More on weed control in York

The Council has now replied to our complaint about inadequate weed control on public areas this summer.

They candidly accept now that the spraying has not been satisfactory.

They are now commencing a re-spray. The spray will include a colouring agent which will show which areas have received attention.

Weeds on the A59 have not been treated

This will be supplemented by Council staff who will work on areas not included on the contract. The areas near Poppleton on the A59 are a high priority.

Another problem has developed with obstructions to public cycle and footpaths.

Again the path on the A59 is one that is blocked

Path near Poppleton is still blocked
Brambles over growing the cycle path on Tadcaster Road may become a safety issue with darker nights coming.
Bushes are impeding access to the Hob Moor cycle track
Hedges blocking the cycle path at the rear of Hob Stones still haven’t been cut back
Someone has spent some time on this graffiti near the southern by pass
But less time on this!

Council taxpayers to foot £605,000 bill for sports pavilion

The Council have now appointed a contractor to build a “Pavilion, Clubhouse and Changing Rooms” on Tadcaster Road near Sim Balk Lane.

It will become the home of a football team currently based in Bishopthorpe.

The contract was won by Fullwood of Pontefract

The cost is an eye watering £605,000.

In total the project is expected to cost £1.5 million. £491,000 has already been spent on new pitches.

Taxpayers money

This compared to the costs of new modular changing rooms which are available from less than £40,000 from a number of companies.

These include Sports Changing Rooms and York’s own Portakabin

The cost of the pavilion is controversial because it is being partly funded from monies generated by building on playing fields at Lowfield.

More modest changing facilities would have allowed the surplus to be used to provide an all-weather games area to replace both the facilities lost at Lowfields and also the Kingsway West children’s games area which the Council demolished earlier in the summer.

The Council has still not made any public announcement about the replacement games area which could be located on Thanet Road.

Future of local football team unclear

2.9 miles from Lowfields to “replacement” football pitch

In a planning  committee report, officials are still claiming that the Woodthorpe Wanderers Football team will relocate from the Lowfields sports field to a new pitch being created on the  Green Belt near London Bridge on Tadcaster Road.

Residents had understood that this had been ruled out as too remote and lacking in perimeter security. The Club does have access to the nearby college pitch.

The  London Bridge field may, however, meet the needs of the Bishopthorpe football club.

The fate of the Lowfields football pitch is central to plan to build houses at Lowfields.

The Sports Council have objected to the loss of the facility.

The Council has now said that they will consider the planning application at their August meeting, well ahead of the start of the Public Inquiry into the York Local Plan.

There have been a lot of objections to the Local Plan relating to the development of the playing field.

Not surprisingly local amenity bodies are crying “foul” over the timing of the planning applications. The Lowfields Action Group have updated their Facebook page.

A few months ago the Action Group published an alternative layout for the Lowfields site which would have ensured that the pitch was retained while also providing space for 200 homes.

Alternative proposal for Lowfields tabled by residents

There are some serious implications for existing Council tenants within the  “housing development programme” published by the Council today. We’ll comment on these later in the week.

Road users warned of delays as busy Tadcaster Road/St Helens Road junction gets upgrade

City of York Council is warning of severe disruption as it replaces ageing and unreliable traffic lights at the junction of Tadcaster Road and St Helen’s Road from Monday (30 April).

The work is expected to last up to six weeks, and will include temporary lights. The council is advising drivers to allow more time for their journeys, consider alternative routes or travel options like Park and Ride!

While replacing the traffic lights,  the council is making changes to the junction which will improve traffic flows, take advantage of new technology and also prove cheaper and more efficient to run.

The changes to pedestrian crossing arrangements were discussed last summer (click).

Work is scheduled to take place from 7.30am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday and from 9am – 3pm on a Saturday. Evening work will be required during certain phases of the work, this will be kept to a minimum to minimise disruption to local residents.

Bus routes should remain unchanged throughout the junction improvements.

Work will be suspended from Wednesday 16 May – Friday 18 May and on Saturday 26 May due to race meetings at York Racecourse.

The five year traffic signal asset renewal programme was given the green light by the councillor responsible for transport and planning in November 2015.

The total replacement programme will cost £2.62m over five years and will be funded through the capital programme budget and the existing Local Transport Plan budget.

For information on travelling in and around York visit  www.itravelyork.info/roadworks

In a separate development the Council says it is “pioneering intelligent transport technology to tackle congestion on the city’s roads”.

In the first of two Department for Transport projects which could change the way traffic is managed in the UK, the council has installed special sensors from Lendal Arch gyratory and along the A59.

These will pick up anonymous (‘hashed’) mobile phone signals and data from ‘connected’ cars.

The council can then combine this with other data – like real-time bus movements – to give a complete picture of how traffic behaves.

This will help the council to set traffic signals which respond to how traffic actually behaves, especially in events like sudden downpours.

Have your say on our plans for new sports pitches at Tadcaster Road

Residents are being invited to have their say on plans to build eight new sports pitches on fields near Askham Bar.

The drop-in consultation event, which will take place between 4pm and 7pm at Askham Bar Park & Ride on Wednesday 24 January, will offer the chance for people to feedback on plans to build three 11-a-side pitches, two 9-a-side pitches and three 7-a-side pitches with relevant on-site facilities.

The event comes after the council’s executive in November agreed that officers should continue to work on plans for sports facilities on the land near the Ashfield estate.

Sensibly the Council has now stopped trying to link the new provision with the loss of football pitches at Lowfields 

This will help to provide much needed community sports facilities to the south and west area of York.

The council’s public heath team are also working with Bishopthorpe White Rose FC to prepare a club development plan that will help them thrive in the future and access grant funding.

The cost of these works will be funded from the Football Foundation, Bishopthorpe White Rose football club, local sponsorship and small grants, with the remainder from the capital programme agreed by City of York Council.
(more…)

More gloom as latest York Draft Local Plan unveiled

Transport gridlock a possibility, as City set to grow in size by over 20%

Yet another set of proposed changes to the Council Draft Local Plan have been published by the York Council. If accepted at a meeting taking place next week the number of extra homes to be built in the Area could increase from an estimated 867 dwelling a year to as many as 1070.

Officials blame inconsistent national population projections for the indecision.

Developers eyeing stables on Tadcaster Road

If accepted, they higher figures could mean more Green Belt land being developed in the Metcalf Lane, Wigginton Road and Elvington Lane areas. The racecourse stables land on Tadcaster Road is once again under threat while developers want to build a whopping 1575 dwelling at Galtres Farm near Huntington

The York Central (brownfield) figures could also increase from 1500 to between 1700 and 2500 units, with more offices also planned for the site.

The main impact of any increase in  house building, and associated economic development, will be on the Cities, already creaking, transport systems. Increases in traffic congestion levels could be as much as 25% on some roads.

The 20% increase in the City’s population – over just 20 years – has never been effectively explained or challenged by Councillors. The effect that such high growth rates will have, on the character of the City, is considerable.

Many fewer people have responded to the Councils latest consultation than previous exercises.

Residents now have “consultation overload” and are fed up with raising the same issues time and time again without receiving any convincing response from the authorities.

Lowfields – Plan to build on sports pitches

A prime example is the campaign to conserve the playing field and sports pitches at Lowfields. 80% of respondents oppose the Councils plan to develop the field, yet their views are being ignored.

The stage is now held by vested interests.

Land owner, developers and their agents are squabbling over the available cake. Large profits depend on the outcome of the Local Plan deliberations

There will be a final period of is=consultation shortly. The results of the consultation will then be placed before an independent inspector at an “Examination in Public”.

That will give ordinary residents an opportunity to air their views in what should be an impartial forum.

 

Councils traffic projections Jan 2018

Bishopthorpe 1, Westfield 0

2.9 miles from Lowfields to replacement football pitch

The Council is to consider next week a  plan to spend £400,000 providing new football pitches for a team based in Bishopthorpe.

Good luck to “Bishopthorpe White Rose Football Club”. We wish them success.

However the Councils claim that this project will replace the football pitches, on which they hope to build, at Lowfields is complete “tosh”

The Tadcaster Road site (behind the London Bridge Service Station) is 3 miles from Lowfields. There is simply no way that Lowfields residents – old or new – would regard Sim Balk Lane as a convenient alternative for any kind of local leisure facility.

The truth of the matter is that the Bishopthorpe Football Club’s needs have grown over the years and they have (rightly) approached the Council for help. It is a coincidence that the Lowfields project came along at the same time.

The Council is being duplicitous in linking the two projects.

If a section Section 106 contribution towards sports facilities is available, then the £400,000 should be spent in the Westfield area. Last year, when the Executive first hatched its plan, they were talking about providing the current users of the pitches (Woodthorpe Wanderers) with new facilities. That idea seems to have been quietly forgotten.

Better still, the Council should leave the existing Lowfields pitches alone. Such a decision would be in line with the decision taken at the last Executive meeting which agreed to review open space provision in the City.

The plot hatched by Council officials is aimed at persuading Sport England to remove their blocking objection to the current Lowfields Planning application.

The Executive is also due to consider borrowing around £9 million to build houses on the Lowfields site(!) More about this later.

 

Plans for new development on Tadcaster Road by Wilberforce Homes

Local residents are invited to attend a drop-in session to have their say on proposals by the Wilberforce Trust to build 30 flats for its tenants on land it owns to the north of The Grove, off Tadcaster Road.

The proposals, which include a social/community hub for tenants and offices for the charity, will be on display at the Sunflower Centre at St Leonard’s Hospice on Thursday 6th July from 4.30pm to 8pm. A Wilberforce Trust leaflet (copied below) is being delivered to local homes to publicise the drop-in session.


The Wilberforce Trust is a York-based charity that provides specialist housing and support for people with visual impairments, sensory impairments and other disabilities. Its website can be viewed at www.wilberforcetrust.org.uk

In the most recent draft Local Plan, this piece of land had been provisionally allocated for residential extra care facilities in association with the Wilberforce Trust.

New Puffin crossing planned for Tadcaster Road/St Helens Road junction

As part of a plan to upgrade the traffic signals at the St Helens Road junction a new Puffin pedestrian crossing facility is to be provided on the north side of the junction.

Full details are contained in this report

The report says,

“The replacement of the existing island has been proposed because the island is too narrow. It falls below minimum design guidance in terms of its overall width and the distance of its guard rails from the carriageway.

The substandard width results in difficulty for pedestrians in using the facility, especially those with prams and wheelchairs.

The substandard distance of the guardrail to the carriageway has resulted in vehicle strikes which in turn creates a maintenance liability.

The addition of a third pedestrian crossing on the north arm of the junction constitutes as ‘easy win’, in that it provides a desirable pedestrian facility without any significant detriment to the functioning of the junction.

There is no significant change to vehicular delays, queues, Practical Reserve Capacity or congestion.

Introduction of an additional pedestrian crossing on the north arm of the junction is a significant improvement for pedestrians as it serves a desire line accessing the inbound bus stop and Cross Keys public house.

The same meeting will also consider changes to traffic signals and junction layouts at George Hudson Street and East Parade in Heworth

 

Looks like Tadcaster Road will be busy at teatime!

St Helen's Road 1400 hours 13th May 2015

St Helen’s Road 1400 hours 13th May 2015

It looks like Tadcaster Road will be very congested at teatime.

St Helen’s Road is still closed although now relatively free of surface water following the burst main earlier today. Workers are still digging their way down to the source of the problem. There is access for pedestrians and cyclists (who will need to dismount next to the roadworks)

It is race day so several hundred vehicles will be leaving the Knavesmire at tea time.

Those who can are advised to avoid driving down Tadcaster Road.

The number 4 bus route diversion remains in place.