Prompt response from York Council

Cornlands Road/Askham Lane

A York Council manager has responded promptly to reports of Epicormic (lower trunk) growth on some trees in the Cornlands Road/Tudor Road area.

Such growth can cause sight line problems for drivers.

The manager says the branches will be trimmed.

Dumping is a problem at some empty properties.

We’ve reported a similar issue with a tree at the junction of Cornlands Road and Askham Lane.

We also received a prompt response from Cllr Demise Craghill who has executive responsibility for housing in the City.

She was sympathetic to our complaints about delays in bringing empty Council houses back into use and promised to pursue two long standing issues in the Foxwood Lane area.

Morrell Court

Lack of action to level potholes on the Morrell Court access road has now been registered as a formal complaint with the Council. The defects were first reported 6 months ago.

Elsewhere black bags have been left next to the recycling bins at the Acomb Wood Drive shopping area.

We have asked for them to be removed.

Acomb Wood Drive shopping area

Potholes in west York reported

With the York Council now back dealing with potholes, we’ve taken the opportunity to report 3 more problem streets.

These are on Herman Walk near Martin Cheeseman Court.
Particularly hazardous pothole (for cyclists) on School Street, although the whole carriageway really needs resurfacing
Nearby Howe Street is not much better

“Extra” York highways repair funding is £1.8 million

There was some excitement last week when the government announced extra funding to tackle “pothole” repairs. The top line figure bandied around was an increase of £5.6 million.

That would have effectively doubled the York Councils highway repairs budget.

It turns out that this included already committed grants which have already been allocated to cover this years repairs programme.

The actual new money increase is £1.8 million.

Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation engineers

Even this is not additional money. As the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation has now made clear, it is simply expenditure being re categorised.

It is not the first time that a government has announced the same spending decision on multiple occasions.

Still a substantial sum but, to put it into context, last year the Council spent £1/2 million just repairing one street (Stonegate).

The sooner the Council comes up with proposals – including the use of funds delegated to wards – for the resurfacing programme for this year the better.

Roads will only get busier as the virus threat recedes and people get back to their more normal lifestyles. Road closures and subsequent delays later in the year could impede the City’s economic recovery.

There must be a sense of urgency

Government funding for “pothole” repairs May 2020

Government boost for ailing York highways

City of York Council is getting a £5.592 million grant from the government to be spent on road maintenance. It would effectively double this years resurfacing and repair budget, although the phasing of the grant hasn’t been confirmed.

York residents say the worse public service in the City is road repairs

When the Council published its repairs budget a few weeks ago it attracted criticism as many paths and carriageways – although uneven and potentially hazardous – were omitted from the programme.

The new money should allow the Council to begin to restore the highways network to standards last seen in the previous decade.

How quickly additional resurfacing capacity can be made available by the Council and its contractors remains to be seen.

We hope that the focus will be on large scale patching and complete carriageway resurfacing schemes, avoiding the prospect of hastily filled potholes reappearing when bad weather returns.

Mixed picture on public services standards in York but some impressive progress

The lower tree branches that were impeding the cycle path on Thanet Road were trimmed back yesterday. Less than 24 hours from a report being made to action being taken. Impressive.
Grassed area opposite Foxwood shops clear of litter for the first time in over a year. Partly down to dedicated cleansing operative who is doing a sound job in this area.
Extension to Lincoln Court independent living flats completed. Suggests that much missed children’s play area could be reinstated when builders leave?
Slower progress on the Centre of Excellence for disabled children on Ascot Way. The project was never likely to meet its June target completion date even before the health crisis intervened.
Weeds are already overgrowing the little Green Lane garage area. This was problem last year. We expected that the garage owned site would be added to this years treatment list although there is no sign of “die back” yet. A builders skip has also appeared on the site.
We’ve reported the potholes that have appeared ion Windsor Garth

Potholes being filled by North Yorkshire

Good to see the North Yorkshire County Council levelling potholes on roads near Healaugh today. The roads are seeing increased use by Corona exercisers (cyclists and walkers) at present, many of whom are from York.

The potholes are mainly on the margins – an area mostly used by cyclists. Obstructions there can present a hazard.

Potholes being patched on rural road by North Yorkshire County Council.

The situation within the York Council area is less clear. Some highway defects have been marked up but it is unclear when repairs will actually be completed.

There has been no announcement by the Council on when the additional pothole filling team will start work although this may be influenced by the current health crisis.

Similarly there has been no announcement of a list of roads and paths that will be resurfaced during the current (financial) year. Resurfacing work is, of course, even less likely to restart before the health restrictions are lifted, but normally a list of roads would have been published by now.

One piece of good news is that contractors have been seen treating weeds around the Honeysuckle House amenity area on Chaloners Road today. It seems that the Council may be able to keep on top of weed growth on paths this year.

York Council trying to maintain public service standards

Good to see at least some public services continuing in York. Verges and open spaces are being cut today in west York. This will be appreciated by the many additional users who are using parks and other spaces for their daily exercise.

Also the pot hole filling team has been at work with long standing hazards on Foxwood Lane patched this week. This should make cycling safer.

Still a lot of catching up to do though and the highways side.

Some of the potholes on Foxwood Lane have been levelled.

Pothole issue to be raised with responsible Councillor

So many pothole reports from both Councillors and residents are being fobbed off by Council officials, that the issue is going to be raised at transport chief Cllr Andy D’Agorne’s meeting on Thursday.

All complainants receive these days is a message saying

“The current status of your report is: closed –  the problem has been inspected and no follow up work is required”

In the past – even if a pothole report didn’t meet what were termed “intervention levels” – an explanation of why work would not be carried out was given. That practice seems to have ceased.

As most on line reports include a photograph, there is clearly a risk and one that is likely to continue to deteriorate.

NB. We have reported again leaf detritus which has been in some of the gutter in little Green Lane since the autumn

York Council set to agree £21.282 million transport investment programme

The Councils transport capital programme is being allocated at a meeting taking place next week. The funding covers the 20/21 financial year and as capital expenditure it much be invested in assets which have an extended life expectancy.

Much of the funding comes from central government although the West Yorkshire Transport Fund will contribute over £8 million to dualling the outer ring road and the remodelling of the station forecourt. It is unclear what the future of this funding will be in the light of the announcement earlier in the week that West Yorkshire will get an elected mayor who will have control over strategy transport funding streams.

Some of the schemes are largely opaque. The Smarter Travel Evolution Programme (STEP) is funded by the National Productivity Investment Fund and aims to implement real- time monitoring and associated infrastructure to allow York to prepare for future transport measures such as connected and autonomous vehicles. The work planned for 2020/21 includes the development of the new transport model for York, and an upgrade of communications equipment across the city. Possibly not a priority for cyclists trying opt negotiate the latest crop of potholes.

The City has yet to hear how much – if any – of the government pothole fund will be allocated t the City. There is also no indication how much Local Transport Pan funding will go towards resurfacing roads and paths.

Including the Councils own resources, nearly £1 million has been located for cycling and pedestrian schemes. £500,000 of this was agreed last July but non has so far been invested. Much of this will be required to repair the neglect of the last 8 years.

The Piccadilly car park will become pay on exit. The programme of modernising traffic signals across the City will continue. Maintenance work will be carried out on Lendal Bridge during the year.