Good news for pensioners using Moor Lane park and ride bus stop

Park and Ride bus stop Moor LaneFirst have confirmed that pensioners with a valid pass joining the Park and Ride bus at the Moor Lane car park stop WILL be entitled to travel free of charge.

At present pensioners with a pass joining Park and Ride services are charged 80p a journey.

Ann Reid says,

“I fought hard to retain this stop to allow residents who live within walking distance to still use the P& R service and avoid driving to the new site but the increased fares might well see increased car use”

Big hike in fares for Moor Lane car park bus stop passengers

Park and Ride bus stop Moor Lane

The Council and the bus company have decided that Park & Ride fares won’t be available for journeys from Moor Lane Car Park from Sunday 7 September.

The Adult Single fare to the City Centre will remain at £2, but Park & Ride return fares won’t be available and MinsterCards won’t be valid to/from this stop.

For customers making a return journey, the FirstDay ticket is priced at £3.70 can be used across the whole York network.

This compares to the £2 – 70 standard return Park and Ride fare (which will remain available for anyone willing and able to walk the extra 600 yards along Tadcaster Road to the new car park).

It seems that although this bus stop is now being treated as part of the normal “stage carriage” network, pensioners will also not enjoy free travel. We understand that they will have to continue to pay the standard 80p per journey.

While we are pleased that this bus stop has been retained as it is appreciated by many older residents who live in nearby flats, we think that the authorities are being harsh in implementing what is effectively a 37% increase in fares.

It seems irrational that passengers joining the service at this stop – and using what would otherwise be vacant seats – will be charged more for what will be a shorter journey than those who joined the service at Askham Bar!


“Finished” Park and Ride site a big let down.

Still work to do at Poppleton Bar

Weeds2 Park adn Ride site

The York Council issued a statement on Friday claiming that work at the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride site had finally been finished – 5 months behind schedule.

But as our photos reveal, this is far from the truth with both landscaping and white lining work still outstanding. The site compound is also still in place.

Sadly the City has become all too familiar with weed growth in gutters, public spaces and even bridges around the City over the last 6 months.

However claiming a site is finished while it is still covered in 3 foot high weeds is surely a bit too disingenuous for even the Councils Labour Leadership.

It is after all the first point of call for some tourists and their impression of the City is likely to be coloured by their early experiences.

Low flying cyclists?

Low flying cyclists?

More seriously, from a safety perspective, is the Councils decision to encourage shared cycle/pedestrian use of the path from the A1237 underpass to the Park and Ride site.

unsegregated cycle/pedestrian path

unsegregated cycle/pedestrian path

Apart from one sign – which we suspect most pedestrians will not recognise – there is no reminder of the need to take extra care because of possible conflicts.

At the very least there needs to be repeater signs and warnings painted on the surface of the path.

At the moment, there not even a white line separation.

Organisations represented partially sighted people have been very critical about this kind of arrangement in the past.

No doubt they will be knocking on Cllr Levene’s door before very long!


Poppleton Bar – delays continue as Council responds to Freedom of Information request

At the last Council meeting Councillors were told that all work on the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride project would be completed by the end of July.

No end to Poppleton Bar works

No end to Poppleton Bar works

However there is still a considerable amount of work outstanding with periodic impacts on congestion levels in the area.

While the final May deadline for conclusion of the whole Access York contract is long past, it is unclear why there are continuing delays at Poppleton (other than the obvious one that the contractors are simply not fully resourcing their contract obligations).

Cycle tunnel in use but no lane marking on paths

Cycle tunnel in use but no lane marking on paths

Councillor Ann Reid is now pressing for answers and some have emerged as responses to Freedom of Information requests

One (click to download)  confirmed that the whole Access York project – of which the Poppleton works form part – was due to be completed by 23rd May.

Details of the road closure orders have also been published on the Council’s web site

Meanwhile, the permanent traffic signals at the A59 junction with the Park and Ride access road are now in place, but the following work is still outstanding

  1. Considerable surfacing and landscaping work
  2. White lining (e.g. on the cycle path exit from the A1237 pedestrian/cycle tunnel. (If this is intended to be a shared cycle/[pedestrian space then it does not seem to comply with the specification agreed with the Blind and Partially Sighted Association)
24 hour lighting on new roundabout

24 hour lighting on new roundabout

Yesterday (Thursday) the street lights in the area were permanently lit. Taken with the decision to exclude the provision of on-site electricity generation from the project, this does seem to fly in the face of the Councils environmental policies?

Drivers now want a realistic completion date for the project.

Residents would also like to be reassured that there are penalty clauses in the contract which will be invoked to compensate the Council, taxpayers and drivers for the inconvenience and additional expense that they have suffered over the last few months.

Construction students present heritage sculpture for York’s new Park&Ride site

The Construction Division at York College has worked alongside main contractor Balfour Beatty to produce a fitting sculpture for the new Askham Bar Park&Ride site, owned by City of York Council and operated by First bus.

The sculpture, a medieval stone window in a brick surround, depicts the heritage of the city as the site is situated on the original roman road leading to the gateway to the City of York.

Council now claims A59 Park and Ride site completion date is Thursday 31st July!

On site wind turbine scheme jettisoned

Councillor Levene has now given a absolute commitment that all works connected with the Poppleton Bar park and ride site – plus associated works on the A1237 and the A59 will be completed by 31st July.

In an answer published to a question tabled at the last Council meeting he says,the contractors are scheduled to leave site by the end of the month.

The premature opening of the Poppleton Bar site has also been under fire although the numbers using the service are claimed to be similar to the figures at other Park and Ride sites immediately after their introduction.

  Month 1 trip numbers Month 13 trip numbers Month 25 trip numbers
Grimston Bar (1994): 3,889 14,525 21,891
Designer Outlet (2000): 9,606 18,495 21,524
Monks Cross (2004) 13,550 35,429 43,797
Poppleton Bar (2014) 9,148 (8/6/14  – 1/7/14)    

From opening, the number of cars parked at the new Poppleton Park & Ride site is between 70 – 100.

On a Saturday this increases to 200.

Electric bus on charge

With many of the electric buses running empty, the Council has been criticised for unnecessarily increasing CO2 emissions.

In response to a written question the responsible cabinet member has revealed that the provision of an on site wind turbine was aborted at the last minute. He claimed,

“the electric buses charge overnight at the First Depot in York. The electricity grid is off-peak at this time and of lower carbon intensity. There was a wind turbine in the design for Poppleton Bar however the supplier went out of business a month before installation. Officers are currently exploring alternative suppliers of renewable generation equipment for Poppleton Bar which could supply sufficient power for the on-site Rapid chargers which boost the range of the electric buses”.

Poppleton park and ride road works 28th June 2014

Labour Councillors have claimed that the decision to open the Poppleton Park and Ride site was taken by “officers” implying that they had no influence over the blunder.

Despite this 3 Labour Councillors were featured in a media photograph which covered the sites official opening.

Still more A59 road works to come

More traffic delays are in prospect as lane restrictions are re-introduced on the A59 near its Boroughbridge Road junction with the A1237.

The lane restrictions had been lifted for the Tour de France.

 Now, with work at the junction dragging on, further congestion and inconvenience for drivers is expected.

 The nearby Park and Ride site is also far from finished and the delays and the decision of the Council – to start bus services from the unfinished site – will be considered at the York Council meeting next week (17th).

 Questions tabled include:

 (xxxiv) To the Cabinet Member for Transport from Cllr Reid:
“Who took the decision, and when, to open the new Park and Ride site at Poppleton before work had been completed (the outstanding works on 9th June included car parking space, signage, traffic signals, road junction layout, layout, A1237 junction improvements etc) and when will all work connected with the Park and Ride site and associated road works be completed?”

(xxxvi) To the Cabinet Member for Transport from Cllr Reid:
“ What has been the number of vehicles parked on average each day at the new Park and Ride site at Poppleton and how many passengers have been carried by the new buses on each day since 9th June?”

Poppleton Bar Park and Ride site still not completed

The York Council has missed yet another deadline for the “final” completion of the Park and Ride site at Poppleton.

Poppleton park and ride car park 28th June 2014

The Park and Ride service was opened prematurely by the Council 3 weeks ago although essential signage, traffic signals, parking bays, landscaping  and improvements to the A1237/A59 junction had not been completed.

Not surprisingly, despite the novelty of being able to ride on the City’s first electric buses, user numbers have been very low.

Most bus services are running empty.

By Saturday evening carriageway surfacing had been completed near the roundabout but lane restrictions remain in place as work to access footpaths and the cycle path has yet to be finished.

The Park and Ride site itself resembles the set of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

It will present a poor backdrop for the TV pictures of the Tour de France riders who are scheduled to pass the site next Sunday morning.

TV coverage is scheduled to be beamed world wide and was one of the main reasons given by the Council for its £1.6 million investment in the event.

The Council has failed to provide any explanation for the latest delays nor for its decision to open the Park and Ride facility before work was completed.

The failure is the latest in a sting of misadventures which saw that Council forced to abandon plans to turn Monk Stray into a camping site and which has seen very low ticket sales for their highly expensive Grand Departee concert being held at Huntington Stadium on Friday.

They have, however, now added the popular local band HUGE to the concert programme no doubt ensuring that the Council’s propaganda machine will be able to refer to a huge attendance at the event!

Poppleton park and ride road works 28th June 2014





3 more weeks of road works at A1237/A59 junction

Council criticised for also closing Leeman Road alternative route from Monday

The York Council has been criticised by motorists for not delaying the start, on the resurfacing the carriageway near the Marble Arch bridge on Leeman Road, until the Poppleton roadworks were completed..

A1237It has now been confirmed that the  work is being undertaken at the same time as severe restrictions on the A1237 northern by pass continue to be applied.

The Council has issued a statement today saying,

“‘Businesses are open’, is the message City of York Council is emphasising whilst contractors complete overnight highways works in the north of the city.

Following the opening of the Poppleton Bar Park&Ride, the focus now moves to completing the highway works along the A59 at the junctions with Station Road, Poppleton and the York Outer Ring Road.

Contactors Belfour Beatty will continue to work at night in the area as follows:

  • · Week commencing 9 June:  working mainly around the A59/1237 roundabout using temporary traffic signals 8pm to 6am.
  • · Week commencing 16 June: working mainly around the junction of the A59 with Station Road, Poppleton using temporary traffic signals 8pm to 6am.
  • · Week commencing 23 June: finishing off the main roundabout surfacing and markings using a road closure of the A1237, for three nights between 23 – 25 June from 8pm to 6am. Surfacing of Station Road using a road closure of the Station Road/A59 junction for one night (planned for 23 June). Final surfacing on the A59 east and west of the roundabout using temporary traffic signals.


More use Park and Ride at Askham Bar

Askham Bar cycle parking in use

Askham Bar cycle parking in use

The new Askham Bar park and ride site on Tadcaster Road has proved to be popular with drivers.

Many have transferred from the, now closed, site adjacent to Tesco – making the most of the additional spaces now available.

At 11:00am today a small queue of bus passengers had formed.

However work on the site has still not been completed.

Official estimates say that it could be another 2 weeks before all the work is done.

Well used car park at Askham Bar

Well used car park at Askham Bar

Still the Council were right to bring the site into service as soon as practical. It has reduced the number of vehicles on Tadcaster Road and buses are taking advantage of the reduced congestion to run into the City centre more quickly.

The situation at the other new site at Poppleton Bar couldn’t be a bigger contrast.

Fewer than 100 vehicles were using the car park there this morning.

A substantial amount of work needs to be done both on the car park and on the nearby highway network.

Askham Bar bus waiting area

Askham Bar bus waiting area

Sources at the Council say that the project – which is 3 months behind its original schedule – will be finished in 3 weeks time. The contractors have apparently been given until the weekend of the Tour de France (5th July) to complete the works.

Unfortunately, by then, damage to the park and ride site’s reputation may be beyond repair.

Buses continue to be mired in a web of temporary traffic lights and lane restrictions.

Electric bus at Poppleton Bar

Electric bus at Poppleton Bar

Today, rather than a queue of passengers waiting for buses, there was a queue of buses waiting for passengers.

Ironically one of the major improvements yet to be commissioned is the cycle underpass on the A1237. This was to be used to encourage cyclists to pedal to the park and ride site before boarding a bus to complete their journey.

It will not be used by the Tour de France competitors!