October 2021 Newsletter

Read about the triumph of September’s Kidical Mass ride which drew attention to the needs of younger cyclists. Save the date for our November AGM where we’ll learn lessons from Belgium on how to fashion a car-free city. And a bit of a breakthrough with the gate at the railway station…

Kidical Mass: Huge Success

Around 85 people turned out for York’s first ‘Kidical Mass’ cycle ride. We organised this family friendly mass cycle ride as part of York Environment Week to highlight the need for safe cycle routes to schools.  We featured on BBC Look North and all had a lovely time. We also wrote to the council. In response, Cllr Andy D’ Agorne, Executive member for Transport, declared his support for our event and added:

“While I would hope that the pilot ‘People Streets’ initiatives to promote walking and cycling to schools could be scaled up, you may note the proposed work on Ostman Rd near Carr Junior and Infants and the funding bid we have made to follow up the work already done by Sustrans at Clifton Green and Badger Hill Primary Schools. As part of the Local Transport Plan a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan will be adopted which I would expect to include strategic links to provide safe cycling and walking to our schools across the city.”

Coming up: Disability cycle ride

We’re teaming up with EMpowered People to host our annual disabled cycle ride from York. Scheduled for Sunday 17th October, we’ll be doing a city cycle ride in the morning, and a countryside cycle ride in the afternoon. We warmly welcome disabled people to come and give cycling a go, do one or both of these rides, and to enjoy a supported cycle ride. We’ll also be needing able-bodied support riders so do get in touch if you think you might be able to help. For more details and to register for the ride please take a look at our Eventbrite page.

AGM: Ghentifying York?

Approach to St Nicholas Church in Ghent (CC BY-SA 4.0) Heraclitus2000/Wikicommons

On 3rd April 2017 the Belgian city of Ghent implemented a bold and controversial circulation plan, banning cars from the city centre, and limiting vehicle movement elsewhere. Overnight the city transformed and people had to re-think the way they moved around. In the three years after the circulation plan was put in place traffic accidents fell by a third, the number of cars dropped by one third, cycling increased by 60% and air quality improved significantly. Many people predicted that business would suffer, but in fact Ghent has seen a rise in start-ups and a decrease in vacant shops. And because the circulation plan simply repurposed existing roads, rather than building new infrastructure, it cost just €6 million to implement – approximately the same cost as building one mile of motorway. This short film illustrates how the circulation plan works.

York has much in common with Ghent, and like pre-2017 Ghent our city is choked by vehicle traffic every day. In December 2019 City of York Council passed a motion to ban non-essential car journeys into York’s city centre and reduce vehicle traffic across the rest of York by 2023. Could Ghentification be the solution to York’s traffic woes?  

Join us to hear Filip Watteeuw, Deputy Mayor of Ghent and instigator of the circulation plan. He’ll explain what motivated him to carry out such an audacious change, the opposition he faced, and how the city has fared since the plan has been in place.

We’ll be beaming Filip in at 7pm on Wednesday 24th November, to a live audience at Cycle Heaven. Tickets will be available soon. Save the date! 

Rail station gate closing time

We’ve got some good news to report about the gate between Scarborough Bridge and the short stay car park for the Rail Station. After productive discussions with representatives from LNER and the Transport Police, the station manager has agreed to trial leaving the gate open until midnight (currently it is locked at 11pm), and to collect data to see whether the route is well used, and monitor any problems. We’ll let you know as soon as the trial is set to begin.

Help redesign York Central

Community group YoCo are inviting people to help redesign York Central, using a public engagement tool to crowdsource a community plan. Cycle Campaign members are warmly invited to get their town-planning hats on and help to redesign the movement aspects of this major development, using this link to get your ticket

Tadcaster Road proposals: read our response

The consultation period has closed and we have submitted our response outlining the many reasons for our dissatisfaction with the plans. 

Navigation Road Trial

Navigation Road LTN Proposal (image c/o COYC)

After many years of campaigning for this road to be closed to through traffic we’re pleased to see that the council are trialling a Low Traffic Neighbourhood with segregated cycle routes running in both directions – hurrah! Please note that the road will be closed for 5 days from 4th October, but that pedestrian access will be maintained. The council tells us that cyclists will be asked to dismount, but that there will be staff ready to assist anyone who needs additional help.

Once works are complete and the road opened it will no longer be possible for motor traffic to use Navigation Road as a through-road heading north, but they will be able to head south. Cyclists and pedestrians will be able to use the road in both directions as before, as will traffic accessing the residential properties in the area. The trial will remain in place in this form for six months, before a decision is made by the Executive for Transport. If you’d like to submit your comments on how you’re finding the new arrangement you can email navigationroad.improvements@york.gov.uk.

York Outer Ring Road Dualling plans

The cycle campaign spoke at the Executive meeting last Thursday (30 September) on plans to dual the Outer Ring Road, a video of the meeting and summary of our statement can be found on our website.

Cycle marking at York Rail Station

The Cycle Campaign is teaming up with the British Transport Police to conduct a couple of Bike Register events (using UV permanent ink) at York Rail Station in October and November. As soon as the dates are confirmed we’ll let you know, and if anyone can volunteer on the day to help with the marking and to promote the Cycle Campaign then please get in touch! Don’t forget you can still log your bike without having it marked by the police through the Bike Register website.

And in other news…

This month we’ve also:

  • written to Andy Kerr raising our concerns about the proposed design for Piccadilly
  • questioned the council’s capability to deliver its promises on Active Travel schemes. 
  • assisted the Civic Trust Transport Group to monitor the impact of the closure of Bootham and Gillygate (many thanks to all the Cycle Campaign volunteers who went out with clipboards and did traffic counts!)

Reminders:

Road margin repairs

Greg Morgan (the council’s Active Travel officer) is drawing up a list of roads to be get margin repairs (resurfacing the metre nearest the kerb) and needs our help to prioritise the cycle routes in most urgent need. Please email him with your requests!

Ward Reps

We’re still looking for members who might be willing to be cycle campaign representatives for city council wards across York. It could the ward you live in, the ward you work in, or the ward you regularly cycle through! We’d like to try and have representatives covering every ward in the city, helping us keep an eye on planning applications within their ward and maintaining a link with ward councillors. Could this be you? 

If you’re interested please let us know by registering your ward on the member’s hub.

Cycling UK Discount

As a member of the Cycle Campaign, you can get discounted affiliate membership of Cycling UK (benefits include £10m third party liability insurance, retailer discounts and discounts on Cycling UK training courses). Details on how to claim your discount can be found in your welcome pack on joining the Campaign.

Terry Avenue

Please continue to report any problems you spot to community liaison officer Aimee Ramsden (Aimee.Ramsden@jnbentley.co.uk or on-site). Also copy in the Environment Agency (yorkfloodplan@environment-agency.gov.uk), York Cycle Campaign (YorkCycleCampaign@gmail.com) and if it is a breach of planning conditions then please report it to the Planning Enforcement team (planning.enforcement@york.gov.uk).

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