Mixed news about getting local paths cleared of overgrowth
Meanwhile the York Council is now claiming that they are not responsible for keeping the cycle track, which is located next to the slip road from the A64, clear of obstructions. The Council did actually cleared similar problems this time last year.
We will be very disappointed if this turns out to be a jurisdiction stand off between the York Council and Highway Yorkshire. The latter is responsible for maintaining the cycle path along the side of the trunk road.
Following on from our story yesterday, there has been some progress with getting cycle paths cleared of overgrowth
Workers were out on the SUSTRANS York – Riccall path today. They had cleared vegetation blockages from about 50% of the track by mid afternoon. They hadn’t reached the path near Riccall whichsuffers the worst obstructions
Meanwhile Highways England have tweeted (left) to say that the section of cycle path next to the A64 will be cleared later this month
The York Council responded today to say that the section of cycle track on Tadcaster Road next to the golf course had been cleared. Sadly, on checking today, we found that it hadn’t been touched.
The new “White Rose” football pavilion and associated pitches have now been completed. They can’t be brought into use until agreed improvements on the adjacent cycle path – which is a York Council maintenance responsibility – are also completed.
The cycle path upgrade was a condition of the planning approval given on 16th November 2018. (click)
Elsewhere we are waiting to hear whether SUSTRANs was successful in its grant application to the government for funding to resurface the track near Riccall and the A64.
Work on filling and levelling the Escrick sidings site appears to be proceeding more quickly now.
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.
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.
Sustrans, who manage the York – Selby cycle path, are consulting on the work that they they hope to undertake on the trees and bushes which are adjacent to the path.
Already some work has started on removing invasive and self seeded trees the roots of which have damaged the adjacent cycle path.
The consultation takes a deeper look at the future of the green corridor.
Invasive Himalayan balsam would be removed while an effort would be made to introduce tansy into the grassland sward to support the tansy beetle.
Near Bishopthorpe, some fruit trees may be planted.
We think that most cycle path users will welcome this initiative from Sustrans.
We only hope that repairs to the surface of the cycle path will start quickly now.
Too many sections of the route have been made hazardous by root damage.
No news yet on when the promised improvements, to the York Council maintained section of the cycle path between Tadcaster Road and the A64, will start. Improvements were promised as part of the plan to provide a new clubhouse and pitches for Bishopthorpe FC.
The clubhouses itself – although currently mired in mud – is making progress but no start date for the promised path upgrade has been given.
This section of track is also now subject to tree root damage.
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.
SUSTRANS describe themselves as the custodians of thenational 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.
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.