Whilst visitors being brought to the York’s christmas markets by coach rather than numerous individual cars is a Christmas hit. The preferred parking spaces of those coaches along the Knavesmire is getting overplayed and tiresome.
Campaign member Stefano helped draft the below letter that was shared with the council and Micklegate ward councillors about this festive tradition, and some solutions to spread cheer once again.
We are writing to highlight the unfortunate situation that York residents, those who cycle in particular, are facing since the start of St Nicholas Fair.
While we appreciate the value that the Christmas Markets are bringing to the city in terms of tourism and footfall, it seems like measures put in place by the Council to regulate the increased level of traffic and visitors coming to York are woefully inadequate.
The attached pictures have been taken in the early afternoon of Saturday 26th November on Knavesmire Road, where what would be a large residential road has been taken over by more than 10 commercial coaches, privately transporting tourists to St Nicholas Fair and parking for free. Coaches parking on both sides of the road will make even the largest of carriageways very narrow for transit, creating a risk for cyclists overtaking the parked vehicles. The situation is exacerbated during the Christmas Markets, but coaches and HGVs regularly park in this area. Other pictures shared over the past weekends on social media show the high level of traffic and dreadful parking of some road users, putting cyclists in further danger.
There are multiple solutions to this situation:
Ban coaches from parking on Knavesmire Road and implement marked parking on the road, creating additional secure active travel lanes.
If necessary, find an alternative seasonal parking site for private coaches outside of the city.
Further advertise and improve the Park and Ride services, reopening the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride facilities.
Make it easier and more secure for York residents to cycle into town. Use the Active Travel budget to create more safe cycle lanes and put more bike stalls in the city centre. Hand out fines to vehicles parked on cycle lanes.
Along with the risks to residents cycling on narrower, overcrowded roads, the higher level of traffic must also have a detrimental impact to air quality, jeopardising the benefits brought by the York Clean Air Zone.
For these reasons, we ask CYC to further consider the impact of St Nicholas Fair on residents and proposed mitigating measures, so that all York residents, whatever their favourite means of transportation, can have a pleasant Holiday season.