Clementhorpe flood defence proposals: “Serious safety failings” remain

The Environment Agency has now submitted an amended Clementhorpe and Southbank flood alleviation scheme works. You can see the documents associated with their amended proposal here, using the reference 19/00570/FUL in the search box. However, in our view serious safety failings remain and we will be submitting an objection on highway safety grounds.

The amended plans suggest that the works will not be as extensive and as a result are expected to take around one year, rather than the year and a half anticipated for the previous plans. We note that the traffic management plan incorporates some significant improvements for cyclists including the movement of the site compound to the Southernmost point of Rowntree park, which improves safety, and minimises cross traffic with pedestrians and cyclists using the Millennium Bridge and Butcher Terrace route. We are also pleased to see that the amended plans will allow pedestrians and cyclists to pass along Terry Avenue for the majority of the duration of the works.  We appreciate the Environment Agency listening to us over these particular concerns and working with us to find better alternative solutions. 

Cyclists face sharing Terry Avenue & Butcher Terrace with large volumes of two-way motor traffic

However, we are greatly concerned to see that cyclists using Butcher Terrace and Terry Avenue are still expected to mix with large volumes of two-way traffic, including construction vehicles, caravans, hotel delivery lorries and taxis. Recent counts carried out by the cycle campaign and local residents show that on an average weekday rush hour (8-9am) some 500 cyclists and more than 250 pedestrians pass down Butcher Terrace. Combining data from our own cycle counts and the Council’s automatic cycle counters we estimate that around 2000 cyclists pass along Butcher Terrace every day, whilst Terry Avenue sees around 1200 cyclists each day.     

Given that both Butcher Terrace and Terry Avenue are key walk/cycle routes we are greatly surprised that the amended plans provide no data on current levels of vehicle, cycle and pedestrian traffic, or anticipated levels under the suggested traffic management plan. We are also surprised that no risk assessment for the traffic management plan has been published, and that alternative traffic management plans are not fully explored and costed.  

We note that the amended plans do put in place some mitigation measures such as speed limits and speed bumps, plus vehicles giving way to cyclists travelling southbound along Terry Avenue. Meanwhile, on Butcher Terrace it is suggested that the additional traffic is managed by implementing parking bay suspensions on the Northern side of the road. However, we are concerned that these mitigation measures do not adequately reduce the risk to pedestrians and cyclists.

We have shared some of our concerns with local press.

In conclusion we believe that there are still serious safety failings with the amended plans and we will be submitting an objection outlining our concerns and asking the Environment Agency to publish a full risk assessment and to explore other mitigation strategies (such as restricting the times that vehicle traffic can use the route and making use of the back entrance to the caravan park for some vehicle traffic) to minimise risk to cyclists and pedestrians. We encourage members to submit their own thoughts on the amended plans via the planning portal or emailing comments to planning.comments@york.gov.uk and including your name and address, plus the reference the reference 19/00570/FUL in your email. Note that the consultation expiry date is Monday 18th November, although the planning officer has informed us that they will try to consider late submissions. 

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