York Council making progress in dealing with complaints

Most of the tin cans which blighted Ouse Bridge have been removed. Still a bit of work to do on the weeds but it is less unsightly now.
The Hob Moor hedge which was obstructing Kingsway West has been cut back
Still some issues with hedges blocking footpaths. This one on Foxwood Lane
This one on the snicket access to Hob Moor from Holly Bank Grove

Blocked paths – report them now

Following an exchange of views on social media we have received several more complaints about obstructions on foot and cycle paths.

In the main this is caused by overgrown hedges but in some cases low hanging tree branches are to blame while the, still out of control, infestation of hazardous weeds like nettles and brambles remains a problem.

Most of the overgrowing vegetation is the York Councils responsibility to cut back.

We urge residents to Report any issues. (Just don’t expect to get any feedback from the Council!)

If no action is taken then escalate the issue to your local Councillor.

We think getting problems like these sorted out should be a top priority for the Council as such obstacles represent an increased hazard as nightfall creeps ever earlier.

Several obstructions on the York Cycle network

More on weed control in York

The Council has now replied to our complaint about inadequate weed control on public areas this summer.

They candidly accept now that the spraying has not been satisfactory.

They are now commencing a re-spray. The spray will include a colouring agent which will show which areas have received attention.

Weeds on the A59 have not been treated

This will be supplemented by Council staff who will work on areas not included on the contract. The areas near Poppleton on the A59 are a high priority.

Another problem has developed with obstructions to public cycle and footpaths.

Again the path on the A59 is one that is blocked

Path near Poppleton is still blocked
Brambles over growing the cycle path on Tadcaster Road may become a safety issue with darker nights coming.
Bushes are impeding access to the Hob Moor cycle track
Hedges blocking the cycle path at the rear of Hob Stones still haven’t been cut back
Someone has spent some time on this graffiti near the southern by pass
But less time on this!

Local Councillor commitment to tackle untidy streets

Several councillors have now responded to complaints about weeds, detritus and overgrown hedges in local streets.

Front Street

Joining Mark Warters and Tony Fisher, who operate on the east of the City, Westfield Councillor Andrew Waller has pledged to personally remove weeds from the Front Street pedestrian area. The precinct has been weed infested for over 3 months with growth around street furniture and trees a particular problem.

That is a shame because the image of an area – which in recent years has become more economically successful – can be disproportionately influenced by what people see on arrival. Front Street doesn’t have the advantage of the, York BID funded, clean up contractors that have brought major improvements to the York City centre environment.

Elsewhere we have asked for weeds to be treated in several locations. We think it is now time for the Council to give a public commitment to complete a tidy up programme within a specific timetable.

Overgrown thorn like brambles will be a hazard as darker nights approach. We’ve asked for those on the access road to the Thoresby Road garage block to be cut back
Another example – this one on Kingsway West- where basic spraying or strimming of areas around street furniture has not been competed.
Contractors should spray up to the edge of the footpath
Snickets are particularly vulnerable to weed growth and litter
Problem areas are taking weeks, sometimes months, to address
Some footpaths are now being eroded and will be more costly to repair

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.

Volunteers helping nature conservation in west York


….but little Hob Moor getting overgrown

Hob Moor

Invasive weeds were being cut back on Hob Moor yesterday. The area is fortunate in having supporters who will undertake this sort of task with the Friends of Hob Moor one of the most successful of local amenity societies

The Friends of Hob Moor organise various interpretation events.

However, there are some problems on the Moor. Hedges have become overgrown with several paths, including part of Kingsway West, being obstructed.

The cycle path link to the railway tunnel is becoming overgrown.

Little Hob Moor (adjacent to Tadcaster Road) is showing signs of neglect.

Weeds haven’t been sprayed and are now overwhelming the cycle barriers
Areas around street furniture need to be sprayed or strimmed .The grass was cut yesterday 28th August)

So there is some work to be done. As this area is off the public highway (and relatively “safe”) gardening could be undertaken by – suitably equipped – volunteers. The Council does, however, need to add amenity area management to its promised weed control review agenda.

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)

Call for Askham Lane footpaths to be resurfaced.

More issues with overgrown hedges reported

The bitmac footpaths on the odd numbered side of Askham Lane need to be resurfaced. The paths are cracking up and are gradually being eroded by the adjoining verge. The York Council has promised to invest heavily this year in getting roads and paths back into a safe condition.
More hedges are now obstructing local paths and cycle tracks. These are in the Gale Lane/Thanet Road area. All have been reported to the Council.
In the same area, weeds are overgrowing the public footpath while the verges haven’t been properly cut this year. Again, we have asked the Council to take action.
Its not just west York that is suffering from the blight of weeds. Councillors on the east of the City are reporting similar problems in villages like Dunnington

More blocked cycle and footpaths in York

We urge residents to report what appears to be an increasing number of instances of paths being obstructed by hedges in the City

The cycle path on Field Lane in the Hull Road ward is now completely blocked. Hasn’t happened overnight!

The public footpath on Hull Road outside The Elms is now completely obstructed. Potentially dangerous on what is a busy road. Pedestrians are being forced onto the carriageway.
Not a hazard (yet) but gutters in Maple Grove are choked with weeds. Verges an eclectic mix of weeds and wildflowers

The Thanet Road cycle track on the other side of the City has its share of obstructions but the main issue here continues to be litter.