March 2022 Newsletter

With so much gloom around, let’s take time to focus on two pieces of encouraging news. After our representations to the Executive Member for Transport, it has been agreed that the Acomb Road cycle scheme will be designed in full rather than cut in half as threatened. And we are excited about the housing development in Fishergate, which promises to promote car-free living. Besides which, the snowdrops are clinging on, the crocuses are out in a riot of colour, and the daffodils are about to explode in a riot of yellow around our city.

Acomb active travel plan re-activated

We were outraged when we heard that the council planned to have more than half of the Acomb Road active travel scheme axed. But we fought back hard, with many members responding to our plea to write to Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport. Nathan Horner shared his horrifying history of dangerous incidents along that stretch of road and two members made excellent statements at Cllr D’Agorne’s decision session. We also held a very wet protest event with York Central MP, Rachael Maskell and local councillors for Acomb and Holgate wards. Thankfully, Councillor D’Agorne listened to our concerns and re-instated the route in full.

Plans aplenty

The campaign has responded to a number of proposals this month with the help of its members.

The proposed site layout. Image: Mikhail Riches

We were delighted to lend our support to the planning applications for the exciting housing development on Ordnance Lane/Hospital Fields Rd, in Fishergate ward. As a cycle campaign, we particularly welcome the ambition to create a community that puts car-free living at its heart with provision for alternatives such as community cargo bikes, car-sharing schemes and excellent cycle infrastructure. The site is close to good amenities, excellent bus routes and the nexus of cycle paths that converge on Millennium Bridge, so if it’s possible to live car-free anywhere in York, it’s right here.

Using a new assessment tool we reviewed plans for the new ‘Roman Quarter’ on Rougier Street, most of which scored highly on how it provides for cyclists. However it scored a ‘critical fail’ due to the contraflow running close to parking bays without suitable width and a lack of parking for hotel guests. Because of this, the Campaign has felt it necessary to lodge the response as an objection – unless these features can be resolved.

A new look for Tanner’s Row. Visual: North Star

We used the same tool to submit a response to the latest application of the Castle Gateway scheme, which replaces the car park by Cliffords Tower with a new public space and makes landscaping improvements along Tower Street.

A third response was submitted for the new housing development proposed for Ousefield House off Fulford Road and in particular about the access arrangements which require refuse vehicles to reverse across a busy cycle lane and footpath.

We also provided feedback on proposals for upgrades at the Paragon Street/Barbican Road junction, with the thanks of contributions from members on their experiences of the junction and thoughts on the scheme.

Five wins for your ward

On 10th February we held our first event for Ward representatives, with retired transport planner Tim Pheby kicking things off for us by suggesting ‘5 Wins for your Ward’. If you missed the event, you can still watch Tim’s presentation on our YouTube channel, and it’s never too late to sign up to be a ward representative and help to make positive changes where you live!

We need YOU!

We want to grow our membership so we’re going to go out and shout about how fantastic the cycle campaign is! We’ve booked our first recruitment stall as follows, and welcome help from any members: Saturday 26th March – Spark York. Email if you would like to help out.

Fancy volunteering?

We’ve been contacted by two organisations who are looking for some help.

Sustrans is looking for a North Group Coordinator to coordinate a volunteer group to maintain the National Cycle Network in York from the Millennium Bridge to Stripe Lane, Skelton (NCN65). Time commitment: 1-2 days/month. Email Ken Groom (the current co-ordinator) if you’d like to know more.

York Tandem Club needs volunteer support riders to pilot its tandems, allowing people with disabilities to enjoy cycling. They meet on Tuesdays at 6pm and go out for 2-3 hours including a pub stop. No need to commit to every week. See attached flyer for more details.

Is your bike in need of TLC?

There are a couple more free drop-in bike doctor events you can take advantage of if you hurry! These events will include free bike safety checks whilst teaching you the basics of bike maintenance.

Bike to Bishopthorpe for the next members’ social

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 30th March. We hope to have this event in person and will be cycling to Bishopthorpe (approx 4 miles). Meet outside Cycle Heaven (Hospital Fields Road) at 6:30pm and cycle with us down the Solar System trail, or join us at the pub in Bishopthorpe. Bright bike lights for the return journey! We’ll email further details nearer the time, or the Zoom link if Covid doesn’t allow an in-person meet-up.

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