CoYC’s September Executive meeting discussed the dualling of the A1237 (Northern Ring Road) between Clifton Moor and Hopgrove Roundabout. Last year we looked at these proposals and what they meant for cycling, so committee member Andy went to the meeting to reiterate the Campaign’s concerns about the cycling provision along the route.
A summary of the point’s we made are;
- As a campaign we remain neutral on the existence of the outer ring road, but would like to highlight that all the evidence demonstrates that building this road will only bring short-term relief and ultimately lead to more cars and more congestion. This much was admitted to me by a senior York transport officer in recent years.
- Nevertheless, officers do state that they anticipate that this scheme will redistribute traffic around the city and reduce its impact within York’s urban areas. However, anticipation alone will not be enough.
- We believe that the increase in motor traffic (25% in the last decade) is largely responsible for the massive drop in cycling in York in recent years. If cycling is to increase again, then motor traffic in York’s urban areas must be reduced.
- IF Exec members decide to approve this scheme, then the cycle campaign proposes that they lock in its potential benefits by committing to measures that will genuinely reduce cross-city car journeys AND increase active travel.
- The Belgian city of Ghent, which shares many similarities with York, has led the way in this respect, introducing a very successful traffic circulation plan which prevents cross-city journeys and redirects drivers around the ring road.
- The Cycle Campaign have invited the Ghent’s Deputy Mayor to talk about this plan. The event will be on 24th November at 7pm and we warmly invite Executive members and transport officers to attend.
- Regarding the design of the road itself, we welcome the improvements that will make it safer and easier for people travelling by cycle or on foot. However, there are still some areas that need further work.
- Once the ring road is dualled it will become too dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists to cross it unsupported – we ask that supported crossings or underpasses should be provided as a minimum at all ring road crossing points.
- In particular we ask that improvements are made at the following locations:
- At Wiggington Road roundabout, providing supported crossings or an underpass.
- Reconsider the layout of the walk/cycle path at Shipton Road, which currently proposes a badly angled underpass with hairpin bends. The design should accommodate the design vehicle as specified in LTN1/20.
- Provision of walk/cycle access to the new Clifton Moor estate.
- A supported crossing at Monks Cross.
- … and lighting to illuminate all the walk/cycle paths, not just the road.
- It’s not good enough to say that the money has run out and that additional walk/cycle improvements cannot be made now. York’s transport hierarchy puts pedestrians and cyclists above vehicles, so therefore, safe, direct and accessible walk/cycle routes must take priority over improvements for motorists.
- We ask that the Exec request a feasibility study into adopting the Ghent model as a condition of approving this scheme.
- And finally we ask the Exec to ensure that all walk/cycle crossings of the newly dualled ring road are supported or that underpasses are installed.