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
There is still some concern that verge reinstatement’s which are being reported as “complete” are actually quite unsightly. In part this may be put down to the recent very dry weather.
However, the local community should not have to put up with dust-bowl verges like those on Foxwood Lane – near Chesney’s Field – which were first dug up about 6 months ago.
Good to see TalkTalk contractors out n the Danesfort Avenue area repairing verges today. The dry weather has made reinstatement to an acceptable standard a challenge.
But residents are less happy about delays in other verge repairs.
Reinstatements on Foxwodo Lane have been outstanding for nearly 6 months
Concrete drives on Kingsthorpe have been repaired but adjacent verges are an eyesore
Verges in Kingsway West are appalling
Another overgrown cul de sac
The cul de sacs on Kingsway West are a particular problem. Overgrown, weed infested with many bare patches
A combination of wet weather and poor parking practices has seen several verges in the area churned up.
Among the worst is on on St Stephens Road where part the public footpath has been uprooted making it virtually impassible for pedestrians
Last year the York Council received a report on the problem. The report can be read by clicking here
Among other conclusions the report reveled that it costs £35 per sq mtr to repair damaged verges in the City.
We hope that the authorities will take prompt action to prevent damage of this sort and that proposals to provide more lay-bys in the area are implemented quickly
The York Council recently set up a working group to consider the problem of vehicles parking on grass verges. The problem became worse between 2011 and 2015 when the – mainly ward committee funded -lay-by provision programme was suspended.
Now the provision of additional car parking is one of the top requests for the use of the newly restored local budgets.
The working group’s – somewhat long-winded interim report – has now been published. The report comes to no final conclusion.
It has been obvious for some time that verges in vulnerable locations need to be strengthened.
The relativity new matrix protection systems are ideal as they retain the green appearance of the verges and allow water to drain through yet remain undamaged when cars park on them.
They are the type of project that all Ward Committees should be getting on with quickly.
A lot of residents did contact the Council to complain about damage to verges and many of these are evidenced in an annex to the report.
Any resident driving over a verge to access an off street parking space does need to pay for a proper verge crossover. Some estate improvement grants are available to tenants who want to install one.
Otherwise the Council should construct one and bill the property owner.
Unseeded verge Askham Lane
Utilities have been blamed for the deteriorating condition of some grassed areas in the Westfield ward. Problem area include the verge at the junction of The Green and Askham Lane.
Andrew Waller is chasing up action on the problem
Phone box weeds Foxwood
Yorkshire Water contractors also recently dug up an area to the rear of properties on Foxwood Lane. Unfortunately, although the site was leveled when the drainage project was finished, it was not reseeded and looks set to become a weed ridden mess.
Unseeded amenity area near Foxwood Lane
Pillar box weeds at Foxwood
Meanwhile weeds are taking over utility equipment at the Foxwood shops.
Both the telephone kiosk and the pillar box and gradually being engulfed.
Sheena Jackson has reported these issues for attention by the Council.