Coronavirus York updates; 15th June 2021

Government advice

Although York is not yet classed as an area where the Delta strain of the virus is most prolific, here is some advice from the government.

The new COVID-19 variant (known as Delta) spreads more easily than the other variants that were previously most common. To help stop the spread, you should:

  • Get both doses of the vaccine when you are offered it, and encourage others to do so as well
  • Participate in surge testing in your local area, whether you are vaccinated or not
  • Self-isolate immediately if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) or if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19

You should also take particular caution when meeting anyone outside your household or support bubble. Wherever possible, you should try to:

  • Meet outside rather than inside where possible
  • Keep 2 metres apart from people that you do not live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them), this includes friends and family you don’t live with
  • Minimise travel in and out of affected areas

The full government advice can be viewed by clicking here

York hospital patients and deaths

The York Hospital Trust has recorded its first COVID-19 death since 20th April. The fatality occurred on Friday. It brings the total number of deaths up to 593 since the start of the pandemic

The number of coronavirus patients being cared for by the Trust has increased to 6

The latest figures, covering the deaths’ of York residents, reveal that there was one fatality in a care home during the week ending 4th June.

The death brings the total toll among York residents, since the pandemic started, up to 379. This included (at 4th June) 221 hospital deaths, 128 in care homes, 22 at home and 8 in a hospice.

Test results

21 positive test results were announced today. Brings the cumulative total up to 12,649

The number of cases in the City has risen from 108 to 116

The rate /100k population has risen to 55.08. That is the highest rate recorded since 27th February 2021.

It is trending up to reach over 70+ before the end of the week


Only 5 neighbourhoods now have fewer than 3 cases.

A big step up in case numbers is expected over next three days


874 vaccinations were completed in the City yesterday (Monday)


  • 5319 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 10th June 2021
  • Of these, 2.0% were positive. That is an increase on the 1.9% found during the previous period.
  • In addition, 3044 “lateral flow” tests were also completed on 14th June.

York Council reacts to announcement about continuing restrictions

City of York Council have responded following the Prime Minister’s announcement relating to the delayed easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:

We know today’s news is frustrating for many who had high hopes for next week, however, there are still reasons to be optimistic. The vaccine rollout is continuing successfully and many of our local businesses have reopened safely giving us all the chance to once again enjoy so much that our city has to offer. Hopefully soon, with more people vaccinated, we will be able to take that next step safely.

“Throughout this pandemic, communities across York have come together and worked hard to look after each other. It has been a long and challenging period for us all, but I would encourage everyone to please keep going. Better times are ahead, as more of us get first and second doses of the vaccine.

“We are pleased though to see changes in the numbers allowed to attend weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, where social distancing measures allow. This will make a huge difference to many couples having their special day. Our Register Office will continue to support couples and will be contacting those who have booked ceremonies with us with further details. We will share more details when the guidance is published.

“We know this is difficult news for people and businesses who will be most directly impacted by this announcement. We will continue to support you, as we have done throughout the pandemic, and we will share more updates as guidance and information becomes available. Please continue to shop at local businesses who are working so hard to keep people safe.

“If you’re struggling to manage, or you don’t have any support, but need it because of COVID-19, please get in touch by emailing or calling telephone: 01904 551550. Businesses severely impacted by today’s announcement can get contact us by emailing the council’s Economic Growth team at”

Fiona Phillips, Assistant Director of Public Health said:

Whilst today’s news is disappointing, with increasing cases and hospital admissions across the country and the presence of the delta variant, it isn’t surprising.

“In recent days we have seen cases increase across York – it is vital that we all remain vigilant and keep each other safe.

“This has been a challenging time, but please keep going and check in on friends and family who may be struggling. Help is at hand should people need it and it is important we look after our mental health as well as physical health.

“Whilst the vaccine roll out is going very well, many in the city are yet to have the vaccine and get that protection. We know too with the delta variant how important a second dose is to boosting immunity so please when you get invited get both doses. Please help keep each other safe and the city open by continuing to:

  • wash your hands regularly
  • wear a face covering in busy public spaces and where asked
  • give people space
  • meet outside, or open windows letting fresh air indoors
  • get tested regularly; see more information about symptom-free testing
  • get the vaccine when you are eligible and get that second dose; See more information and book an appointment on the NHS website

“The vaccines are working and saving lives. This and the fact they are being administered in great numbers means that better times are ahead. The slowing of the roadmap gives the opportunity for more people to be protected in the hope we can have a great and safe summer.”

“e-bikes” to be added to York e-scooter trial?

See the source image

The trial of e-scooters has been operating in York since the 12th October.

According to a Council report, “the e-scooters are being introduced in a phased approach, gradually increasing the service area and number of e-scooters available.

This has split the city broadly into 5 sectors. Currently e-scooters are available in Sector 1 and 2, which includes e-scooter provision at the University of York, York Hospital, York St John’s University, and city centre locations.

 In the first six weeks of the trial, 10 parking locations were available for scooters with 116 e-scooters available for hire.

Over the first six weeks of the trial, 3,822 trips were taken, with a total of 25,012km travelled on e-scooters. During this period, no incidences (collisions) were reported”.

The report says, “other local authority areas participating in the trial have noted an increase in use of private e-scooters which remain illegal to ride on the public highway. Whilst their use has not been as prevalent in York, as the trial continues we may see a similar increase in use of private e scooters”.

The organisers of the scheme (TIER)  now want to expand the scooter numbers to 700 and add in some electric bikes.

 The rental of e-bikes would follow the same model as for e-scooters, with riders unlocking and paying for usage via a mobile phone app.  In line with government regulation, the maximum speed-assist of the e-bikes would be 15.5mph, with the power not exceeding 250 watts. Geo-fencing technology would be used to ensure a user cannot end their trip outside of designated parking locations and will continue the hire cost if left outside of these locations.

Pricing for e-bikes would be at the same cost as e-scooters, with £1 to unlock and £0.15 per minute to ride. (Thus a 20 minute ride from Acomb to the City centre would cost more than the equivalent bus fare)

Communal use transport, of course,  presents its own issues during the pandemic.

The proposal is to expand use as follows;

Sector 3 to include Clifton and Rawcliffe in January;

· Sector 4 to include Southbank and Heworth in February;

· Sector 5 to expand to the rest of the city from March 2021.

A meeting next week will decide whether to agree to expand the number of e-scooters available to 700. It is unclear how many e-bikes might be deployed.

There have been many previous attempts made to establish casual bike hire services in York. None have been successful, possibly because of the compact nature of the City which makes walking a viable option for many “journeys”.

£2 billion cost to achieve “zero carbon” York

A new council report says that the City will have to invest between £1.1 and £2.3 billion to become “Carbon Neutral” by 2030.

It is the first time that a figure has been put on the ambition to reach net zero carbon within 10 years.

A meeting next week will also consider an academic report into climate change issues in the City.

The report claims

that York could close the gap between its projected emissions in 2030 and net zero emissions by 47% purely through the adoption of cost-effective options in houses, public and commercial buildings, transport and industry”.

“The most carbon effective options for the city to deliver these carbon cuts include improved deep retrofitting of heating, lighting and insulation in houses, cooling and insulation in offices, shops and restaurants, and a range of measures across the transport sector including mode shift to non-motorised transport and the wider up-take of electric vehicles”.

The report accepts that these initiative alone would not be sufficient to achieve the target with another 31% reduction needed from “more innovative interventions”.

The report is likely to be met with some scepticism. The recent lockdowns have told us more about what is possible and what is likely to happen.

On the positive side, more people are working from home eliminating one source of transport emissions. Air quality in the City is now better than has previously been recorded in modern times.

The numbers of electric vehicles being purchased is also increasing.

On the negative side, there has actually been a drop in the number of people cycling and using public transport. The drop in the use of latter has been dramatic and it remains to be seen how quickly confidence in using buses will return.

The Council proposes to appoint – a slightly pretentiously labelled – Climate Commission.

How a climate change works programme could be funded – given the already spiralling level of debt at both City and national level – remains to be seen.

We have a plan. Lets call it a “Transport and Place Strategy”?

5 obscure HTTP methods - Twilio
We know they’ve got a plan. Must have by by now. Surely
Further details on how City of York Council is supporting businesses through a new Economic Recovery – Transport and Place Strategy –  which will help accelerate rebuilding a healthy and inclusive economy, launches next month.

However the Council won’t meet to debate the plan until the end of June by which time many workers will have returned to their jobs.

As the government relaxes the restrictions for retailers from 15 June, the council is developing a strategy to build visitor, resident and stakeholder confidence that York is a safe, healthy and attractive place for everyone.

This new strategy forms part of the council’s Recovery and Renewal Strategy.  The Economic Recovery – Transport and Place Strategy is in five interdependent strands that will be delivered over the next few months.

The strategy will focus on:

  • prioritising active travel (including cycling and walking) by investing in and improving park and cycle sites, increased cycle parking and new cycle routes
bintykins — I recently bought a cute bike and I am so happy...

The Big Idea? Park and cycle has been tried before with limited success. This is partly because of security/parking issues, partly because many people do not own or can’t ride an appropriate type of bike, or they may have physical capacity limitations and/or have concerns about cycling in poor weather.

  • providing a short term approach to car travel including “incentivised short stay parking” in some of the city centre car parks
  • maintaining confidence in and responding to the short term reduction in capacity on public transport – by working with bus and rail operators to ensure people can continue to use public transport with confidence
  • creating a people focussed city centre including increasing the city centre foot streets and public spaces to create an attractive environment that people can visit with confidence with space to social distance

The council says it “will deliver these measures at pace to best accelerate the recovery of the economy, allowing doors to open safely in June whilst protecting residents’ safety”.

The media release pointedly fails to recognise the barriers to walking and cycling in sub-urban and village areas where unsafe highway  surfaces and obstructions are major concerns. 

The Council says that residents will be able to give feedback about the plan once measures are in place by participating in the city-wide consultation “Our Big Conversation” helping to set a long-term vision for the city. This will be launched in the next couple of weeks

“Many of the transport and place measures will run for the duration of the one year period and potentially beyond. Although all measures will need to be flexible and remain under review based on government guidance, public health advice, local resident and business feedback, and ongoing assessments of the outcomes of the interventions”


“Extra” York highways repair funding is £1.8 million

There was some excitement last week when the government announced extra funding to tackle “pothole” repairs. The top line figure bandied around was an increase of £5.6 million.

That would have effectively doubled the York Councils highway repairs budget.

It turns out that this included already committed grants which have already been allocated to cover this years repairs programme.

The actual new money increase is £1.8 million.

Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation engineers

Even this is not additional money. As the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation has now made clear, it is simply expenditure being re categorised.

It is not the first time that a government has announced the same spending decision on multiple occasions.

Still a substantial sum but, to put it into context, last year the Council spent £1/2 million just repairing one street (Stonegate).

The sooner the Council comes up with proposals – including the use of funds delegated to wards – for the resurfacing programme for this year the better.

Roads will only get busier as the virus threat recedes and people get back to their more normal lifestyles. Road closures and subsequent delays later in the year could impede the City’s economic recovery.

There must be a sense of urgency

Government funding for “pothole” repairs May 2020

Coronavirus York updates; 15th May 2020

Police fines

926 fines were issued by North Yorkshire Police between March 27 and May 11 for alleged breaches of the coronavirus lockdown laws. 179 of these were in York.

Virus transmission rates highest in Yorkshire

YORKSHIRE has the highest coronavirus transmission rate in England. Both the North East and Yorkshire have a transmission rate of 0.8 – the highest in England. It means that for every 10 people who are infected, they are likely to pass it on to eight other people. London’s average rate, meanwhile, has fallen to 0.4.


ONE more patient with coronavirus has died at a hospital within the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The one further death takes the total number of Covid-19 related fatalities within the trust to 187.The trust includes York Hospital and Scarborough

The lost test results

An opportunity on Tuesday to quiz York’s Director of Public Health about the missing results from the test centre at Poppleton.

It appears that results from a across the country have disappeared (see press cutting below) .

There has been a surprising lack of comment on the issue from local MPs and Councillors.

Residents are invited to watch and interact with the council’s next live #AskTheLeaders coronavirus question and answer session on City of York Council’s Facebook page on Tuesday 19 May, 5-6pm.

Residents can interact with the Q & A session on Tuesday by either submitting questions in advance by emailing them to or commenting on the live video on Facebook 

Coronavirus York updates; 11th May 2020

Deaths pass 100

YORK Hospital has now recorded more than 100 deaths of patients who had Covid-19, the trust has confirmed. Today’s daily death figures show that up until May 10, York Hospital had record 103 deaths.

Relationships website launched

A new website is being launched to offer families information, tips and help on how to maintain positive relationships during stressful times like the current coronavirus emergency.

Whether couples are together or separated, disagreements are completely normal. But evidence shows that regular conflict has a big impact on children.

All relationships have tricky moments it is how they’re experienced and resolved that matters especially at the moment for getting us through enforced self- isolation, lock down and social distancing.  We are all spending longer periods of time with our loved ones and this is bound to bring about some added challenges. Whether couples are together or separated the way they communicate can impact on their relationship and their children.

Relationship Matters can help everyone recognise the sign such as:

  • arguing, rows, shouting all the time about things like, money, how you parent, housework
  • being worried about splitting up
  • sulking, silent treatment, slamming doors or walking away from each other
  • being anxious or worried which gets in the way of managing everyday life
  • not being able to say sorry after an argument and move on
  • using hurtful texts, emails or Facebook against each other

The website can give everyone tips, information and help to stay calm, work out what needs to happen and signpost in order to get some help.

So are vehicle speeds getting higher on York’s streets?

Much reduced traffic volumes have resulted in some claims that vehicle speeds have increased. Yesterday figures emerged which suggested that a small number of drivers on major roads like the A64 were exceeding the prevailing speed limit. Camera vans had caught 137 speeders during a 2 week period.

More anecdotal evidence suggests that quieter sub-urban and rural roads have encouraged more considerate driving behaviours.

The latest speed check results do suggest that most drivers – before the lockdown – were respecting the prevailing speed limit.

Checks are undertaken by the Fire service which uses equipment which records the speeds 24/7 on particular section of road. The deployment of he equipment is prompted by complaints. Details can be found on this web site (click)

Priority is given to locations with a high accident record. A report is published giving both the mean recorded speed and the speed the limit that 85% of drivers observe.

A decision is then made as to whether any further action is required. This might take the form of enforcement, engineering works or the use of community speed watch equipment.

47 Roads in York have been checked over the last year.

The most striking result is that there  is a high level of compliance with the speed limit on most roads in and around the City.

There are exceptions with the 20 mph limit in Heslington Lane in Fulford seeing (85%ile) speeds of between 25 and 28 mph. A similar picture on New Lane in Holgate where speeds of between 24 and 28 mph were recorded in the 20 mph zone. Sandy Lane in Stockton on Forest saw speeds of 38/39 mph within the 30 mph limit.

No details of any checks made since the lockdown restrictions were imposed, have been published.

The next roads due to be checked are

  • Corban Lane, Wigginton;
  • Moorlands Road, Skelton;
  • Manor Lane, York;
  • Ryecroft Avenue, Woodthorpe;
  • Station Road, Haxby;
  • A1036 Sim Balk Lane;
  • The Village, Haxby and
  • the A166 near Murton Lane.