New Park and Ride service hit by traffic congestion at Poppleton

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There are two aspects of the new Park and Ride services which the Labour Council Leadership will be keen to avoid discussing over the next few days

The first is the crass stupidity of launching the Poppleton Park and Ride site before road works in the area had been completed. 

Another 2 or 3 weeks and the service could have been sold – to those travelling to the City from the north – as being a quicker, cheaper, congestion reducing and a more environmentally friendly way of accessing the City.

It is none of these things at present with traffic congestion as likely to delay the park and ride buses as those drivers who continue their journeys into the City by car.

This morning (off peak) the electric buses were taking over 5 minutes to exit the site and cross the A1237 junction.

Not surprisingly the buses were empty with only a handful of cars parked at the new centre.

The second policy – now relegated to the long grass – is Labours “Quality Bus Contract” plan.

When In opposition, they were keen to blame all public transport deficiencies in the City on the lack of influence that the Council had on bus fares and routing policy.

Labour’s solution was to introduce what is known as a “Statutory Quality Bus Contract”.

 This, in effect, is a franchising system when bus companies bid to provide services to a contract specification set by the Council.

Labour were warned in 2009 that their plan was impossibly expensive to operate and would only get the go ahead in areas where bus use was falling.

 Decisions taken in 2011 by the new Labour administration – not least scrapping the popular ftr service – meant that bus usage reversed a trend of several years and started to decline.  

However, more recently, timetable changes have reversed the trend again.

In 2010, when decisions on how to take forward a trial of a bus contract system were being considered, the Council agreed to trial the use of the franchise system in part of the City.

The area selected was York north west – essentially the Poppleton/Acomb to City centre quadrant.

One of the options was to integrate the new Park and Ride services with the stage carriage services in the area, providing a more frequent service for some parts of the Boroughbridge Road/Poppleton area.

It was likely that off peak services would have benefited considerably.

After spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on the miscalculated “bus contract” adventure Labour quietly abandoned  their plans some 18 months ago.

Unfortunately they now appear also to have ditched the promised integrated public transport system in north west York!

 

 

Electric buses finally make it onto York streets.

Poppleton Bar park and ride site

Poppleton Bar park and ride site

The Council are claiming that battery powered buses will run from the Poppleton Park and Ride site from Sunday.

If they do, then it will be due to the efforts of workers on the car park and Poppleton roundabout improvements which were still far from finished earlier today.

Battery powered buses were first proposed by the, then LibDem controlled, Council in 2010.

The introduction of seven zero emission buses on the new park and ride route now is due to a grant from the coalition government.

It is a step in the right direction.

However, there will be some concern that the new service is being introduced before works at the car park site (opposite the Wyevale garden centre) and on the A59/A1237 junction have been completed.

The new service needs to be a showpiece for the City – not just in terms of appearance, but also in providing a swift journey across a junction which has often been congested in the past.

We seem to be some days away from being able to guarantee that kind of improved visitor experience.

The new Park and Ride site at Askham Bar seems to be further advanced and should be ready for service on Sunday.

Approach to A59/A1237 roundabout

 

Businesses are open during Poppleton highways works

12th April 2012 Poppleton revised layout

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

Works to improve the area surrounding the A59/A1237 junction in preparation for the opening of the new Poppleton Bar Park&Ride site have been extended because of unforeseen circumstances.

The period of night time working is being extended due to a number of unexpected utility services and difficult ground conditions that have been encountered. The works will continue to take place overnight to minimise overall disruption during peak travel times.

Access is available to all businesses and properties during these periods but drivers may need to follow diversions.

The overnight works are taking place as follows:

A59: May 22 – June 15 2014 (not including Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays). Nightshifts controlled by temporary traffic signals. No access to A1237 from A59 during overnight works (May 22 to June 6)

A1237: May 22 – June 6 2014 (not including Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays). Nightshifts under temporary closure from Wetherby Road (B1224) to Great North Way (York Business Park).

The temporary closure will not be implemented on Bank Holiday Monday (26 May) and for the remainder of that week the road will be closed at 10pm until 6am the following morning. Outside of those dates the closure will be from 8pm until 6 am.
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York pensioners face 14% bus fare increase

The Council are imposing a 14% increase in fares for pensioner pass holders who use Park and Ride services.

Other passengers also face a 10p per journey increase.

The new fares, which will be introduced on 5th January, are as follows

Product Fare Buy from Format
Standard   Return £2.60   (£2.70 from 5th Jan) Bus   Driver Paper   ticket
MinsterCard   Return £2.30   (£2.40 from 5th Jan) Site   Office Stored   Value Smartcard
Concessionary   Return 70p   (80p from 5th Jan) Bus   Driver Paper   ticket
Weekly
MinsterCard
£10.40   (£10.80 from 5th Jan) Site   Office 1 Week   Smartcard
Monthly
MinsterCard
£41.60   (£43.20 from 5th Jan) Site   Office 1 Month   Smartcard
Annual
MinsterCard
£416   (£432 from 5th Jan) Site   Office 1 Year   Smartcard

The York council claimed before Christmas that there had been an increase in bus usage since the summer and put it down to reduced bus fares.

http://www.itravelyork.info/park-and-ride/fares-and-passes

Park and Ride buses to operate until 9:30pm tomorrow (Thursday)

Park and ride buses

Extended Park&Ride (P&R) services on Thursdays and free Boxing Day P&R travel.

A late night shoppers service will operate on all five Park&Ride routes every Thursday, with the last bus leaving the city centre on all routes at around 9.30pm (for exact timings visit http://www.itravelyork.info/).

The first extended service will run from the 28 November to coincide with the biggest Christmas market in York’s calendar – St Nicholas Fayre.

In addition to this, passengers will also be able to take advantage of FREE travel on Boxing Day on the three key P&R routes which will be operating.

Three Park & Ride services will operate on Boxing Day:

◦Askham Bar (white line – route 3) – First bus at 7am from the site, last bus back from Tower Street at 6.45pm

◦Designer Outlet (red line – route 7) – First bus at 7am from the site, last bus back from Rougier Street at 6.42pm

◦Monks Cross (silver line – route 9) – First bus at 7am from the site, last bus back from Rougier Street at 6.43pm

All three services will operate at a 15 minute frequency throughout the day and will be FREE for all passengers (and will stop at all usual stops along the route).

New Askham Bar P&R site: night works

Askham Bar (Tadcaster Road) roadworks

Askham Bar (Tadcaster Road) roadworks

Working in partnership with Balfour Beatty, City of York Council will be carrying out night works for the revised junction at the new Askham Bar Park & Ride site from next week.

A series of night-time closures will be in place from Monday 18 November until Thursday 28 November on the inbound and outbound carriageways along the A1036 from the A64 to Sim Balk Lane.

The carriageway will be closed from 9pm and will be re-opened at 6am. The closures will not take place on the evenings of Saturday 23 November and Sunday 24 November.

Alternative diversion routes will be in place and signed. Access to the Esso Petrol Station will be maintained at all times from the York side of the junction.
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June completion for A59 Park and Ride works.

Poppleton Bar Roadworks

Poppleton Bar Roadworks

It could be June 2014 before the A59 Park and Ride site near Poppleton opens.

The Tour de France is due to go through the junction on 6th July.

The work was initially held up because of delays in re-routing underground services

Askham Bar (Tadcaster Road) roadworks

Askham Bar (Tadcaster Road) roadworks


The first main traffic management change has just been brought into operation to enable commencement of the subway construction.

The junction changes at Askham Bar will be completed in December with the main site opening in May 2014.

Both opening dates could be delayed if we have a bad winter.

Council apply for Rawcliffe car park entertainment license

The York Council wants to permit outdoor entertainments to be staged at the Rawcliffe Park and Ride site.

They are applying to extend the license that currently applies to the adjacent Rawcliffe Country Park.

Rawcliffe Park and Ride site

Rawcliffe Park and Ride site

The application is phrased to give the impression that the car park will be commandeered if the adjacent country park is unsuitable for outdoor events – for example as a result of flooding.

However the requested hours of operation cover the full week and in particular the times when the car park is heavily used for the park and ride service.

The entertainment license would apply between 09:00hours to 2200 hours except Fridays and Saturdays when the hours extend to 2300 hours.

No explanation for the circumstances in which the license would be used have been provided for a committee meeting which is taking place on Thursday 24th October.

The main problems are likely to arise if organisers start setting up during the hours that the car park is normally in heavy use.

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NB. A fireworks display and outdoor entertainment event is scheduled to take place at the Rawcliffe Country Park on Sunday 3rd November.

Called “Kaboom” it is advertised as the counties biggest fireworks display. Last year a similar event resulted in extensive damage to the Rawcliffe Country Park because of wet conditions.

Plans to hold the Galtres Festival at Rawcliffe earlier this year were abandoned in favour of a venue near Helmsley.

First to run new Park and Ride services. Government funds electric buses

First has been awarded York’s Park & Ride (P&R) contract for a further three years.

Working in partnership with the council, First York has successfully operated all five P&R sites for more than 15 years and will continue to do so for another three years.

In addition, one of the city’s principle bus companies has now also been signed-up to operate the new P&R site at Poppleton, which is set to open in 2014.

Vehicles used in York eco bus trial in 2010

Vehicles used in York eco bus trial in 2010

As part of the new agreement First will be operating a new electric bus service from the new 600-vehicle facility at Poppleton Bar, which is set to open in Spring 2014. The purchase of the buses has been part funded through the Coalition Government’s Green Bus fund, which awarded £594k to First in May.

Six electric buses are set to be deployed on the York Park & Ride network, though a bid submitted by First York. The new buses will provide cleaner and greener bus journeys for thousands of passengers across the city.
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