Major programme of mobile phone mast replacements in west York

Telephonica and Vodafone have started an upgrade of their mobile phone network in west York.

The programme involves upgrading their local phone masts and base stations.

Local Councillors are being consulted on the changes.

One – on Acomb Wood Drive – has already been subject of some comment as the height of the mast is being increased significantly.

Most of the others are more simple equipment replacements which the companies say will improve 3G phone coverage in the area.

Cllr Andrew Waller is keeping an eye on the plans. He has already pointed out that the location of the phone equipment outside the Acorn Rugby Club car park on Thanet Road, obscures sight lines for those exiting. He hopes that any new equipment might be set back a little to address this issue.

 

Thanet Road Toucan crossing finished but Council neglects essential work

The Toucan crossing at the junction of Kingsway West and Thanet Road has been completed and is working.

Unfortunately the Council didn’t take the opportunity – when plant was in the area – to resurface the hammerhead on Kingsway West which is very uneven and represents a hazard for cyclists.

The change coincides with the introduction of a 20 mph speed limit outside the Lidl store

Sadly the Council has also failed to upgrade the bollard on the Foxwood lane cycle path approach to the crossing. The wooden bollard has been a  source of complaint for several years. It lacks effective reflectors and, during foggy weather or on dark nights in heavy rain, it becomes virtually invisible for cyclists. The expectation had been that the council would either remove the bollard altogether or at least replace it with one that could be seen at night.

Bollard is a danger when visibility is limited.

 

Thanet Road Toucan crossing nears completion

The weather has been against the contractors this week, but it looks like they will finish installing the new Toucan crossing at the end of Kingsway West this week. The Council also intends to install speed humps on Thanet Road so the work will resume later in the year. We hope that they will resurface the hammerhead in Kingsway West and remove the dangerous post on the cycle path while they are in the area. 

A littler further down Gale Lane the yellow lines in the Stuart Road hammerhead have been renewed.

Thanet Road closed on Sunday

The Council have issued a statement today saying that Thanet Road will be closed fro several hours on Sunday

This is apparently connected to the current work undergoing to install road humps and renew pedestrian crossing equipment.

The short notice of the closure is unusual. The Council have failed to even issue a media release to alert residents. No word either on the iTravel twitter feed @iTravelYork or @york_travel

The number 4 bus service is being diverted via Bellhouse Way and Moor Lane.

The road between Foxwood Lane and Lidl will close at 8:00am and will reopen by 4:00pm (depending on how quickly the works are completed)

 

Traffic lights set to be upgraded at Carr Lane and Thanet Road

Ageing traffic lights at the junction of York Road with Carr Lane and the Thanet Road crossing near Foxwood Lane are set to be upgraded next month. Work will start on both sites on Monday 2 October.

The lights at the junction of York Road and Carr lane will be fully refurbished. The crossing will also be widened to better meet current safety standards.

The Thanet Road crossing near Foxwood Lane will see the separate pedestrian / cyclist crossing replaced with a shared Toucan crossing. The footpath and cycleway near to the crossing will also be relayed.

Local safety scheme work will also take place alongside this including installing a raised traffic table which will be added to the crossing along with speed cushions in the area to help reduce the speed of vehicles using the road.

Work at the York Road crossing will take place between 7.30am – 5.30pm, Monday – Friday and 9 am – 3pm on Saturdays.    Evening work will take place on Monday 9 October and Thursday 12 October from 6pm – 11pm. Three-way traffic management will be in place at the junction during the works. Full access will be retained to all properties during construction.

Work at the Thanet Road crossing will take place between 7.30am – 5.30pm, Monday – Friday and 8am – 3pm Saturdays. Traffic management will be in place at the junction of Thanet Road / Foxwood Lane during the works. A controlled crossing will be provided during construction to allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road safely.

Thanet Road will be closed between Foxwood Lane and St James Place on 22 October for the installation of the raised traffic table. Additional road closures will be in place on 6 and 7 November to install the speed cushions.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption. Residents are assured that everything reasonably possible will be done to keep this to a minimum, however buses that normally use this street will be diverted and motorists should expect some delays and plan their journey accordingly.

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

The total replacement programme will cost £2.620m over six years and will be funded through the capital programme budget and the existing Local Transport Plan budget.

For information about bus diversions during the works visit: www.itravelyork.info/

Changes to pedestrian/cycle crossing planned for Thanet Road

The Council is planning to remodel the pedestrian/cycle crossing at the junction of Thanet Road and Kingsway West

We understand that, as part of the changes planned for the traffic arrangements on Thanet Road, the pedestrian and cycle crossing will be modified.

The proposals look to change the cycle crossing to a Toucan crossing and amend the footways to create areas of shared pedestrian / cycle space.  The main changes that we are proposing are as follows:

Creation of a new traffic signal installation to form a Toucan crossing This replaces the existing cycle crossing with a parallel pedestrian crossing at the same location.  The new Toucan crossing will include near sided pedestrian / cyclist red / green aspects.

  • The Toucan crossing will be located on a new “bus friendly” flat topped raised table over the carriageway.  This will require additional gullies for drainage to be installed.
  • New shared use pedestrian / cycle areas will be formed with appropriate tactile paving, road markings and signing.
  • The southern cyclist on / off carriageway sections will be re aligned to tie in with the shared use areas and new northern cyclist on / off carriageway sections will be created.
  • The cycle tracks in the western verge are slightly realigned to fit in with the shared use areas.

We are surprised that changes to the present arrangements are planned. Generally the crossing works well.

Some changes should, however, be made at the junction when the lights are modernised.

  • The hammerhead on Kingsway West is in poor condition and needs resurfacing
  • The central bollard on the footpath link to the crossing needs to be replaced. It’s dull colour is very difficult to see in murky weather.

The plans will be available to view at the Ward Committee meeting which is scheduled to  take place at the Bowling Club from 6:30pm on Tuesday

Changes made to Thanet Road highway plans

The responsible Council executive member – Ian Gillies – has today thrown out plans which would have  seen use of the bus lay-bys on Thanet Road discontinued.

The plan to close the lay-by on the Rugby Club side of the road caused major concerns with drivers fearing that sight lines would be impeded by  buses parked on the highways.

There were also fears that traffic congestion would increase as would pollution levels.

The proposal was opposed by officers of the Foxwood Residents Association who argued that the plans were “over engineered” and unnecessarily expensive.

An alternative, which would have kept the  bus lay-bys together with an advisory 20 mph speed limit and guard rails to prevent children running onto the highway, was tabled by local residents.

The bus lay-bys have now been saved but additional road humps are to be installed, despite the fact that the Council has now admitted that average speeds are well below the 30 mph limit.

The Residents Association has asked that they be consulted early on when proposals like these are considered in future.

 

Major traffic changes planned for Thanet Road near Lidl

The Council is expected, at a meeting taking place on 22nd June, to sign off major highways changes near the Lidl store on Thanet Road.

The plans involve imposing a 20 mph speed limit enforced by speed tables and humps. Currently for most of the day vehicle speeds are around this level anyway, although the Council has not provided any measurements.

The northern bus lay by (near the rugby club) will be removed altogether meaning that stopping buses will block the highway. This is a busy bus stop and carriageway waiting will artificially create additional congestion and pollution as well as limiting sight lines.

(The Council’s original plan had bizarrely been to reduce the carriageway to a single lane by creating a “pinch point”. Thankfully this potty idea has been abandoned).

The Council has been criticised in the way they have sought to reduce accident levels in this area.

The Council report says, “10 collisions were identified between the roundabout at Foxwood Lane and the junction with St James Place. Four of these collisions had comminality with children either stepping out or running into the road in front of a vehicle. Two of these collisions were located outside the Lidl supermarket, with the other two located at different positions along the route”.

Unfortunately no further analysis of the individual accidents has been provided although the implication is that excessive vehicle speed was the cause.

The most obvious remedy, when pedestrians are involved in accidents on a carriageway, is to ensure that they cross the road at the safest location. This can be achieved by fitting guard rails (and is certainly the obvious way to address any concerns about children running out from the store access path).

There already is a Toucan crossing at the Kingsway end of the road while a pedestrian refuge is available at the other end.

The Council failed to consult properly on their revised plans resorting to lamppost notifications which were highly unlikely to be read by anyone, and certainly not by drivers. Strangely the Council doesn’t advertise proposed traffic orders of this type on their own web site.

If the scheme goes ahead as planned – without safety railings – we fear that it will make things worse rather than better. Drivers will become frustrated and will try to overtake stationary buses and other vehicles at points where traffic currently runs freely for most of the day.

Time for a last minute rethink perhaps?

 

York Council consultation systems failing

The first residents knew of a plan to extend alcohol sale times at the local Tesco express store on Acomb Wood Drive was when one found a vandalised notice in a hedgerow.

It was unclear where, or for how long, the Council notice had been displayed but the date for representations had already passed.

Late night alcohol sales – in this case the application would allow sales from 7:00am to 11:00pm seven days a week – are an issue in the area where an adjacent pub already supplies on premises needs.

Residents only find out about licensing applications if they happen to access an obscure part of the Councils web site. On the page, they can download the latest list.

There is no option for interested parties to be alerted to changes through text or Email alerts.

We think that the Council needs to up its game on consultation and make use of increasingly sophisticated social media channels.

It still hasn’t rolled out the much-promised personal account system which it claimed would allow every individual citizen to interact with the authority.

6 months after access to litter reports was rolled out – with some success – other service reports are still dogged by inadequate feedback systems.

Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)

Thanet Road proposed road humps

Worse still is the publicity given to TROs. This is a statutory activity. The Council is required to advertise any proposed changes to parking, access, speed limit and other transport restrictions.

For many years, the draft orders appeared on an obscure page in the local paper.

One would reasonably think that in 2017 the orders would also be displayed on the Councils web site.

It appears not.

Use the search facility on the Councils web site and no TROs are displayed.

It is almost as if the Council didn’t want drivers to find out what they are planning to do!

If objections to an draft Order are received, the Council is required to consider them and make a public decision on each.

One of the TROs currently out for consultation concerns Thanet Road where a 20-mph speed limit – and traffic calming measures – may be introduced.

Anyone searching for Thanet Road on the Council web site will be disappointed.

It is a shame that the Council doesn’t make better use of its web site, Facebook and Twitter together with more traditional methods like noticeboards.

The noticeboards in Windsor Garth and Ascot Way (both close to Thanet Road) have not had any notices of any sort displayed on them for over a year!