Cycle ride with Councillors in Rawcliffe and Clifton Without

A ride was organised by members of York Cycling Campaign for councillors in the ward in order to view some of the problems and some of the good provision within the ward.

Two of the ward councillors were able to attend: Sam Waudby and Daryl Smalley.  From YCC the participants were Tom Franklin, Robyn Jankel and David Hirst. A big thank you to Sam and Daryl for taking the time and trouble to join us, and especially to Sam who hasn’t cycled for a long while.

The Route taken is shown on the map below:

© Google Maps 2020

This differs from the original proposal by going into Clifton Moor and cutting the route to 8.25km. 

The following highlights some of the issues raised. Most of which can be found at the flags on this map.

Some of the cycle routes in the area are difficult or dangerous to use (or both). Problems that we encountered include:

  • Cycling without any protection on a main road eg (Shipton Road – A19) where there is no provision for cycling South of Loweswater Road.
  • Narrow cycle paths eg much of the route 65 past Rawcliffe Country Park, the path round Rawcliffe Lake.
  • Dangerous footpath/cycleway eg along the A1237 over the Ouse and railway.
  • Dangerous junctions eg Shipton Road / A1237, cycle path emerging from Shipton Road onto Manor Lane, Roundabout at Stirling Road/Clifton Moor Gate etc.
  • Difficult to negotiate barriers eg between Manor Lane and Hurricane Way, at the end of the cycle path along Manor Lane.
  • Impossible to negotiate barriers (except for fit cyclists with no or small panniers) eg Oakdale Road just North of Loxley Close on the cycle path, from Staindale Road to the Rec.
  • Lack of signing eg by Rawcliffe and Clifton Allotments either to the Ings or onto the quiet Shipton Road, on any of the entrances to Rawcliffe Rec (to say cycling allowed)
  • Routes disappearing eg onto Tesco where route takes you to petrol station and then it is unclear what bicycles are even supposed to do, Southern end of quiet Shipton Road (south of Loweswater Road).
  • Kerbs to cross eg at Southern end of quiet Shipton Road (south of Loweswater Road) to rejoin main carriageway.
  • Complete lack of provision eg within Clifton Moor where although technically there are little bits much of it is not signed

The key messages from this were:

  • Cycling is only as safe as the most dangerous part of the route.  For Instance, many parents will be wary of their children cycling to Manor CofE Academy because of the seriously dangerous path over the river.
  • Cycling is only as accessible as the least accessible point. 
    • While we could get past most of the barriers some of these are impossible for disabled cyclists who cannot easily get off and manoeuvre their bikes round the barriers

Cyclists with trailers, or on tricycles are unable to navigate some of the barriers rendering that whole route useless

  • Kerbs to be ascended are again problematic for disabled cyclists, bikes with trailers and many tricycles.
  • More imagination is needed in design. We all understand that there are places that motorbikes may be a problem, but often this can be handled with methods other than barriers, and where there are barriers they need to enable access by children, disabled cyclists, tricyclists  and bikes with trailers.
  • Cycle routes need to be continuous. As already noted, a cycle route is only as safe as the most dangerous part. Cycle routes therefore need to be designed to get to places and not just inserted where easy as these do not offer cycling for everyone.
  • Better provision is needed in Clifton Moor. This is a major employment site and so needs provision of both cycle routes and parking to encourage people to make a modal shift to cycling. (it should also be noted that bus provision is very poor except to Tesco).
  • Alternatives to barriers are needed. Even a reduction would be welcomed eg they cannot be needed at both ends of the Manor Lane / Hurricane Way snicket. 

We have not explored the entire ward and it was agreed to have a second cycle ride to look at the South West of the ward.

Many thanks to both Sam and Daryl for coming and listening.

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