December 2020 Newsletter

We’ve got a packed issue for you to bring us to the year end – less than 3 weeks to go and days will be getting longer, so that’s something to celebrate. For those of you who missed our AGM in November, you can catch up with our fascinating speaker Ellis Palmer. And leading on from that, we have more about (in)accessibility of cycling infrastructure and how policy may change things in future. Plus updates on various planned developments around York.

e-AGM brings new blood to committee

An inspiring end to the year. We heard from BBC journalist Ellis Palmer, who took up cycling during the lockdown in March and has since covered an estimated 4000 miles on his hand cycle! Link to his talk below. 

Meanwhile, Robyn gave a fantastic summary of the highs and lows of cycle campaigning in York over the last year, enthusing 15 members – yes 15! – to join the committee. We’ll introduce the new committee in the January newsletter, but if strength in numbers is anything to go by 2021 is going to be a great year for cyclists in York.

Wheel Spiels: Agitating for accessibility

Jamie at the infamous Hob Moor Barriers

Jamie tells us about his FOI Friday campaign and explains how we can all join in by highlighting those features that we find a challenge when using the local cycle infrastructure. Hob Moor barriers, anyone?

What is LTN 1/20 and why do I care? 

Exemplar infrastructure on the Leeds Bradford Highway

Early in November YCC invited transport consultant Phil Jones, one of the authors of the Government’s new cycle policy and guidance, to talk to councillors in York. You can read about the main principles of the new cycle infrastructure design (as outlined in Local Transport Note 1/20) here, where you’ll also find a recording of Phil’s presentation.

We’ve also put together a summary of ‘Gear Change’, the Government’s Active Travel policy document here.

Extra cash for cycle routes in York

The cycle campaign is pleased to learn that York has been awarded just over £650,000 in the second round of Emergency Active Travel funding from the Government. 

We understand that the council will be carrying out consultation on their proposals (which you can see here) over the next couple of months. It’s a shame that the proposals aren’t more joined up, but we welcome the suggested improvements which include a safe route over the Outer ring road A1237 Ouse Bridge, segregated cycle provision down Shipton Road and the creation of a cycle route between Heslington and Wheldrake.

Ring road dualling: our response

Thank you to all of you who submitted your own feedback on this scheme. You can read the cycle campaign’s response here.

York Central development: where are we now?

The York Central access road design was approved by the planning committee last month. The cycle campaign has previously responded to consultation on the design, and we spoke at the committee meeting to highlight a few of our remaining concerns. You can read our statement here.

We now hope to work with the York Central design team to find ways of improving some of the areas of concern.

Plans afoot for city centre 

At the Executive meeting on Thurs 26th Nov, councillors agreed to make Castlegate and Colliergate into Footstreets, and to re-open Fossgate to vehicles. The cycle campaign supports the principle of excluding vehicles from the city centre, but doesn’t want to see cyclists squeezed out too. We’re campaigning for some of the foot streets to be made into cycle streets too, and we’re asking the council to consider lifting foot street cycle restrictions for anyone with a disability. Kate and Robyn have been in touch with Julian Ridge and Andy Kerr (officers responsible for planning the footstreet changes). They tell us there is a recommendation in the report to explore options for disabled people who use cycles as a mobility aid to access the city centre, with a future report to be brought back to the Executive Member for Transport. They declare a commitment to monitor the impacts of the footstreets on all users and adapt accordingly. This will form part of a complete strategic review of car parking and city centre access which will involve further engagement and be completed by the summer. We will continue our dialogue with the council and, as always, welcome input from our members about your concerns and challenges.

Car park, what car park? 

St. George’s Field Car Park as it is now

The campaign are pleased to see that plans for a multi-storey car park on St George’s Field have been deferred for now, pending a review of York’s car parking needs and an assessment of traffic flow. The campaign would like to see any plans for this area to include cycle infrastructure that meets the latest LTN1/20 guidelines and we’ll continue to make sure that cyclist’s voices are heard on this issue. 

Clementhorpe/Terry Avenue

The Environment Agency has informed us that the council has not yet given them the green light on their revised construction traffic management plan and road safety audit. As a result they are delaying the installation of their construction compound until after Christmas (they were intending to start work at the end of November). We are in communication with the council highways team on this issue and we’ll keep members updated as soon as we find out more.

Newsflash: Castle Gateway development

The council planning committee has approved development of the old Castle Mills car park. As well as a new apartment block, the scheme includes a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Foss to connect Piccadilly and the wider cycle and walking routes to and across the city centre. More information on the council’s website.

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