Last Thursday York Cycle Campaign and Butcher Terrace resident Helen went to the Environment Agency Hub to find out what progress has been made regarding access arrangements during the installation of flood defences at Clementhorpe. Environment Agency employees Vikki McCausland and Steven Taylor were kind enough to put aside some time and talk us through what they are doing.
The Environment Agency have been carrying out more surveys in the Clementhorpe area to look at the underground conditions. Preliminary results suggest that the flood defences may not need to be as deep as originally thought. If that is the case then the flood defences will be able to be installed far more quickly than previous estimates suggested, and with less disruption. They can’t confirm anything yet, but if the flood defences don’t have to be as deep then they are hopeful that it might be possible to maintain some access for pedestrians and cyclists along Terry Avenue whilst the defences are installed.
With regard to construction logistics the Environment Agency are looking into the feasibility of using a barge to bring in construction materials (which would significantly reduce the amount of construction vehicles). There are a number of points that need to be confirmed as part of this including:
- Location of crane to unload material –Terry Avenue or barge
- Location of loading and unloading sites
- Structural stability of the Terry Avenue (it is built on an old river wall) and whether it can cope with this kind of load
- Public safety around site and loading areas
Regarding the construction compound, the Environment Agency are in discussion with the council and Sports England about taking down some of the fence around Rowntree Park and using the football pitch area adjacent to Rowntree Park, rather than the land to the south of Millennium Bridge. This will help to keep construction traffic separated from pedestrians and cyclists. They are also looking at creating a segregating path along Terry Avenue for cyclists and pedestrians, to ensure that they don’t have to interact with construction traffic. Banks-people will be used to manage to the movement of construction traffic, and the timings of vehicle movements can be managed to minimise noise and disruption to local people.
Regarding vehicle access for the caravan site and Roomzzz Hotel, the Environment Agency and council are currently reviewing the needs of the businesses. They are exploring whether the emergency access at the back of the caravan park can accommodate the anticipated traffic. They are also exploring fixed timings for service vehicles, alternative drop-off points for taxis and managed timings for caravan park arrivals and departures.
Over the coming weeks it will become clear which of these different access arrangements are feasible.
On 17th September the Environment Agency intends to hold a workshop, inviting representatives from different stakeholder groups to come and discuss the different access possibilities, and explore the pros and cons of various arrangements. The cycle campaign will continue to work with all the local community groups to find the best solution for everyone. A representative from the cycle campaign will attend the meeting and we’ll keep all cycle campaign members updated.