York Council now tackling weed growth issues in west York

Pleased to report that the Council has been out and about dealing with some of the issues that we have reported regarding weed growth. Several areas have been cleared this week including the little Green Lane garage forecourt. .

The Kingsway West garage forecourt area has been cleared of weeds.
Weeds have been cleared from Hotham Avenue and Sandown Close (Windsor Garth)
The Marston Avenue garage area is also now clear of weed growth

Still a lot to do. The next application of weedkiller is due at the end of the month.

Fly tipping, weed control contract under scrutiny again

We had hoped that work on keeping paths and hard surfaced areas free of weed growth would be more successful than last year.

Despite treatment starting over a month ago it does look like several areas have again been missed off the programme.

Local residents have treated parts of some problem areas to test how long proprietary weedkillers take to clear undergrowth off paths and forecourts.

If the treatment is successful then there will be some serious questions for the Council to answer about their performance.

Weeds on Kingsway garage area
Kingsway garage area
Hotham Avenue weeds
Residents have started to clear the weeds from round the trees near Herman Walk. Three of the trees ate dead and we hope to see them replaced in the autumn
Playgrounds still closed because of the health crisis. We hope that the Council will have repaired the equipment before the Chesney Field area is brought back into use
Still some dumping around. We’ve reported this trolley which was left in the Chapelfields area
We’ve also reported rubbish left on Askham Lane (rural)

Invasive weeds on the march again

We hoped that we had seen the last of the damaging weed growth that threatened to wreck footpath and forecourt surfaces  last summer.  

The Council’s weed control programme failed last year but there are hopes that things will be better this year.

We were advised that a first application of weed killer to paths and gutters  took place in April.

Recent damp but warm weather has encouraged plant growth and the inevitable appearance of weeds. There seems to be little evidence in some streets and back lanes of “die back” from the application.

However weed control operatives have been seen in various parts of the City so it may be too early to draw conclusions.

One worrying trend has been the reappearance of  tough weeds like “Horses/Mares Tail”. There have been sightings of this pervasive and destructive weed in several locations including Windsor Garth, Green Lane, Kir Crescent and Marston Avenue. In each case damage is being caused to footpath or road surfaces. This is likely to be expensive to repair.

There is a proprietary “diamond” weed killer which eliminates weeds like this as well as nettles and thistles. It is not clear whether the Council has specified the use of this product in problem areas.

If it hasn’t then it needs  to get a move on with applying the chemical quickly to avoid further damage and expense.

Kir Crescent
Little Green Lane garage area
Weeds growing on back lanes
Another problem location near Sandown Close

“Cut your hedge”, say York Council

The Council has tweeted today asking people to ensure that any boundary hedges are trimmed back from public roads and paths. They say this will help with “social distancing”.

The Council is right to do so.

Many people will have time to undertake the chore during the bank holiday weekend.

The Council also rightly asks hedge owners to be careful not to disturb any birds which may be nesting in the hedge.

Hedges overgrowing back lanes are a particular issue in some areas

Meanwhile there has been rapid grass growth this week with several verges and amenity areas becoming overgrown. We have reported several.

Some cul de sacs are in need of a “deep clean”
Weed growth in Holgate Beck could affect drainage flows during periods of heavy rain

Path obstructions hinder social distancing

The Council has started to put signs out warning about upcoming road resurfacing schemes in areas like Tadcaster Road, Nunnery Lane and James Street.

Unfortunately some of the signs are blocking footpaths making “social distancing” more difficult.

Council signs blocking footpaths on Tadcaster Road

Some Councillors have promised to take up the issue but really a more fundamental change is needed.

Signs could be place on lampposts at a height that would inconvenience no one while being clearer to all road and path users.

Weed growth and faded signage on neglected cycle paths near A1237 at Clifton Moor

There are also increasing problems with paths being blocked by overgrown hedges while weed growth go unchecked on the path surfaces.

Social distancing difficult on the River Ouse cycle/foot path near Scarborough bridge

There are concerns that some locations, which had problems with weed growth in 2019, have again been omitted from this year’s treatment programme.

No sign of weed “die back” on Tadcaster Road cycle track

There is little evidence of “die back” on some routes despite the first treatment cycle having finished.

Overgrown hedges have blocked the footpath at Clifton Moor
Carriageway and cycle lane impeded also at Clifton Moor

That was the week that was in photos

Unusual to see full bottles dumped next to the bottle bank at Acomb Car park!
Sadly still some dumping next to the bins. it has been suggested that the larger amenity sites like Hazel Court should reopen to residents. They have remained open for the disposal of trade waste. With green and bulky waste collection suspended, this would make sense provided social distancing can be maintained. We think that use levels could be controlled if specific days were allocated to individual neighbourhoods – possibly using a colour codes system. Real time “on line” monitoring of queue lengths – also suggested for supermarkets – would also help.
We’ve reported the full litter bin (and dumping) at the Acomb Car park
On the other side of the City, local Councillor Mark Warters has brokered an agreement with B & Q (which has now re-opened) aimed at avoiding HGVs blocking the access road. They will in future move straight into the delivery yard.
Elsewhere the recent mix of rain and sunshine has resulted in a rapid growth in weeds and hedges. Some are now blocking paths
Snicket still accessible on Wetherby Road but has been a problem in the past
Nettle growth at the entrance to the Westfield park has caused problems in the past. It should be on the new weed control programme but there is no evidence of “die back”
Nettles can also be a hazard when they reduce the width of public footpaths
We’ve asked for detritus to be swept from the Chesney Field snicket …..
& from the drainage gulleys in The Green area
An accumulation of litter on this snicket in Foxwood. Generally, though, the estate has been much cleaner recently.
The section of Gale Lane from St Stephens Road to Foxwood Lane which will be resurfaced this year.
Unfortunately there are many potholed carriageways which don’t appear in the Councils programme. This one is in Foxwood.
….and still no action to repair the poor road surface on Lowfields Drive
Uneven footpaths in Chapelfields have also not made it into the Councils repair programme
There was some hope that the budget delegated to wards specifically for improvements for pedestrians would lead to hard core being put down on part of the Grange Lane park access path. No programme of work has been published by the Council although the funding has been available for nearly a year now.
Damaged fence on Lowfields Drive reported
Finally we hope that the local Councillors will get round to publishing a neighbourhood list of takeaways which are continuing to provide a delivery service for the local community. Many have gone to great lengths to observe “social distancing” guidelines. We need these local businesses to survive the current lock-down difficulties. They deserve the support of the Council and local residents. At the very least the Council should maintain an up to date list of the food delivery services available within each local community. The list should be publicised on local noticeboards and on social media. Ideally it should be included on a leaflet delivered to each home. (The leaflet that the Council recently delivered only included about 20% of the suppliers still operating in the Acomb/Foxwood/Woodthorpe area).
We are compiling our own list which we hope to publish here next week.

Weed spraying programme published by York Council

York Council contractors are spraying weeds across the City over the next 3 weeks. A programme has been published (below).

They are making an early start this year to try to avoid the problems of last year.

The contractors are scheduled to be in the Westfield and Dringhouses areas a week on Friday (16th April).

Weed growth summer 2019

Weed control contractor sacked by York Council

The York Council has terminated the weed control contract which drew huge numbers of complaints during the summer months.

It became clear as early as June that something was sadly amiss.

It later turned out that many roads had been omitted from the contract.

Even those roads that were included rapidly became overgrown with weeds.

In the end local residents were forced to clear vegetation from locations where it posed a hazard. Later Council staff also joined in a clean up operation.

We only hope that any new contract includes both an input and an output specification and that it is properly supervised.

Foss Islands Road tidy up hope

Overgrown verges on Foss Islands Road

We reported a 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.

It is clearly on view from the iconic City Walls.

It should be kept in a tidy condition. 

 

Plea to sort out Foss Island Road maintenance problems

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.

Foss Islands Road