Better news for York – Selby cycle path users

Major resurfacing works on the Naburn to Riccall section of the cycle path are expected to take place later in the year.

The cycle path managers SUSTRANS have applied for a government grant which – if approved by Ministers in May – would see large sections of the path levelled.

The surface has been severely damaged by tree roots in recent years. SUSTRANs have already been removing some of the trees during the winter. The trees are self-seeded and became established too close to the path.

There is a hope that the resurfacing contract will include the provision of root protection guards.

 SUSTRANS also have funding to repair the path alongside the A64 subject to agreeing the details with Highways England.

SUSTRANS say that parts of the path may have to be closed while the resurfacing work takes place.

There is still no news about the promised safety improvements on the section of path from Tadcaster Road (London Bridge) to the A64 southern by-pass.

This section is the maintenance responsibility of the City of York Council.

The developers of the adjacent football club pavilion agreed some 3 years ago to invest in the path as part of their works.

With roads and footpaths to the pavilion now approaching completion, we expect the York Council to announce its proposals and timetable  for improvements to the adjacent cycle route.

Escrick Sidings

Not such good news at Escrick where the landowners have completed the levelling of the area.

The informal picnic area has been damaged in the process (albeit revealing a disappointing amount of accumulated litter!) .

SUSTRANs say that they have received no communication from the owners of the land (believed to be a local building firm). The site falls within the boundaries of the Selby District Council.

Fundraising needed for repairs to uneven cycle track.

UPDATE – Just as we published we got the following response from SUSTRANs

Yes, we are aware of the problem with this path either side of the York / Selby boundary and at time of heightened usage of all of our traffic-free routes around York due to the coronavirus lockdown.

We’ve done some initial estimating of cost for the whole section that needs resurfacing, which comes to £446,000 approx. – a sum that Sustrans on its own cannot afford as I’m pleased to see you recognise

However, Selby DC (copied in) also have this on their radar and have indicated a strong willingness to work with ourselves and City of York to find the necessary funding.

I’m in discussion with land management / estates colleagues within Sustrans to identify how much we may be able to contribute, and therefore how much is needed from LA partners / other funding sources.

The fact you’ve now raised this with relevant City of York councillor’s is very helpful. We’ll continue to bring all parties together to come up a with funding package that can deliver the necessary improvement as soon as possible.

We’ve suggested to SUSTRANs that they launch a crowd funding appeal to raise money for resurfacing parts of the York – Selby cycle path.  

The path is very uneven in places as a result of tree root damage. At one location, the roots have now broken through the bitmac surfacing increasing the hazards for cyclists and walkers.

Roots are now breaking through cycle track

SUSTRANS describe themselves as the custodians of the national cycle network. It is possible to make a donation towards their work via their web page but we think that a more focused campaign is needed if the York cycle path is to be properly funded.

The path has been heavily used during the health crisis with large number taking the opportunity to take some exercise in what is a relatively safe space. Many young children are getting their first taste of cycling on the track. It is the latter group for whom the surface represents a particular hazard.

SUSTRANs have yet to respond but we have had a prompt reply from Cllr John Galvin who represents that Bishopthorpe ward, in which part of the track is located. He has pledged his support for the appeal.

Any work would need to incorporate the use of root shields to ensure that any new surface continues to be useable for the foreseeable future.

Uneven path surfaces deter use

Many of the problems occur in the section between Naburn and Riccall. We hope that the Government and local Councils will back the SUSTRANs charity if they launch a crowdfunding appeal.

Hopefully some donations will come from the hundreds of new users who are currently enjoying the facility.

NB. It appears that no application was made for support from the York Council’s £500,000 cycling budget which was delegated to be spent by local ward Councillors.