May 2021 Newsletter

There might be a bit of a chilly start to the month of May but we’ve got plenty here for you to do in the warm indoors – like completing the survey about Trans-Pennine-Trail accessibility (deadline rapidly approaching!) and reading our member John Skelton’s report on inclusive and disability cycling in York. We’re also pleased to feature the first monthly update from the Council’s Sustainable Transport Manager and it contains potentially good news about the dreaded Hob Moor barriers. Read on!

Urgent: your views needed on Trans-Pennine-Trail accessibility

A funding bid is being developed for money to improve access to the Trans-Pennine-Trail. In York, this runs from the station to the boundary on NCN 65 between Naburn and Escrick. If you have any views about its accessibility, please complete this survey. Unfortunately, we have only just been informed about this survey and the deadline is Wednesday 5 May 2021. Let’s hope, if they win the bid, funding comes through equally swiftly.

Inclusive cycling 

YCC member John Skelton has compiled a comprehensive report, which the Campaign will be sharing with the council, on inclusive and disability cycling in the city. It addresses the issues of disability cycling and identifies barriers and hazardous locations which either prevent or deter disabled cyclists from enjoying the same freedoms as able-bodied cyclists travelling in and around York’s cycle network. Read John’s Inclusive & Accessible Cycling report on our website. 

News from York City Council

Julian Ridge, YCC Sustainable Transport Manager, has provided the first of a series of monthly updates from the Council on cycling-related news. This includes information about relevant new appointments; work on upcoming cycle infrastructure designs; an imminent audit of “access” barriers around York; and the proposed trial removal of the lower channel on the Hob Moor barriers.

Police Commissioner candidates: friends of cycling?

One of our members contacted those standing in the elections for North Yorkshire’s Police Fire and Crime Commissioner (due to take place on Thursday 6 May) and asked how they would improve cycle safety, increase respect for cyclists, and encourage uptake of cycling in order to benefit health, fitness and the environment. YCC also asked a follow-up question about reducing close passes specifically. 

So far only two of the four candidates have responded, and we have heard nothing from the Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates.

Philip Allott (Conservative) says he would do as much as possible for cyclists’ safety, specifically supporting implementation of 20mph in urban locations; recognising the link between cycling and improved mental health; and supporting some electrification of police vehicles and improvements to CCTV.

Keith Tordoff (Independent) says those abusing or endangering cyclists should be prosecuted. He would explore new initiatives such as: promoting educational campaigns on cycling; working with retailers on helmet camera and bike security; encouraging police and firefighters to use cycle-to-work schemes; and introducing electric bikes for their work in the community. Read the full responses from the Police Commissioner candidates to our cycling questions 

Public Enquiry: Leeman Road

The Public Inquiry into the closure of Leeman Rd (associated with the York Central development) started last Tuesday. Although the cycle campaign hasn’t been directly involved in the inquiry one of our committee members – Kate – spoke on behalf of York Central Action and questioned the applicant about cycling issues on Wednesday when the inquiry was considering the effect of the road closure on pedestrians and cyclists. Kate argued that there were many occasions when cyclists couldn’t or wouldn’t use the walk/cycle route alongside the river (such as when the river was flooded or the path icy or muddy, because they couldn’t get through the barriers or because it felt unsafe after dark) instead relying on Leeman Road. However, it was David Finch, Chair of the Friends of Leeman Park, who stole the show when it came to making the case for cyclists. You can watch his summing up statement from around 6:48 hours on the Leeman Road Public Enquiry YouTube recording. Holgate Ward Councillors Rachel Melly and Kallum Taylor have also been doing a fantastic job of standing up for cyclists throughout the inquiry. The final day of the Inquiry will be Tuesday 4th May, after which the Inspector will be making a site visit before making his decision. 

Support cycling for all

GoGet is raising funds to buy a side-by-side companion bike to help its beneficiaries access the sensory experience of cycling safely whilst engaging in valuable social engagement. But the equipment is expensive – over £5000 for one bike – which is out of reach for this York-based social enterprise. If you can, please consider chipping in to help those who can’t cycle alone nor use standard two-wheel cycles to enjoy the pleasure of cycling. Making a donation is simple via the GoGet’s Companion Bike Fundraiser page 

Put that pedalling to good use

Miles In May YBTC Challenge
Sign up to our virtual miles challenge to make your miles count this May

YBTC (Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity) has a couple of cycling challenges coming up if you fancy helping it raise money to support its work amongst those living with brain tumours and to fund research. The first sponsorship challenge, Miles in May, is to cycle 50 miles or more during May (the clue is in the name). The second is an organised event, a 4-hour Big Bike Challenge in July, with the aim of completing as many laps of the 1km York Cycle Circuit as possible.

Film screening: Together We Cycle

YCC has got together with YoCo and Cycle Heaven to host a virtual screening of this film on Tuesday 18 May at 7pm. It explores the story behind the revival of Dutch cycling culture, and there will be a discussion with the filmmakers after the showing. Places are free but limited, so please save your place on the Together We Cycle screening Eventbrite page.

Update: Terry Avenue closure 

The most recent information we have is that the Environment Agency is awaiting delivery of speed humps for Terry Avenue. These are likely to arrive next week and the Environment Agency hopes to start work the following week, meaning that Terry Avenue (as a through route) is likely to be completely closed from Monday 10th May. There is now a community liaison (Aimee Ramsden) and she is the best point of contact for any issues that arise. Once the community hub is open you’ll be able to go and see her at the site compound near the Millennium Bridge, but in the meantime her email is Aimee.Ramsden@jnbentley.co.uk

Meanwhile, if you spot any breaches of planning conditions (such as HGVs using Butcher Terrace before 9:30am or after 2:30pm on weekdays, going faster than 10mph, turning around in the street instead of the works compound etc etc) then please do try to get photographic or video evidence and report it to the Planning Enforcement team (planning.enforcement@york.gov.uk) and copy in the Environment Agency (yorkfloodplan@environment-agency.gov.uk), the council’s Traffic Management Team manager (Darren.Hobson@york.gov.uk) and the cycle campaign (YorkCycleCampaign@gmail.com). If anyone experiences or witnesses a near-miss incident then please do report this to the police, and copy in the council and Environment Agency too, to make sure that near-misses are logged. 

Update: Wellington Row closure

The closure of the section of Wellington Row that runs under Lendal Bridge, as part of the Flood Scheme works, will start on Tuesday 4 May and is expected to last until school holidays begin in July. Download the diversion routes created for cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair users.

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