Residents urged to report footpath obstructions

“Adopt an island” idea

Three weeks after local residents sprayed weed killer onto an overgrown traffic island on Northfield Lane die back has been limited. Further investigation revealed that around 4 inches of silt had accumulated around the island. Moss is a major problem on this and other similar islands

The area in question is important because it is immediately adjacent to the Councils Poppleton Park and Ride site. It is one of the first (and last) neighbourhoods that tourists are likely to see. Neglect is not a good selling point for a City with an economy dependent on visitor income

The nearby A59 is worse with weeds around 1 metre high.

While we don’t advocate residents taking matters into their own hands unless it is safe to do so, there are some roads where relatively little local effort could produce a startling improvement.

In every problem location we do ask residents and visitors to report obstructions – including excessive weed growth, overhanging hedges and trees – to the York Council.

This can be done via their “on line” web site which is available 24/7. https://www.york.gov.uk/reportproblems

We understand that a Councillor plans to raise the issue of failures in this years weed control contract at an executive meeting which is taking place on Thursday. Despite there being 300 pages of reports to the meeting, they fail to review the Councils performance on key street level public services. The Councillors responsible for street public services are likely to come under increasing pressure to issue a public statement, and initiate a recovery plan, aimed at restoring acceptable standards.

Huge York central development gets planning approval

A major development behind York railway station got the go ahead from the Planning Committee last night.

York Central site

It will provide hundreds of new homes and jobs over the next decade or so.

The site has been derelict, and mostly unused, for over 20 years. The progress made in bringing forward the site will probably be recorded by history as the major achievement of the current Council coalition administration.

The development is not without controversy.

The transport plans in particular lack the quality and imagination that many had hoped for. The developers will need to refine access arrangements from the City centre to Leeman Road particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.

Bus services must include a frequent park and ride link to off site parking spaces at Poppleton Bar.

Some courage will be needed if the site is to be declared an “ultra low emission zone”. Such a step would be an acknowledgement that the declaration of a “climate crisis” by the Council a few days ago was more than just rhetoric.

But overall the decision is a good one for the City, not least because it will reduce the pressure to build on green fields.

Hopefully we will see some development on site before the end of the year.

More on York Community Stadium parking arrangements

Following a lively exchange on social media the former Chairman of the York Knights rugby team has shared a plan showing the layout of car parking spaces at the new Community Stadium

The plan confirms that there will be 55 parking spaces in an “east” car park which will be for the exclusive use of match officials, Directors, staff and players. & will be allocated for the disabled. A further 25 disabled spaces are allocated in a “north” car park

268 spaces are being provided to service the cinema, restaurant, leisure and community users. It is unclear how these will be reserved for these users on match days.

The main on site “match day” parking allocation is for 400 spaces. It is claimed these spaces will be for “permit holders”. It is unclear how much these permits will cost or whether they will be available for casual fans and “away” supporters

Adjacent is the Park and Ride site with a further 434 spaces. It is this area that the Council have announced will be subject to a £10 parking charge (although sources within the Council say this decision is being reviewed).

Meanwhile 250 people have now signed the petition objecting to the £10 charge. The organisers have still not said to whom and when they hope to present the petition.

“Thank York It’s Friday” sees introduction of late evening Park & Ride every Friday until Christmas

York’s city centre is supporting the high street with a new initiative bringing together York Business Improvement District, First York, City of York Council and York Retail Forum.

“Thank York It’s Friday” runs every Friday until Christmas, encouraging local people and visitors alike to spend Friday evenings in the city centre.

“This is a scheme driven by local traders and designed to get locals back into the city centre to start their weekend a little earlier.  With late night shopping until 7pm – and some stores until 8pm – and opportunities to socialise with friends whilst still taking advantage of the Park & Ride, the last bus to each Park & Ride site now departs at 11pm,” comments Andrew Lowson, executive director of York BID.  “We know that it takes joined-up thinking to make this kind of initiative happen, which is why we’ve worked so closely with First York and City of York Council to make York Retail Forum’s idea come to life.”

Key retail outlets have already confirmed that they will open until 7pm on Friday evenings, including Brown’s, Marks & Spencer, Next, Primark, TK Maxx, Whittards and WH Smith, the additional opening until 8pm at Debenhams, Crabtree & Evelyn, Love Cheese, Lush and Pavers Shoes.  More retailers are expected to follow suit in the run-up to Christmas.

The late night Park & Ride will initially be subsidised by York BID, though it is hoped that the number of additional people making use of the service in the coming months will enable it to be self-sustaining in the longer term.

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director at First York, said, “We’re proud to operate one of the most successful Park & Ride sites in the country, which helps save customers the hassle and cost of parking in York with just a short bus trip to and from the city. We’re excited to be working with other local partners to develop the Park & Ride service and to offer later trips for customers wanting to spend more time in the city, or for those travelling back into York via train, wanting access to their car for their onward journey.”

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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