42 Ways to Transform York Launch

What kind of city do we want to live in?

Everybody loves York. People love to visit, to stay and to live here. We’re attracted by its rich heritage, cultural diversity and sense of community. With a harmonious blend of the ancient and the modern, we’ve got a lot right in this city.

But outside the cloistered oasis of the city centre, there’s total chaos. Vehicles dominate everywhere, creating ugly, overcrowded, noisy, stressful and polluted spaces. With the entire network mired in traffic, sometimes the only comfortable place to be is inside a vehicle.

“Bicycles are the indicator species of a healthy community, like shellfish in a bay”

P. Martin Scott

So what good is our stunning cityscape when the view’s marred by a cacophony of cars? What pleasure is to be had from the charming ambience of ancient pavements next to a polluted junction? Where’s the easy sociability in one of York’s traffic jams? Why are we crushing the exuberance of childhood, with our children stuck indoors and chauffeured everywhere? And what good are these gorgeous historic surroundings to our grandchildren if we’ve destroyed the climate? Is this really how we want to experience life in our city?

It’s almost universally acknowledged that York’s transport system is a total mess with a steady growth in car use. As things stand, traffic has disfigured our city and undermines much of what is good about life in York.

How we move around has a profound effect on our quality of life

York’s over-dependence on the car is at the root of this problem, one that has become hugely damaging to our physical and mental health, our environment and our communities. It’s high time we had an honest conversation about the true utility of cars in this city, step away from this destructive model and find better ways of moving ourselves around.

Fortunately, a technology exists that can transform our city and allow us to thrive. It’s simple, accessible and affordable, and one that has been tried with resounding success in cities all over the world. In the pages that follow we’ll not only tell you why, but also suggest what needs to be done and how. The answer is within our reach…

…it’s all about the bike.

42 Ways to Transform York is about making cycling in York safe, convenient, and accessible for everyone. You can dip into it or read it sequentially and we do hope it will inspire you to further action and to join our campaign. These suggestions will lead to a healthier, happier, more equitable environment, not just for cyclists but for everyone here to live and to thrive.

This is York Cycle Campaign’s manifesto for a better city. Find out more and get a copy at 42 Ways to Transform York.

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