Summer evening Park & Ride service from Askham Bar

 

Users of York’s popular Park & Ride service will be able to enjoy the attractions in the city centre for longer this summer after it was agreed that the timetable should be extended into the evenings for a ten-week trial period.

City of York Council and bus operator First York have agreed that Service 3 buses from the Askham Bar Park & Ride site will operate until 10.20pm on summer evenings.

The move will give visitors to the city more time to enjoy its diverse range of attractions, as well as making it possible for those attending Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, which will be open next to Clifford’s Tower from Monday 25 June to Sunday 2 September, time to catch the last bus back to the Park & Ride site after evening performances.

The last Service 3 Park & Ride bus from Tower Street currently departs at 8.05pm from Monday to Saturday and at 6.05pm on Sundays. For the duration of the ten-week trial, there will be additional departures every half hour up to 10.20pm. The buses will also stop at Rougier Street and at the Railway Station in the city centre.
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Lendal works to be completed before the end of the week

Station Rise resurfacing contract cost revealed

The delayed contract to resurface part of Rougier Street, Station Rise and Station View will cost £153,666.

Work on the contract was suspended a fortnight ago. https://www.york.gov.uk/LendalArch Work is now expected to be completed by Wednesday

Colas Ltd won the contract on 15th March 2018

NB. The value of the new Park and Ride contract in York  is revealed in newly published contract documents.  Won by First, it is expected to be worth £40 million over the next 8 years.

Free parking at Piccadilly between 3:00pm & 9:00pm on Thurs/Frid

Late night park and Ride on Thursdays
  Residents and visitors to the city will get an early Christmas present this year with an extended Park & Ride service and free parking in Piccadilly multi-storey car park.

First York has extended Park & Ride services to run every Thursday evening from Thursday 16 November until Saturday 23 December. These services proved popular last year allowing people to enjoy the York Christmas Festival for longer, which starts on Thursday.

York Business Improvement District (BID) has worked with the council to offer people free parking at Piccadilly multi-storey car park from 3-9pm every Thursday and Friday. Free parking is available every Thursday and Friday from 16 November until 22 December.

Space availability signs

Usage of the Piccadilly car park has reduced since the advanced car parking space availability signs, which used to be available on arterial routes into the City, stopped working 4 years ago. 

Similarly the “York Live” on line parking information – which should be updated in “real time”  – continues to project an inaccurate picture of space availability in the City centre (click here to test)

Real time parking information in York click to access

Park & Ride services will run every 15 minutes from all Park & Ride sites every Thursday. The Designer Outlet service will run later from Monday to Saturday.

Full timetable information is available online, but most services will now operate until 9.30pm on Thursday evenings, or Monday to Saturday from the Designer Outlet.

The Park & Ride services will run every 15 minutes, with the last services leaving the city centre at the following times:

Askham Bar (white line – route 3) – Rougier Street at 9.33pm

Designer Outlet (red line – route 7) – York Railway Station at 9.46pm

Monks Cross (silver line – route 9) – Rougier Street at 9.30pm

Poppleton Bar (turquoise line – route 59) – Station Road 9.33pm

Rawcliffe Bar (green line – route 2) – Museum Street at 9.30pm

Grimston Bar (yellow line – route 8) – Piccadilly at 9.30pm

For more information about travelling in and around York visit www.itravelyork.info
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York waits 102 years for an electric bus then 35 arrive at the same time!

Hard on the heels of last week’s announcement that York’s first battery powered double decker bus had been brought into service, today the government has announced funding for a further 24 vehicles.

The government says “it is determined to clean up air in towns and cities across the country, and today’s investment in green buses comes after our air quality plan was published last month”.

The investment will mean that the whole of York’s Park and Ride fleet will eventually be converted to electric operation.

18 new double deckers and six new larger single deckers will join the 11 existing electric buses next year

Department of Transport announcement today

The deal is thought to involve the bus operator (First) paying for 50% of the costs of the new fleet. In essence, the deal gets over the difficulty that the Council experienced in getting tenders for a clean Park and Ride fleet when it sought to let a new contract last year.

The potential tenderers quoted the whole life costs of electric vehicles as being unaffordable.

It is likely to be around 2 years before all the buses are actually operating in the City.

York’s first battery powered buses were introduced in 1915 when Liberal Herbert Asquith was Prime Minister (!).

UK’s newest electric double decker bus arrives in York

 

A landmark moment has been celebrated in York today (14 August) as it has become the first UK city outside London to trial a new fully electric double decker bus.

It comes 102 years after the City first pioneered  electric buses on a regular service route. 

Single deck electric buses were next trialled on the Fulford park and ride service in 2010 and have since become a regular feature on the Poppleton and Monks Cross shuttles as well as the off peak 500 service to Woodthorpe.

Electric Park and Ride bus

Early services hit a setback 2 years ago when an electric bus caught fire in the City centre

Representatives from City of York Council, First York and local bus manufacturer, Optare welcomed the arrival of the first “Metrodecker EV” in York today, which will be trialled on the York Park & Ride network and selected city routes over the next month.

The zero-emission and fully electric bus has the capacity to carry 99 passengers and has a range of nearly 150 miles from one overnight charge. The new vehicle is being trialled in York following the recent announcement that improvements will be made to the city’s already successful Park & Ride scheme. It was promised that new ‘greener’ buses would be introduced to improve fuel emissions citywide, placing York’s Park & Ride as one of the most sustainable and efficient in the country.

Speaking about the trial, Councillor Ian Gillies, executive member for transport at City of York Council, said: “I’m delighted to welcome this new addition to York’s green public transport fleet. There will be at least three electric double-deckers among the 14 electric buses on our Park & Ride routes.

“These Park & Ride buses will play a major role in continuing to improve the air quality in York, as well as giving an increasing number of passengers a safe, quick journey across the city.”

In March 1915 York Corporation Tramways Department was one of the very first operators in the country to use electric buses and to this day, there are still two relics of this pioneering form of transport in the City – the shelters at Clifton Green and Malton Road Corner, which were built as charging points for the buses

In March 1915 York Corporation Tramways Department was one of the very first operators in the country to use electric buses and to this day, there are still two relics of this pioneering form of transport in the City – the shelters at Clifton Green and Malton Road Corner, which were built as charging points for the buses

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director at First York, adds: “This is another milestone to celebrate in what is already a thriving Park & Ride scheme in York. As one of the UK’s major bus operators, we understand the vital role we play in helping to solve the air quality challenge facing the country and I’m thrilled to welcome the trial of the future of bus travel to York today.

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment at City of York Council, said:

“This innovation is very welcome to improve air quality in York. The bus was on display at the One Planet York Conference in June and it is great to see locally built buses on the streets of York.”

Optare unveiled its long-awaited zero-emission Metrodecker EV in 2016, and with its range projected to rise to 200 miles on a single charge within a year the manufacturer has signalled a move away from its previous mid-day charging strategy.

Robert Drewery, Commercial Director, Optare added: ‘After the success of the Optare electric buses currently operating in York, we are thrilled to be trialling the first fully electric Optare double deck in the City. We see this as a breakthrough in public transport and look forward to seeing these vehicles in operation across the country, improving air quality in our towns and cities.”

For more information on York’s Park & Ride visit https://www.itravelyork.info/park-and-ride

York Council finally confirms that “new” Park and Ride contractor will be First

 

Electric Park and Ride bus

Three weeks after revealing that a new P & R contract has been let the York Council has issued a statement confirming that the current contractor First York will also run the new services.

The statement says,

“The council and First York are set to extend their partnership delivering York’s Park & Ride service after the bus operator successfully bid for the seven year contract commencing in early 2018.

The new partnership agreement will see fully electric buses operating on three of the six routes, with brand new Euro 6 diesel buses completing the Park & Ride fleet. To help make journeys quicker and easier for passengers, First York have committed to complement the existing range of cash, smartcard and mobile ticket options with contactless bank-card technology.

Alongside this the new buses will also have displays providing useful information for passengers including details about the next bus stop, service data and other useful local information.

Overnight parking will also be introduced at the Askham Bar and Monks Cross Park & Ride sites giving visitors the ability to park at the site en-route to their hotel accommodation, or to access the rail network for a journey elsewhere lasting more than one day.
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Electric vehicle recharging wrangle in York

There is confusion today about whether private vehicles can access the rapid recharging points at Monks Cross and Poppleton Bar.

The points were funded from a government(OLEV)  scheme but are largely used by the  First electric Park and Ride buses.

It appears that electric car drivers have been turned away from the points although they are shown as available on a vehicle charging “app”. The Councils iTravel web site says that vehicle charging points can be found on this map (click)

Apparently the Monks Cross rapid charge points have been recorded on the National Charge Point Register has having restricted access for cars. The Council says that a third party app has been advertising these as ‘available’ which has caused confusion for local EV drivers.

In response to an FOI enquiry the Council has confirmed that the dedicated chargers were used on 1157 occasions, using 22025 kWh of energy, during the first quarter of 2017

The Council says,

“the Monks Cross Park&Ride supervisors are able to permit cars to charge where this does not impact the bus service and this does happen occasionally however the buses have charge point priority as they have no viable alternative location. For cars, the nearest rapid charger is one mile away at The Sports Village and EV drivers are recommended to use these facilities instead”

.Range  anxiety is one of the main reasons for the slow take up of electric cars. Being certain that a charging  point will be available is of major concern for drivers.

Electric vehicle public rapid charging points

There are other charging points in York many of which are located on car parks and at hotels

Mixed news on new Park and Ride service

Park and Ride network

It seems that the council has finally received a bid to run its park and ride service. When the contract was first advertised no bids were forthcoming.

In the main the service will continue at it is today.

Key changes include

  • a facility to use contactless bank cards to pay for journeys.
  • Motorists will be able to park overnights (for up to three days) at the Askham Bar and Monks Cross sites (involving the provision of barrier access).
  • New Euro VI compliant buses including the replacement of some articulated single deck buses with double deckers
  • 11 single deck fully electric buses will be retained together with 3 fully electric double deckers

New Alexander Dennis Enviro 400MMC buses proposed

However users face a fare hike from £2-90 to £3-10 with a 10 minute frequency.

A number of enhancements including a late night service are on offer but are unlikely to be accepted for cost reasons.

The new contract will reduce the council’s income to an estimated £80,000 a year.

The Council have refused to disclose the name of the proposed operator.

The new contract will start next year.

Park & Ride fare hike

From 26 March 2017 there will be a number of fare changes introduced on York’s Park & Ride network.

The Council claims, “These changes have been introduced in line with national inflation and earnings data and to help meet the operational costs of running York’s high-quality Park & Ride service”.

There was of course no fall in fare levels when the price of fuel plummeted 2 years ago.

The future of the park and ride service remains unclear following the failure of the Council to attract any bids to run the services under strict new contract rules. First has had its contract extended for a short period of time.

New fares are:

  • Day ticket (bought in multiples) to increase from £2.50 to £2.60
  • Adult returnto increase from £2.80 to £2.90
  • Adult weekly to increase from £11.20 to £11.60
  • Adult monthly to increase from £44 to £46.40
  • Adult annual to increase from £440 to £464

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Award for York Electric Park & Ride Buses

Irony lost on Council as it downgrades its “green” specification for new park and ride contracts
Electric bus fleet

Electric bus fleet

Only a few days after the York Council leadership agreed to consider tenders for new park and ride services which do not include the use of ultra low emission vehicles on most routes, its existing electric fleet won a sustainability award. The service has been run in partnership with First from the sites at Poppleton and Monks Cross for the last couple of years.

Fears about the cost of replacement batteries, led the Councils Executive last week to downgrade its emission expectations when discussing a new contract specification for park and ride services in the City.

A contract for the new services attracted no tenders when it was advertised earlier in the year.

A media release for the Council today says, “York’s Park & Ride Scheme, which is run in partnership with First York and City of York Council, is setting the standard for other Park & Ride sites across the country, after scooping a prestigious accolade for its contribution to sustainable transport, at the North of England Transport Awards.

The North of England Transport Awards reward and encourage innovation and excellence and help disseminate the very best practice throughout the north of England, and this year, York’s Park & Ride scheme received the Contribution to Sustainable Transport Award.

In particular, First York was recognised for its wider commitment to providing greener travel for the region, with its fleet of electric vehicles, helping to reduce CO2 emissions in the city.

First York operates two fully electric Park & Ride routes at Poppleton Bar and Monks Cross, working in partnership with City of York Council and local bus manufacturer, Optare. The two schemes, which launched in 2014 (Poppleton Bar) and 2015 (Monks Cross), run 12 zero tailpipe emission electric vehicles, and were one of the first fully electric Park & Ride schemes in the UK”.
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