December 2021 Newsletter

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Christmas is already pounding at the door in a way that’s hard to ignore. Can Santa bring us the kind of innovative, low traffic system that the Deputy Mayor of Ghent told us about at the AGM? Or allow Blue Badge holders, including those on bikes, access to the city centre? Read how you can support a community vision for York Central and how, as one of our ward reps, you get a chance to feed into council decisions. This is our last newsletter for 2021, so enjoy any festivities you may be having and we’ll be back with more news in January.

Cycle Campaign 2021 AGM: lessons from Ghent

A map of Ghent with seven sectors highlighted in different colours.
The 7 zones of the Ghent traffic circulation plan. Each sector represents an area in which people can drive into but not through, unless essential vehicles

The centrepiece of our AGM was an inspirational talk from Filip Watteeuw, Deputy Mayor of Ghent, about how his city introduced an innovative new traffic circulation system. The result? A thriving, low-car, accessible and people-friendly city. Filip wound up his talk by urging York to take up a similar circulation plan, saying “It’s simple, it’s cheap, so what are you waiting for?”

You can see Filip’s talk and the Q and A that followed on YouTube. Or read our summary of the event on our Twitter thread.

Next month we’ll introduce you to the nine committee members who were elected at the AGM.

Get Involved

We’re making it easier to get involved with the Campaign, splitting our activities into different categories which you can choose to get involved in. There’s no obligation in showing interest, you’re just signing up to go on a mailing list for emails when opportunities to get involved come up. You can also change your preferences at any time. To see the different categories and a description of what’s involved, and sign up for those that interest you go to the new Get Involved page on our website.

Blue Badge battle

We signed an open letter to City of York Council, asking them not to exclude Blue Badge holders from the city centre. We followed this up with a statement at the Executive meeting, where we asked councillors to seriously consider Blue Badge cycling in the city centre. 

Ward rep prompts re-think

One of York Cycle Campaign’s Fishergate ward representatives – Christopher Copland – read a statement on behalf of the Campaign at the planning committee meeting considering the proposed student housing development on the Mecca Bingo site in Fishergate. We raised concerns about the cycle access arrangements, the amount and type of cycle parking provision and the impact of the development on Blue Bridge Lane (part of the York cycle orbital route). We were pleased to see that the points we raised were picked up on later by various councillors on the committee and considered seriously. The decision has been deferred pending investigation of issues around access, exit, drop-off, and cycle parking amongst others.

Three steps to … a Community Plan for York Central

A group of people playing a game

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YoCo has been working hard with a series of public events to shape a community plan for York Central. This starts with the current outline consent but exploits its possibilities to create a development which is largely car-free, truly reflects York’s transport hierarchy (prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and public transport) and provides streets which are safe for children to play in. The first step is to show support for this plan. You can help by following three simple steps:

Step One: check out the plan 

Step Two: sign up for the Demos Combined Choice tool 

Step Three: when your link arrives by email, simply vote for (“Select”) the YoCo Community Plan!

Road Safety Week tweets: Accident stats

Our Victim Stripes image, each line represents a cyclist injured on York’s roads during and between 2015 and 2020

We collaborated with one of our corporate supporters – Pryers solicitors – to raise awareness and share some statistics about road safety in York. We looked at where collisions happen the most, and common contributing factors in collisions involving cyclists. We’ve now uploaded all the graphs, in new interactive formats, on our website.

Doing the Dutch Reach

Early in 2022, a new Highway Code that includes measures to better protect vulnerable road users is due to be published. New wording will clarify that those with the greatest potential to cause harm (e.g. heavy goods vehicles and buses) have the greatest responsibility to avoid endangering more vulnerable road users. Motorists will be instructed to give way to cyclists in cycle lanes rather than turning across them and there will be new rules to deal with close passes.

Image courtesy of

When parked at the side of the road, car users will be told whenever possible to use the “Dutch Reach” – not a dance move but opening the door using the hand on the far side from the door (i.e. drivers of most UK cars would use their left hand to open the door). This makes them swivel so they automatically look over their shoulder and it also reduces how far they can open the door, lowering the chance of injuring a passing cyclist.

This month we’ve also…

Met with Greg Morgan to discuss how the walk/cycle path markings can be made more consistent and less confusing around the Millennium Bridge and New Walk area. 

Made a statement at the scrutiny committee on city centre cycling.

Chance to help a charity – Part 1

A person holding a bouquet of flowers

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Helen Perry, a volunteer for Victim Support North Yorkshire, is raising money to provide festive cheer for clients who are struggling with the aftermath of crime or trauma. She is cycling the equivalent of the distance from York to Lapland and has set up a Just Giving page for donations.

Chance to help a charity – Part 2

Local Community Benefit Charity Everybody’s Cycling is looking for self-employed cycling enthusiasts to assist with its future events. Assistants would be paid for their time (£9 – £12 per hour depending on role). If you are interested, send your CV to 

Treat yourself this Christmas

Did you know that members of York Cycle Campaign can join Cycling UK as affiliate members for a discounted rate? Benefits of affiliate membership of Cycling UK include: £10m third party liability insurance, retailer discounts and discounts on Cycling UK training courses.

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