Wereporteda few weeks ago that we hoped to persuade the York Council to get to grips with outstanding maintenance issues on Foss Islands Road. The main problem related to lack of care for the cultivated areas lying between the public highway and the private shops boundary.
We said at the time that we were confident that it was a Council responsibility to cut back and maintain the area between the public footpath and the carriageway.
The Council have now confirmed that this is the case.
Officials have suggested that this area is either wild flowered or reseeded and cut as with other roadside verges 10 times a year. Any remedial work will take place in the spring. The Council will however be giving it a general cut back early in the new year.
Unfortunately no one is admitting liability for maintaining the area outside the public footpath although it seems likely that the frontagers will have some responsibilities.
This busy part of the City is seen by hundreds of thousands of people each year.
We reported earlier in the year that the verge and planted areas on Foss Islands Road needed to be cut back. They were overgrown with nettles, thistles and other weeds.
We expected that this issue would have been sorted by now but a visit today revealed that the problems continue. This is particularly disappointing in an area which is visible from the City Walls and which a large number of people see each week.
We have now formally approached the Council to determine who is responsible for maintenance and to what standards.
In response to a Freedom of Information request, the York Council has issued a list of grassed areas that it hopes to “edge” this year.
The areas are all in the ownership of the housing and leisure departments. The list can be downloaded from here,
The request came after the Foxwood Residents Association appointed contractors to tidy up amenity area paths in their area. “The Foxwood Project” involves work on grassed areas like the Thanet Road Sports area. It is now well advanced, although recent rain has hindered progress.
Grassed verges reman a concern both in Foxwood and in other parts of west York. These haven’t been included in a formal programme of work for several years following maintenance funding cuts. The result is that several verges have now extended over adjacent public footpaths causing obstructions. Residents in the Ridgeway area recently petitioned for their paths to be “edged”.
The Council says that it is drawing up a programme of verge work and that it hopes to include Foxwood Lane and Bellhouse Way in the programme.
It is understood that the Council has used “community payback” schemes to make limited progress on the backlog of work.
In our view contractors need to be brought in to tackle the worst of the problem verges.
They’re a particular hazard for older pedestrians where adjacent hedges are also overgrown.
We’ve said before that the length of time it takes the York Council to install parking bays is excessive.
In some cases, even surveying possible sites has taken over a year. That’s too long. The Council should put the work out to a contractor on a “design and build” basis.
Here are a couple of roads where residents have been waiting over 2 years for work to start (lay-bys are funded through delegated ward budgets).
Longest outstanding job is outside the flats on Askham Lane. Been waiting for nearly 4 years. Drivers have little option but to park on the verge. although this doesn’t help the appearance of the area
The Council has been agonising for over 2 years about where to put a lay-by on Dijon Avenue. It is needed before building work starts on the Lowfield School site. After saying that the lay-by should be built near the junction with Green Lane they decided a few weeks ago that it wasn’t practical because of electrical plant under the verge. Nevertheless drivers still park on the verges in the area
Also in Dijon Avenue we’ve reported damaged fencing around the amenity area
Local LibDem Councillor Sue Hunter will present 4 petitions to the York Council meeting on Thursday.
They cover the following issues raised by residents.
Speed humps on Askham Lane need repairs
(i) regarding the following improvements prior to any further building work starting in the Hob Moor area:
Improving the access along Kingsway West/Ascot Way, removing where necessary, the grass verge
Providing dropped kerbs of lay-by parking where this doesn’t already exist
Providing alternative, modern, children’s play facilities before any existing provision is removed
(ii) regarding having roads and footpaths in the Ridgeway area repaired and, where necessary, resurfaced and that grass verges be “edged” and hedges trimmed back so that the original widths of footpaths are restored.
(iii) regarding having roads and footpaths (including speed cushions) at the low numbered end of Askham Lane repaired and that grass verges be “edged” and that hedges/trees are trimmed back so that the original width of the footpath is restored.
(iv) calling on Talk Talk to repair the footpaths and verges that they have damaged during their works
Petitions presented at full Council meetings are normally referred for an officer report to be prepared. They are then considered by a Council committee.
The York Council seems to be slipping into an alternative world as they launch “democracy week” in the City. They suggest various ways of influencing their policies and priorities including attending “budget consultation meetings”.
They seem to have developed a blind spot about the quality of some of the public services in the city.
Roads, footpaths and verges in many areas are now in appalling condition and this before we suffer the ravages of icy winter weather.
Reality check needed
One resident has written to us to complain about his difficulty in getting potholes repaired in a local road “the complaints procedure is a farce”
Potholes on poorly maintained carriageway in Welborne Close