Bad week for congestion in York

There has been a lot of congestion in York over the last week or so.  With many visitors coming for the Christmas markets and the “Winter Wonderland” the influx is potentially good news for the local economy.

But transport systems have capacity limits and these were reached at times with the Designer Centre car parks effectively full and Park and Ride services compromised.

Queues at the hospital car park have caused delays on bus services while even cyclists have found it difficult to find vacant City centre cycle racks.

Lenin addresses people waiting in a Waitrose queue?

Add in the arrival of General Election campaigners eager to be filmed with a backdrop of crowds of people and the new security barriers, which hinder movement in areas like St Helen’s Square, and things have turned decidedly awkward even for pedestrians.

So, what’s to be done?

We have criticised the Council before about its failure to utilise modern technology to ease travel woes. The real time parking space availability map was removed from their web site last year.

Many of the parking space availability signs which can be seen on arterial roads didn’t work for a long time.

On line site parking space availability web site abandoned by York Council

 A promised link through GPS to car navigation systems – which would help to direct vehicles to car parks where there were spaces – has not materialised.

As a result, vehicles still circle the City looking for spaces, which sometimes don’t exist, adding to congestion and pollution levels.

The York Council needs to raise its game.

On busy days, it should be tweeting updates on at least an hourly basis. Variable message signs on approach roads should be similarly updated. Local Radio has a part to play.

It would be relatively easy to add a CCTV link displaying the conditions at key locations to the Council web site. North Yorkshire already do this (albeit mainly to provide information on road conditions)

Modern problems need modern solutions.

Sadly at the moment there seems to be little sign of urgency at West Offices on the need to further improve traffic management in the City.

New restrictions for vehicles on Micklegate to be introduced from 10 December

Micklegate Bar

City of York Council is introducing new restrictions on Micklegate from Monday 10 December, to prevent vehicles travelling outbound from the city and reduce the impact of traffic on the historic bar walls.

A statement from the York Council says,

“A call for the outbound closure of Micklegate Bar was debated by councillors at a Full Council meeting on 19 July. Following this, a report was taken to a transport and planning decision session meeting on 13 September, to take these proposals forward.

This has paved way for an experimental Traffic Regulation order (TRO) to be introduced for a maximum of 18 months, during which time the changes could become permanent.

The TRO will help determine the benefits of restricting vehicles in Micklegate and will allow the local community and businesses the opportunity to experience the changes before making representations.

During this 18 month period, there will be an outbound road closure only (cycle access will be available in both directions). This means the road will be open to inbound traffic through Micklegate Bar from Blossom Street/Nunnery Lane/Queen Street.

Signage will be installed at Micklegate Bar, with temporary information signs placed on all approaches”.

During the debate on the plan concerns were expressed about increased traffic congestion on alternative routes. Some traders feared a reduction in “drop in” trade.

The Council has also announced major road works on the alternative inner ring road route which passes the railway station. It is expected that the Queen Street bridge will be demolished as part of that programme of works.

For more information about the scheme, a report from the decision session on Thursday 13 September can be read at: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=738&MId=10859 “

York tech companies invited to supply £2.85m project

The city’s tech companies are being urged not to miss the opportunity to supply City of York Council on a ground-breaking £2.85m project to change the way the city manages traffic.

We want to hear from companies that supply high quality IT infrastructure, transport technology, data collection/processing or have an expertise in data visualisation and presentation to join our Smart Transport Evolution Project (STEP). STEP is a £2.85m project funded by the Department for Transport which looks how digital technology can improve travel.

Companies are being invited to an event on Friday 23 November at the National Railway Museum where we will be running two sessions. Spaces are limited so people are urged to sign up in advance. During these people will be given a short walk through of the STEP project, an opportunity to meet the project team to Explore how your service or product could develop the project and to meet other companies in the supply chain.

This DfT funded project will change the way York and potentilly all historic cities manage traffic, relieving congestion and reducing emissions in York and potentially across the globe. To learn more, visit https://www.york.gov.uk/smart

For more information or to register visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-tech-supplier-event-for-step-a-285m-project-in-york-tickets-51580813602

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Bad week for traffic congestion in York

It’s been a bad week for traffic congestion in York. Mostly seems to be down to road works with some – like the installation of a new pedestrian crossing on Thanet Road, near the Foxwood Lane junction running several days behind schedule.

The Councils twitter links seem to be off the pace with neither @iTravel nor @york_travel ‏offering much help.

You can check traffic conditions before setting out by visiting this web page https://roadworks.org/

Click for update

Cars set to chat to each other on Holgate Road

York has been selected by the government’s Department for Transport (DfT) to trial new technology that could revolutionise the way we manage traffic flow and digital technology in vehicles in England.

The DfT announced today that City of York Council (CYC) was successfully awarded a share of £2million funding from the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems grant (CITS) to lead on this special project.

The £300k funding will be used to gather research, intelligence and data in York over a two year period from April.

The aim of the trial is to demonstrate that the new technology will improve traffic flow, congestion, road safety and online connectivity.

The trial in York will focus on the A59 corridor from the Park & Ride site to Holgate Bridge. It will start by using location data collected from vehicles monitored by company INRIX Ltd, which monitors traffic flow across Europe, and are one of the project’s partners to trial better phasing of traffic signals.

In later stages, parts of CYC’s fleet and other vehicles will be fitted with communications to allow them to ‘speak’ to traffic signals along the A59. The trial will also provide the commercial partners in the project from across the country with the opportunity to showcase their products here in York.
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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.