Changes to leases and parking on York council land proposed

A new lease agreement, for use with future sales of council flats, is being proposed, along with improved parking enforcement on council housing land.

The proposals aim to make the new leases for council flats clearer.

The plan is to update them in line with current best practice and, through them, to allow City of York Council to recover costs from leaseholders for services from which they benefit.

The proposed new leases would give council tenants and leaseholders the same clauses across both tenures, such as in regard to keeping pets.

Updating parking charges and enforcement on council housing land is being proposed too.

Introducing charging for parking permits on housing land would initially be at a lower rate than current resident parking rates but will increase to their levels over five years. Income from the scheme would help to cover the cost of parking enforcement.

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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Newbury Avenue development – 5 bungalows proposed

Parking concerns remain

The latest proposals for the development of the Newbury Avenue garage site will be reported to the Councils Executive committee next week.

The new scheme involves the provision of 5 one bedroomed bungalows which will be built to a standard that allows easy wheelchair access.

The site is considered suitable for older or disabled people as it is reasonably close to the Lidl store and the number 4 bus service,

The proposal is undoubtedly better than the original plan for 9 apartments.  

Later, plans for 8 bungalows were released but these proved to be too cramped.

The five bungalow specialist accommodation now proposed  is unlikely to significantly increase traffic volumes in the area, one of the concerns expressed about earlier schemes

However, the report fails to address the lack of car parking space on Newbury Avenue outside the existing flats (10 -16) or in the wider Windsor Garth area.

Residents will expect that the demolition of 28 garages (most of which have deliberately been left empty by the Council over recent years) will be mitigated by the provision of more off-street parking space in the area.

In total sites for over 20 parking spaces have been identified in the neighbourhood and there is a reasonable expectation that a Section 106 agreement will fund most of these.

If the spaces are provided, then the revised Council proposal is likely to gain more widespread support

The meeting will also hear new proposals for the development of a similar garage site on Chaloners Road

Latest Newbury Avenue bungalow plans to be discussed on Tuesday

The Council has published several development plan proposals for the Newbury Avenue garage area site over the last few years. LibDem Councillors successfully resisted the plan to erect a block of flats feeling that this would simply add to existing traffic and parking problems in the area.

The design also interfered with open views of Hob Moor.

The Council has now come up with, what they hope will be, a final design for the area. The number of bungalows has been reduced to 5. Any plans will be put before the planning committee. Residents will be able to formally object to (or support) the proposals.

The plans will be on display at the Indoor Bowls Club on Thanet Road before the Ward meeting which is taking place on Tuesday at 6:30pm. Affected residents are being invited to come along to view them and ask questions.

At the moment the project is suspended as  existing parking problems need to be addressed before any more traffic is introduced into the area. Sites for additional parking have been identified and Councillors await proposals from Council officials on timescales, funding etc.

One of the possibilities is a lay-by outside the existing flats in Newbury Avenue (10 –16)

It is unlikely that the plans will be progressed to the planning stage much before next year.

 

Progress on parking problems in west York

Last Thursdays decision meeting considered a large number of proposed changes to parking restrictions in the City. The results have now been published by the Council click here 

A large number of representations were made by Councillors and residents who attended the meeting. These included Westfield Councillors Sheena Jackson and Andrew Waller

Foxwood Lane junction

Changes to parking restrictions on Foxwood Lane (Bellhouse Way high numbered end) junction, Cranfield Place (outside community centre) & Morrell Court (junction) were considered by Cllr Ian Gillies. He declined to make major changes to the existing arrangements. However, he did agree to;

  • move the street name sign at the junction of Bellhouse Way and Foxwood Lane
  • provide white bar road markings to protect the access to four driveways at the entrance to Cranfield Place

The Foxwood Residents Association will discuss the issues at its meeting on Wednesday.

It is likely that they will ask that Councillors pursue;

  • In the case of the Foxwood Lane junction, the provision of an off-street lay-by at this location which will have the effect of pulling parked vehicles back from the sight line &
  • In the case of Cranfield Place, it is suggested that portable parking cones be provided for use (by event organisers) at the Foxwood Community Centre on the carriageway outside the front door. It is suggested that these might be supplemented by a “please use car park to rear” sign which could be attached to the boundary wall.

Askham Lane

The meeting also declined to introduce parking restrictions at the junction of Askham Lane and Vesper Drive.

However, the Council’s Assistant Director  is to write to the police in relation to taking action  against obstructions caused by vehicles on grass verges (and regarding devolution of powers – which would allow Council enforcement staff to take action on issues like these).

 

Crack down on the abuse of blue badges in York

City of York Council is stepping up efforts to crack-down on people in York who fraudulently use disabled blue badges.

Civil enforcement officers and Veritau – the company that investigates fraud on behalf of the council – are working jointly to proactively spot and tackle badge misuse in the city.

A two-week amnesty is being offered for holders to return invalid badges without question, or fear of legal action being taken.

It will begin on Monday 17 July and end on Friday 28 July.  A collection box has been left at the customer services reception desk at West Offices.

Once the amnesty is over, a series of proactive ‘enforcement patrols’ are being planned across York in the coming months.

A blue badge should be handed back if:

  •   It has expired
  • The badge holder is no longer eligible to use one
  • It is a replacement for a badge lost or stolen and the original has since been found
  • The badge is so damaged or faded that the details are not clear
  • The badge holder has died

The blue badge scheme is for people with severe mobility problems.

Misuse impacts on the limited capacity of parking available for legitimate disabled users who have little or no choice about how they get about.

It is a problem across the UK and is thought to cost the country £46 million a year.  Someone found misusing a blue badge faces prosecution and a £1,000 fine.

In York, the council has taken people to court for illegally using badges.

In one case a woman was caught using her child’s badge to park when the child wasn’t in the vehicle with her.  Another case involved a man who used his dead uncle’s badge, which had expired, to park for free.  The expiry date was obscured by a pair of sunglasses.
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Parking by phone – Major changes in York but little warning

RingGo – click to access

The York Council has been criticised by users of the Pay by Phone car parking system for giving only 48 hours notice of a change in contractor.

The move means that users may have to re-register their phones with the new provider RingGo.

It takes about 15 minutes to set up the new RingGo app. The numeric car park identifiers are also being changed.

32 RingGo parking sites in York are listed on their web site.

No explanation for the change has been offered by the Council and it remains unclear who, for what reason and at what cost the change has been made.

The previous “Pay by phone” contractor was widely praised for the ease of use of its mobile phone “app” The system was introduced in the last decade as a way of eliminating the need for drivers to have change for the ticket cash machines. Cashless transactions are generally cheaper for the Council to administer and have lower security risks.

 In a statement issued yesterday the York Council said,
motorists who use their mobile phone to pay for car parking in York are being warned about changes which may affect them from this Saturday (1 July).

From the weekend, the service will be provided by a new company – called RingGo.

It may mean some drivers will need to download a new app to their phone or dial a different number to pay for their parking.

New location codes are also being introduced, but these are being clearly displayed on signage in all car parks where the service is available.

Nine car parks and two coach parking areas are covered by RingGo.

Beyond that, there are no other changes and there will still be no need for motorists to scrabble around to find loose change for a ticket machine.

Minster badge holders will continue to receive a discount in all car parks apart from the one at Foss Bank.

Pay-by-phone has been running in York for several years and with drivers appreciating how easy it is to park with a credit or debit card and just a mobile phone.

Users of the old service must ensure they register with RingGo.  The process only takes a few minutes and can be completed by phone or online.

Instructions, and more information about parking-by-phone is available on the council’s website: york.gov.uk/PayParkingByPhone
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LibDems consult on parking improvements in Windsor Garth area

Beverley Court

Local Liberal Democrats are conducting a door to door survey in the Windsor Garth area following escalating problems with car parking.

The problems have been exacerbated by recent developments and the Liberal Democrats now want to see alternative parking spaces provided if the proposed demolition of garages on Newbury Avenue gets the go ahead.

Plans for the garage site development are expect to be published late next month with a  referral to the planning committee expected before the end of the summer.

Local residents anticipate that a section 106 notice will be served requiring the developers to fund alternative parking space.

The Council stopped re-letting empty garages as long ago as 2012 – a step which has made the lack of off street car parking space an acute problem.

Some of the possible sites for new parking lay-by area shown on the map below. 

York parking account reveals £4.8 million surplus

Draft accounts published by the City of York Council for 2016/17 reveal that the Authority made a substantial surplus on its car parking activities.

Out of a total income of £7.3 million, nearly £5.5 million came from charges levied at off street car parks.

Residents parking schemes brought in £806,000 and penalty charges £600,000 while on-street machines took £466,000. The balance came from coach parks.

The Council spent over £1.3 million on its off street car parks with £1.2 million apportioned to enforcement and administration.

This meant that a surplus of over £4.7 million accrued.

Legally the Council must reinvest any parking profits in transport.

Most of the surplus was spent on highway maintenance (£4 million) and subsidised bus services (£670,000)  The rest went on community transport and shopmobility.

Some drivers may wonder why more has not been invested in resurfacing Council car parks, several of which are now in very poor condition.

The inaccurate “on line” parking space availability map has also been a source of criticism.

Council admits set back to parking space availability web page

The York Council has admitted that its plans, to reintroduce web site information on the availability of car parking spaces, has run into more problems.

It is over 3 years since the service was discontinued. The Council had previously promised that accurate information would be available from the end of March but this deadline passed without the upgrade being completed.

Sources within the Council say that plans to install new loop counters in the surface of car parks – near entrances and exits – have had to be abandoned. Apparently the state of repair of the bitmac surfaces was too poor to allow the installation to take place (which will probably not come as a surprise to users of the Castle car park).

Blossom Street VMS

Now we understand that the Council hopes to utilise video camera based detection technology to get the system working again. This technology is currently being installed for traffic signal detection across the City.

The Council web site – as well as misrepresenting the number of parking spaces available – also lists car parks which closed some years ago.

On a more positive note, the Council has confirmed that all variable message signs in the City centre are now working with the exception of the sign on Fishergate (which is awaiting a spare part).