build up of litter on the Teal Drive “pocket park”. Reopened 6 weeks ago, it is being well used but it does need routine cleansing (or a litter bin). Reported to JRHT.

Weather brings bumper free harvest of berries

Still problems with hedges and trees blocking cycle and footpaths

The weather has had one positive influence. Brambles have flourished and their is an abundant free harvest available at places like little Hob Moor.
Unfortunately the adjacent cycle track on little Hob Moor can now be added to the list of obstructed paths. We’ve suggested to the Council that they need to organise a “task force” to go round removing overgrown branches and weeds from paths. They’ll also need to monitor highway trees as several are now banging on the sides and roofs of double deck buses as they pass.
A task group might also usefully clean off signage which is now unreadable. This sign is intended to help disabled users to access Hob Moor.

This sign is on Bellhouse Way
One piece of good news though is that the bramble bush which was blocking the little Green Lane footpath near the school entrance has been cut back.

York cycle paths obstructed

More hedges have been allowed to overgrow cycle routes in York.

In the main the problems arise from publicly owned hedges although some are the result of uncut domestic boundary hedges.

Another problem area is the York-Selby cycle track which is now obstructed in places.

The issues include thorn bushes overgrowing the tracks at eye height – a major problem this year.

Hedges overgrowing cycle tracks . From top left Tadcaster Road (near Tesco) thorn branch, Skiddaw, York Selby cycle track (2)