Generally public service standards on Council housing estates in the centre of the City have been better than those experienced in the suburbs.
This is probably because core services (highway maintenance, street cleansing, grass cutting, graffiti removal etc) are more in the public eye. Consequently issues are more likely to be reported.
However there are exceptions. There is emerging evidence that service level agreement standards are not being met.
The Hope Street/Long Close Lane area has its fair share of issues. Principal among them is of course the long term empty Willow House building. Lack of progress by the Council in selling the building – which could provide housing for dozens of people – is shameful
Elsewhere the Groves area also has its fair share of problems
It seems that through traffic will be banned from The Groves area following a meeting next week.
A reportrecommends road closures on Lowther Street and Penleys Grove Street in the wake of complaints about safety and emission issues.
The report fails to provide any accident information either
for the streets affected or the “alternative” routes (Lord Mayors Walk,
Dodsworth Avenue etc.) which will see increases in traffic volumes.
Nor are any “before” or
target “after” air pollution figures provided
Without these it will be impossible to judge whether any
change could be judged a success.
The area is already covered by a 20-mph speed limit (one of the
oldest in York).
What can be said is that the “short cutting” traffic is
intrusive, noisy and can cause vibrations particularly in streets with traffic
calming road humps. Residents living on
the affected streets would certainly enjoy an improved quality of life.
The quid pro quo of course is that the road closures
would also increase journey length and durations for many car trips from and to
The traffic impact figures – assessed using the Councils sophisticated computer model – are expressed in very cautious terms. It is almost as if officials had discovered that the peak hour impact on congestion was potentially calamitous.
There is no origin and destination data provided. We don’t
know how the changes will affect, for example, ambulance journey times to the nearby
hospital. It is information that must be provided before an informed decision could
It is also surprising – given the apparent concerns about
pollution levels -that no consideration has been given to declaring the area a low
emission zone. The new coalition Council has been very slow to reverse the Tory
led campaign to have ResPark low emission vehicle discount charges abolished.
The decision took effect at the beginning of the year.
The declaration of an ultra-low emission zone (basically
allowing access only to electric vehicles) will of course have to wait until the
Council solves the “on street” charging issue.
The plans involve the whole of The Groves area becoming a single ResPark zone. The zone will include the Monk Bar car park and the St Johns Campus.
NB. The same meeting will hearabout plans to redesign the Monk Bar/Lord Mayors Walk junction. New traffic lights will be provided at the same time.
Following a petition organised by local residents the Council, is to discuss next week the action that it needs to take to address anti social behaviour activities in the Groves area.
The Council says that it is “currently working on the process for the PSPO of which public consultation is an important part. Public meetings are planned to take place which will including the local residents association”.
The governments, public spaces protection orders are intended to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in a particular area that is detrimental to the local community’s qualify of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone. The order could also be used to deal with likely future problems. (more…)