Planning updates – Lincoln Court and Lowfields

  • MUGA

    We understand that the Foxwood Residents Association have formally objected to the Councils plans to “replace” the children’s all-weather games area on Kingsway. The objection stems from the Councils proposal to build “fitness equipment” on Chesneys Field during the summer. The Association points out that no consultation has taken place over this proposal which could intensify the use of what is Public Open Space. When a similar idea was mooted 2 years ago, the preferred site for a fitness track was judged to be the Thanet Road Sports Area. The Association have suggested that the Council seek a partnership with the Acorn Rugby Club which could see a new 3G games area provided. Sport England have also objected to the Council’s plans

  • The Yorspace proposals for the Lowfields site have been criticised by the local Drainage Board. They are asking for further details of how surface water runoff will be handled. They point out the fact that – for the whole site –  water run off is likely to be more severe than occurs from the existing greenfield use. There are already some problems with flooding in the gardens of some properties in the Green Lane and Tudor Road area.
  • Separately the Lowfields Residents Group has objected to plans which would see the number of off street parking spaces reduced near 108 Tudor Road. They are also concerned about the traffic implications of building a new access road onto the Lowfields site

NB. The contract for “enabling works” at Lowfields was awarded to NMCN. It is valued at £260,000. The end date for the contract is 19th April 2019.

Extra time to give views on Fossgate improvement plans

Residents and businesses now have an extra week to give us their views on proposed plans to improve Fossgate, on of York’s most loved and vibrant shopping streets.

People have until midnight, Sunday 21 October to tell us their thoughts on the plans. They can do this by visiting www.york.gov.uk/fossgate or in the foyer at West Offices.

Fossgate is set for a £500,000 investment, and the council wants your views on measures to enhance and attract more visitors to the vibrant, distinct street in the heart of York.

Earlier this year, the council changed the direction of traffic along Fossgate, significantly reducing the amount of through-traffic along the street.

The council has been engaging with businesses, residents and the wider city to refine the plans which include:

  • Relaying the road surface and repaving the Yorkstone paths, replacing any tired or broken parts
  • Creating more attractive junctions at both ends of Fossgate, and widening the narrow footpaths at the Pavement end
  • Introducing new wider ‘built-out’ sections and street furniture like bike stands, benches and possibly trees
  • Introducing new ‘speed tables’ and crossing points

You can view the proposals and have your say online at www.york.gov.uk/fossgate or in the foyer of West Offices, Station Rise, YO1 6GA

Micklegate Bar closure to traffic: consultation set to start

New restrictions could be introduced on Micklegate, to prevent vehicles travelling outbound from the city, and reduce the impact of traffic on the historic bar walls.

A report being considered next week reveals that around 130 vehicles an hour (PM) use the outbound lane through the Bar to reach Blossom Street.

The report does not look in detail at the effects moving more traffic onto the inner ring road would have but it does sound the following word of caution

. It should be noted that significant work is planned on the Inner Ring Road at Queen Street over the next few years as part of the station frontage  scheme. Changes to the traffic restrictions through Micklegate Bar could increase the traffic levels and potentially delays on the Inner Ring Road
during the works.

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 is now being taken to a transport and planning decision session meeting on 13 September, to take forward these proposals.

The Council in a statement says, “If approved, this will pave way for a consultation, including an experimental Traffic Regulation order (TRO) for a maximum of 18 months during which time, depending on the outcome of the consultation, there will be the option of making the changes 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”.

Preferred option for closure of outbound section of Micklegate Bar September 2018

York central planners head for dead end on Leeman Road

The Marble Arch pedestrian tunnel does not meet modern standards.

Today’s announcement, that the Marble Arch tunnel will become singe file traffic when the York central  development proceeds, will come as major surprise to many.

The limitations of the route were recognised in the last decade when initial designs, for the regeneration of the York Central site, incorporated a new pedestrian/cycle path which crossed over the east coast main line.

It was recognised then that major work was needed if the route was to become attractive to visitors and residents alike. The new bridge would have crossed the railway line and the river Ouse.

Since then, the Council have opted to spend £5 million on a cycle facility next to the Scarborough railway bridge. This offers little to those coming from Leeman Road although some leaving the station may benefit.

The main problem with the Marble Arch tunnel is the lack of a waterproof membrane. This means that “gunge” seeps down the walls of both the traffic tunnel and the pedestrian route.

It can only be cleaned up for a limited period.

The installation of a waterproof membrane would be very costly and could seriously affect rail services while the work was done.

Single file traffic would have knock on effects across the whole network. Changes to the area in front of the station (and now at Micklegate Bar) would put further pressures on road space.

The Council must release the traffic modelling figures indicating how each option would cumulatively impact on movement.

Under current plans even public transport reliability could suffer.

The proposal needs a rethink.

Changes to traffic arrangements near Hospital on Wigginton Road

A meeting next week will consider plans to reduce bus journey times on Wigginton Road. There is a congestion black-spot near the hospital which may be made worse as more homes are built on land next to Nestle.

Wigginton Road mini roundabout set to be removed

A Council report says,

“Observation, analysis of bus journey time data and modelling all indicate that, since the improvements made at the Clarence Street/ Lord Mayor’s Walk junction, the worst source of unreliability for buses on the corridor is found on the stretch of Wigginton Road between the Crichton Avenue bridge and the Wigginton Road/ Haxby Road/ Clarence Street junction.

The delays are particularly severe at Hospital shift start and end times. At these times it usually takes around 8 minutes (and sometimes much longer) for buses to cover the 1.5 km between Crichton Avenue and the Bootham/ Gillygate junction – an average speed of 7mph”.

The proposals involve:

Remodelling the Wigginton Road/ Haxby Road/ Clarence Street junction (as shown in figure 1) to prioritise Wigginton Road traffic (saving of up to 20 seconds);

  • Replacing the existing mini-roundabout at the junction between Fountayne Street, Wigginton Road and the Hospital’s northern access road with a conventional give way junction

A council report says, “(saving of up to 10 seconds); and

  • Working with the bus operators to reduce the amount of time buses wait at the Fountayne Street pair of stops – by making changes to their fares structures and timing points so that vehicles no longer have to wait time at these stops (saving of up to 10 seconds)

Consultation on the plan will take place in the summer with a budget of £250,000 being set aside for implementation later in the year.

One major issue is likely to be the effect that the changes would have on the accessibility of the Hospital

York Council asks for comments on changes to Fossgate traffic flows

 City of York Council is asking for opinions on recent efforts to reduce traffic on one of the city centre’s busiest and best loved streets.

Last September, the council made Fossgate a pedestrian priority zone, except for access and cycles from 8am – 6pm and reversed the flow of traffic on an experimental basis.

Much of the traffic using Fossgate before the changes was breaking traffic regulations by using the street at times when general traffic was prohibited. The aim of the traffic flow reversal was to reduce the number of vehicles in this busy pedestrian area.

With the trial reaching six months on 17 March, the council’s executive member for transport and planning can decide whether to make the arrangements permanent after taking into account any objections.

If you have an opinion on the changes which you would like the executive member to consider when making the decision on whether the experiment should be made permanent, contact highway.regulation@york.gov.uk before 4:00pm on March 17 with your name, contact details and details of your objection or reasons for support.

If the decision is taken to make the arrangement permanent, the council will work with the local community to develop the designs for the layout and signage in the area for delivery later in the financial year.
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Changes in Fossgate traffic arrangements from Sunday

In a bid to help make Fossgate even more welcoming for residents and businesses a number of traffic changes are set to come into action on Sunday 17 September.

The changes include making the street a pedestrian priority zone including for access and cycles from 8am – 6pm and reversing the flow of traffic to help reduce the amount of through traffic. Road space will also be allocated for street cafes during certain hours.

The changes follow on from a consultation with businesses and residents on the street and after approval  on 22 June.

Old Fossgate

The scheme is being introduced as an experimental scheme that could run for up to 18 months. If any objections are made during the experimental period they will be considered before a decision is made on whether to make the scheme permanent.

If the trial is considered a success and made permanent more detailed design work will be carried out to replace the temporary measures and to improve the quality of the street.

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?

 

Improvements to reduce congestion on the A19 south at Crockey Hill

City of York Council is asking for comments on new proposals which could help reduce congestion on one of York’s busiest roads.

The scheme will reduce the average time taken to travel on the A19 South through the Fulford interchange junction and down the A19 to Crockey Hill by up to five minutes. The length of southbound queues will also be reduced by up to 50 per cent.

Over 20,000 vehicles use this route every day and at times over 1,200 vehicles use the junction every hour in one direction, which often causes queues and sections of the A19 to block.

As a result of so many vehicles using this road there are often large queues of traffic particularly southbound during busy times in the evening. This can cause what is known as a ‘pinch point’ or queues of traffic at the Crockey Hill traffic lights (junction of the A19 and Wheldrake Lane). This rapidly backs up to the A19/A64 Fulford Interchange which causes congestion on the A64 off slip-road and on the A19 in Fulford.

The scheme will help address this problem and supports phase 1 which was carried outover the summer of 2015. This helped to reduce congestion and improve public transport journey times and reliability northbound at the busy A19/A64 junction (near the Designer Outlet).

However, for southbound traffic going out of York, the problem of traffic queues in the evening remains.  Phase two will help to ease the build up of congestion along this busy section of road, reducing the risk of blocking the A19/A64 junction and improving public transport reliability and journey times.

Funded entirely from the Department for Transport (DfT) pinch point fund, the scheme is estimated to cost approximately £1million.


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