January 2021 Newsletter

The new year has certainly blasted in with a few challenges for us, including sub-zero temperatures and icy surfaces to cycle or walk on. Thanks to staff shortages and safety measures, gritting of cycle and footways seems to be left to a few generous volunteers, for whom we are very grateful. But even small areas of ice can catch you out (doesn’t my ankle know it) so take care out there. You might want to look back at our top ten tips for cycling in winter.

Danger in Dunnington

Intrepid committee members Juliet and Kate ventured out to Dunnington to explore ideas for making the cycle route into York – which can involve scary 60mph close passes – safer. Read how they got on with Councillor Mark Warters and local residents. 

Navigation Road: our official response

Although we are broadly in favour of trialling a low traffic neighbourhood on Navigation Road, you may remember we have a number of specific concerns. We would like the restrictions to be imposed in both directions and re-designed to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians around key pinch points. You can read our response to the Council here.

St George’s Field multi storey car park 

Juliet read a statement from the campaign at the Council planning meeting on 7 January, asking for a decision on this site to be deferred. This would allow further work to be done on the walking and cycling aspects to bring them into clear compliance with planning and DfT requirements. It would also improve council chances of taking advantage of Government funding for these aspects. We raised particular concerns about the proposal to have a shared path rather than a segregated cycleway. Although the plans were approved, both officers and councillors took note of our points and confirmed that they would like to continue working with ‘cycling groups’ to improve the walk/cycle infrastructure and bring it more in line with LTN1/20 guidelines

Free after three?

A proposal was put to the full council meeting in December to allow free parking after 3pm to stimulate York city centre’s economy in January and February. Whilst this was rejected, and has been made less relevant by the current lockdown, Maeve read a statement to express our worries about increasing vehicular traffic at a time schoolchildren would (normally) be heading home. She suggested instead relaxing footstreet restrictions to allow cycling after 3pm which would make the centre much more accessible to cyclists. 

York Disability Rights Forum

Kate attended the forum’s public meeting during York Disability Week and learned that we have a number of shared aims. We look forward to working more with this vibrant group in the future.

Welcome York Collective

We are delighted to welcome York Collective as one of our corporate sponsors (joining Cycle Heaven and Get Cycling). York Collective is a not-for-profit worker-owned cooperative of cycle couriers in York who, like us, want to see an improved cycle infrastructure locally. Their goal is to transform the logistics of the city to assume social responsibility and achieve a better quality of life through less traffic, air pollution and noise. 

Are traffic signals ignoring you? Check your lights!

Do you sometimes cycle up to traffic lights and find they refuse to go green until a motorist appears behind you? Most York traffic light systems have now been converted under the TSAR (Traffic Signal Asset Renewal) programme. TSAR uses an above-ground detection system to sense traffic rather than induction loops in the road (which were dependent on road surfaces being sufficiently well maintained). The council told one of our members that, whilst the new traffic sensors should detect cyclists, there may be some issues at night: the sensors may not register you if you have no or low power lights. Let us know if there are any locations which consistently cause you problems.

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