Issues can be reported 24/7 via this link Report problems online – City of York Council (click)
It is disappointing to see that some potholes – many deep enough to pose a hazard for cyclists – are not being filled in quickly by the Council.
Residents were told that an additional pothole filling team would reduce the time taken to deal with this issue, but apparently this isn’t the case.
We hope that the Council is on top of seasonal issues with path side nettles and thorn bushes. These are a hazard for pedestrians. They need to be treated before they obstruct public footpaths
We understand that the uneven road surface on Askham Lane, near its junction with the A1237 roundabout, will be resurfaced overnight on the 2nd and 3rd of June.
Long overdue but very welcome nevertheless.
Now that more people are out and about more, its is important that any issues with public service standards are reported to the Council.
The authority offers a 24/7 on-line reporting service
Most routine issues like those below should receive attention within a few days. If not, we recommend that you ask your local Councillors to pursue them.
The programme of repairs to York’s highways network, that will take place during 2021/22, has finally been published. The programme is usually agreed in February. Work has already started on some of the listed schemes.
There is some mixed news in the report which was approved at a “behind closed doors” meeting apparently held on 23rd April.
The highways maintenance programme (which includes not just carriageway and footpath repairs but also drainage, street lighting, City Walls, flood alleviation etc,) is one of the services which most interest residents, the programme has been delegated for officer determination for some years. Thus, the reports are not subject to scrutiny and alternative ways of allocated the budget are not publicly debated.
One key sentence in the report sums up the dilemma faced by the Council.
“Notwithstanding previous levels of investment the current funding levels are not sufficient to keep all our assets in their current condition”.
In effect, the Council has decided to focus resurfacing works on busy roads. Most side roads are being left to crumble.
Some work scheduled for 20/21, including the whole of the micro patching programme in Woodthorpe, has been delayed into the current financial year.
There is some good news.
Several long term problem locations in west York, including parts of Foxwood Lane, Askham Lane near the A1237 intersection, The Green, Bradley Lane near Rufforth, the low numbered end of Gale Lane and Thanet Road are scheduled to be resurfaced this year.
But there is no allocation for repairs on School Street and the surrounding area behind the Front Street shops, nor at many other sub-urban locations.
No footpaths in the Westfield area will be resurfaced.
There is no mention in the programme of the repairs needed to off-road cycle track infrastructure nor is there any listing of how the £1 million delegated “ward budgets” will be spent.
£877,000 of the latter budget, due to be invested last year, is being carried over into the current year. At the very least residents should be given the opportunity to influence how that section of the budget is spent.
All in all its seems that the decline in maintenance standards is set to continue for another year.
A response to a Freedom of Information request has revealed that the Council intends to spend 20% less on repairing roads and footpaths in the City during 2021/22 compared to the current year.
The decision will come as a disappointment to many drivers and pedestrians and will be a particular blow for cyclists, many of whom have criticised the rapidly declining quality of local highway surfaces.
Highway maintenance is one of the expenditure areas in the Council where essentially you get what you pay for. So less money inevitably means that fewer paths and carriageways will be resurfaced.
The Council will announce shortly what proportion of the budget it will spend on reactive pothole filling rather than, longer lasting, patching and resurfacing schemes.
Sources at the Council have criticised inconsistent central government funding allocations – such as the annual so called “pot hole” fund – which make long term investment planning difficult. A late announcement of funding for the resurfacing of Tadcaster Road came only weeks after the work had been completed using local taxpayers money (and is now being done again).
However, there will also be concern that some money has been taken from the maintenance budget to fund other projects. Several new schemes, such as rural cycle routes, are sucking funds from the budgets needed to repair existing cycle paths..
The Council has never recovered from the major reductions made to highways funding some 8 years ago.
Successive administrations have failed to find ways of returning investment levels to those seen earlier in the century.
It is estimated that the backlog in maintenance work nationally would require investment of around £11 billion to rectify.
Hopes were raised last year when the York Council established a second pothole filling team in the City. It was hoped that the initiative would at least slow the rapidly deteriorating condition of highways in the City.
Expectations were further raised when the Department of Transport allocated part of its “Pothole challenge fund” to the City.
Sadly, the hoped-for improvements have not materialised.
Many highways are breaking up under the impact of ice and frost. A well-maintained surface is less vulnerable to frost damage but lack of urgency in patching roads in the summer and autumn, means that large stretches are now unsafe for users.
Now hidden within a large report, being considered by the Council later this week, is a proposal which would see less spent on resurfacing.
£600,000 will be taken from pothole filling/resurfacing and instead used to partly fund new schemes like the cycle path link from Wheldrake to Fulford.
Even the most extreme pro cycling campaigners are now realising that maintaining existing paths should be the Councils priority when funds are limited.
The existing cycle and highway networks are in poor condition. Why not fix them first before building more paths?
Sadly, one of the reasons seems to be that highway resurfacing activity is not very glamourous.
There will be no official naming of the pothole that Andy filled in.
On the other hand, a new path may – for a while – attract favourable publicity for its sponsors, at least until it too needs to be resurfaced.
Separately, the same report says that
- the second resurfacing of Tadcaster Road is being delayed until the summer. Gas main works are currently taking place there.
- promised repairs on National Cycle Network 65 will now not be completed until 2021/22.
- £877,000, which was to have been spent this year on Highways Ward Committees schemes, will also be delayed until next year.
With only a few weeks to go until the end of the financial year, the York Council says it will overspend by £3.7 million. Any deficit would be a charge on the Council’s reserves (which currently stand at £7 million)
Most of the deficit is blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic. Details can be found here
Council income has dropped with car parking revenue severely affected.
There are major overspends on children’s social work services including safeguarding vulnerable children with 93 local children currently subject to proceedings.
Adult social care could also overspend by £2.7 million.
There are also major pressures to bail out the indoor sports centres which are managed by GLL.
The main problems with Council housing relate to a repairs backlog and the lengthening time to relet empty properties.
The report contains a highly selective report on public service quality standards. It talks about the – entirely unsurprising – drop in bus usage.
It pointedly fails to mention the appalling decline in the standard of highway surfaces. Despite being reported long before the icy weather – and lockdown – commenced, potholes were only given cursory attention. The result now is that many carriageways are dangerous particularly for users of two wheeled transport.
& maybe part of the solution
The ice and snow has largely disappeared from York today.
In its place are a new – and not so new – crop of potholes.
Please help to make the City safer by reporting any that are a danger to road users.
The next problem we are likely to face is flooding. Three Flood Warnings are already in place for the City.
It will be two or three days before the snow melt in the Dales & Moors catchment areas reaches the City.
Progress can be viewed by clicking the image below.
Surface water drainage seems to be less of a problem at the moment.
The Knavesmire flood works seem to have reduced the standing water problem which was a feature of most winters until recently.