February is the time to stay positive: Spring is in the air – spot those snowdrops and crocuses poking their optimistic little heads up above the water-logged soil and pause to listen to the chattering birds as they ready themselves for the courtship and mating season. Our newsletter shows there are reasons to be cheerful in the cycle campaigning world as well with newly-approved schemes promising long-awaited benefits, your chance to input to the York Minster neighbourhood plan, and even a campaign to make an iconic building block brand more cycle friendly.
Navigation Rd: success for cycling
We have been campaigning for a point closure (a restriction for motor traffic) on Navigation Road and a rethink of the bollards on the Hungate Bridge for a number of years now. Last summer our proposal made it into the council’s Emergency Active Travel Fund bid, and a council run public consultation was held in December. The majority of responses were in favour of action with 55% of responses in favour of improving safety along Navigation Road and only 39% against taking such action. Following a council decisions session last week, it looks like it’s going to happen. The council have opted to trial a one-way system rather than a full point closure, but it is a step in the right direction!
Thank you to all members who supported this campaign and responded to the council’s consultation. You can see the cycle campaign’s submission to the consultation on our website, which we have now updated to show the officer’s responses to our comments.
York station frontage: more good news
Big changes to York station frontage are afoot. Its redevelopment was approved in a planning meeting on 4 February. Cyclists will benefit from a qualtiy segregated cycle route all the way from Micklegate Bar to the station and beyond. This is another route where YCC has been engaging with the council over several years, as original plans were woefully inadequate, so we’re delighted that our concerns have been listened to and that cyclist safety is being prioritised. We still have some concerns over how Tea Room Square will work, and what type of surface the cycle route is constructed from, however a condition has been added to the approval which allows us to continue to engage with the council to try and resolve these issues.
York Minster plans
York Minster is currently consulting the public on a draft proposal for its Neighbourhood Plan. If adopted the Neighbourhood Plan will become a statutory document defining future development in the Minster area of the city. We’ve had a look through the proposals and believe the most recent draft, showing changes as a result of previous discussions, is more supportive of cycling through the area. A big change is that proposals now maintain the current cycle route through Minster Yard & Duncombe place rather than introducing a convoluted diversion.
We’d like to encourage members to take part in the consultation to add their support to proposals that retain and could enhance cycle access through this part of the city. You might want to look at our blog post for inspiration. It should only take about 5 minutes but hurry, the consultation closes at midnight on the 14th February 2021.
City centre cycle access
The campaign is developing a proposal for city centre cycle access. We are currently approaching as many stakeholders as possible and trying to produce a proposal that everyone can support. We’re also working with the York IWGB couriers’ union to align our aims on city centre access. We’ll be speaking at the Decision Session for the Executive Member for Transport at 10am on Tuesday 9th Feb, where the courier’s city centre access proposal is due to be considered.
E-bike hire comes to York
We welcome the Council’s recent agreement to allow the operator Tier to add e-bike hire to the e-scooters already available. When a previous scheme had been slated for the city, a poll of our members showed 87% support for such a scheme. Good take-up would provide an extra incentive for the council to improve cycle infrastructure since many users would be unfamiliar with cycling or York streets. The bikes are due to arrive by the end of next month, and as soon as they do we’ll be taking them for a test drive.
A very warm welcome to yet another corporate sponsor. IndieGO is an independent e-cargobike home delivery company. With the big switch to online shopping being accelerated by the pandemic, IndieGO aims to support local shops and at-risk jobs by being the bridge between ordering over an app or social media and getting gifts the same day. As advocates for the adoption of ebike innovation for sustainable businesses, they support our campaigns for improvements to roads and cycleways.
If you run or are involved with an organisation that wants to become a supporter, visit our corporate supporter page for more details.
Wondering what to do with that exhausted inner tube?
When you finally have to admit your inner tube has had it, have you ever wondered if there’s an alternative to throwing it in the bin? Well, good news, there is! Recycle (on Walmgate) is a drop off point for fabulous charity CycleOfGoodUK who send the old tubes to Malawi where they are made into bags and other quality handcrafted goods. All money made pays for childcare and non-profit social enterprise in the country. So you’re reducing waste and supporting people in one of the world’s poorest places.
Upcoming route closures
Barracks Path (between Fulford Rd and Walmgate Stray)
This route is going to be closed for gas works from Monday 8th Feb to Monday 8th March. A sign diversion will be in place, taking you up Fulford Road, then right onto Kilburn Road to get to Walmgate Stray through Low Moor Allotments. The campaign has requested that the diversion is made accessible for all cycles.
Haxby Road, Hamilton Drive East, and Huntington Road
Night time closures will be in place on all three of these roads for council roadworks to take place during February & March. Works on Hamilton Drive East and Huntington Road start on Monday 8th February (weather permitting), whilst Haxby Road Works are scheduled for Monday 22nd March. More details available on the council’s website.
The Environment Agency have now submitted their revised Construction Traffic Management Plan to the council. If it is approved then the Environment Agency will start to create their construction compound at Rowntree Park from 15th Feb and Terry Avenue will be closed from Monday 1st March (not 8th February as some sources have quoted. The cycle campaign still has grave concerns about the safety of cyclists on Butcher Terrace (the main access point to the Millennium Bridge) and the viability of the proposed diversion routes for cyclists. We are continuing to engage with the council and Environment Agency and we are insisting that pedestrian and cyclists safety is prioritised and that a safe and accessible diversion route is provided for cyclists.
Deep freeze cycling
Temperatures are set to drop as low as -4°C in York, but in the Finnish city of Oulu they’re set to drop as low as -17°C. But, in Oulu cycling rates in winter make up 12% of travel, and 30% of children cycle to school all year around! Is this down to ancient viking blood still flowing through the Finn’s vein? Not really, it is much simpler – and easier to achieve – than that as this new 15 minute mini-documentary by Not Just Bikes shows.
And finally … Lego City Cycle Campaign
Our counterparts in Lego City are campaigning to make it a cycle friendly space. A contributor to Lego’s “product idea” website has suggested more bike lanes to the Danes, as well as various other cycle facilities and safety measures. Since first being posted in late January, the idea has rapidly gained almost 5000 supporters – nearly halfway to earning an expert review and a chance to become a real Lego product.