Cycle into summer with optimism. For one thing, Terry Avenue is open again after all this time – big yay! And senior Active Travel personnel told us they’re aiming for York to be an exemplary city – bigger yay! Although the planning committee narrowly agreed to a National Railway Museum scheme which blocks a current active travel route, elsewhere Councillor Andy D’Agorne sent council officers back to the drawing board when they suggested abandoning plans for a walking/cycling route from Wheldrake, instructing them to come up with interim measures.
NRM plans: Committee’s vote means longer route
The Council’s planning committee was evenly split over approving National Railway Museum central hall proposals which would cut off a pedestrian and cycling route outside museum opening hours. The committee’s chair used his casting vote to support the NRM’s plans. Jamie Wood spoke on behalf of YCC to object to the application, which in our view downgrades York’s active travel network and will involve cyclists taking a diversion that is more than double the distance of the current direct route.
Council officers told to rethink active travel scheme plans
At the July meeting of the Executive Member for Transport, as we’d anticipated, council officers recommended scrapping plans for a walking/cycling route between Wheldrake and Heslington and improvements to the A1237. York has been given £1.2 million across the last three rounds of government funding and yet no major cycle scheme has completed the consultation stage, let alone been implemented. Council officers estimated that the Wheldrake/Heslington off-road route would cost an unaffordable £2m and recommended redeploying the funds currently earmarked for the scheme. Councillor Andy D’Agorne was unhappy with this proposal and has instructed officers to consider how a smaller, interim scheme can be implemented (including a new bridge over the River Ouse and rail line) whilst exploring options for funding the full project.
Hob Moor Tunnel Closure
Notice has been given that the tunnel under the railway line between Hob Moor and Little Hob Moor will be closed from Monday 15th August to Friday 2nd September to allow lighting to be installed. The notice states that a cycle diversion route will be signed, but the Campaign does not have details of the route.
Terry Avenue Reopens
Meanwhile, Terry Avenue has reopened to pedestrians and cyclists allowing a safe route along the western side of the river. Some barriers are still in place on the path at the Millenium Bridge end whilst the construction compound is dismantled but the path can be accessed via the temporary path around the barriers..
As reported last month, we’re working with the Civic Trust to develop our own design for this route to show it can prioritise safe movement of pedestrians, disabled people and cyclists, whilst still allowing for buses and necessary vehicles.
Harrogate Station plans
York isn’t the only railway station to have radical new plans for the future. You might want to respond to the proposals for the Harrogate Station Gateway project. Harrogate Cycle Action are broadly supportive of the plans, with reservations about one element, and we are encouraging our members to participate in the consultation. The deadline for comments is 23 August 2022.
Reverse the Blue Badge ban
A reminder that we’re supporting the ‘Reverse the Ban’ campaign, to reinstate access to the city centre for Blue Badge holders. We have a bundle of postcards for people to sign to show their support and we’ll bring them along to forthcoming events and recruitment stalls.
Member Spotlight: Baz
‘I organised our recent Campaign Social Ride which was about 12 miles using cycle paths and quiet rural roads to the north of York. I planned and timed the route, leaving enough time for the ‘social’ aspect of the ride in a pub. I was pleasantly surprised to see 20 riders at the start, but managing a large group of cyclists has its challenges; however, most riders enjoyed it and the steady pace suited most.
‘I felt the ride was a success and I was pleased that no one punctured and I didn’t loose anyone! The Social Rides are a great way to meet other Campaign members and chat over what issues are important to them.’
You can read more of Baz’s story on our website.
Tier e-bikes to be left at ordinary cycle stands
Tier has come to an agreement with the Council that its e-bikes (not scooters) can be left at regular cycle stands across the city. There should never be more than one or two of their bikes at any one rack, and TIER say they will be doing regular monitoring to ensure it doesn’t cause capacity problems. If you spot any issues, please email Jess, Tier’s City Manager (email@example.com).
Chris, Ursula and the two Davids have completed their cycle ride and information-gathering trip to Münster. You can find out more about the project, supported by the Campaign and York-Münster Twinning Association. The group had chance to try out the infrastructure and talk to local cycling groups, as well as fitting in a bit of sightseeing and some blueberry cake.
This month we have also …
… provided feedback on the council’s proposals for Tower Street and Coppergate, suggesting improvements to the access onto Coppergate, safety measures for the right turn from Tower Street, and requesting that Castlegate is reopened to cyclists.
… responded to the consultation on the proposed new signals at Malton Road/New Lane.
… met with senior staff from Active Travel England and discussed the potential in York – they are aiming for York to be an exemplar city!
… held a recruitment stall at the Millennium Bridge – thanks to all those members who helped to make the day a success
Have your say on cycling in York
You can still comment on our draft charter for cycling in York – please give us your views using this Google form. We need to show the level of support for cycling in the city as the 2023 local elections grow ever closer.
Events to look forward to:
Kiddical Mass ride
Following last year’s success we’re organising an even bigger, better Kidical Mass ride as part of York Environment Week 2022. The ride will start at Millenium bridge and finish at St Nick’s Autumn Fair, following low traffic roads where possible. For more details, and to register, please visit kidicalmass.eventbrite.co.uk and please feel free to spread the word across non-members.
We’re still looking for help to plan the route, be a steward, produce publicity etc so if you can lend us a hand please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cycle Campaign’s social ride: early September (TBC)
We’ve another social ride planned for the first weeks of September, hopefully this time a trip out to Brew York’s new taproom at Osbaldwick.
Brian Deegan talk: TBC
Brian Deegan is Director of Inspections at Active Travel. He has previously developed and delivered street designs for improving active travel in Greater Manchester and London.
An evening at the velodrome
Would you like to have a go cycling around York’s velodrome? We’ll be holding a special discount night for members – more details soon.