Bootham Park

The Council Planning Committee met on 2 February and discussed plans for the development of a residential care community on the site of the old Bootham Park hospital. The committee agreed to the conversion of the old buildings to care flats, and also to a 999 year lease which will secure the cycle route through the site (connecting Bootham to Bridge Lane and subsequently the hospital), which is currently permissive.

Below is the Campaign’s response which was submitted as a comment to the application.

York Cycle Campaign supports the moves made by the applicant to maintain and improve cycle infrastructure through the site. The route that runs through the site is an important route away from the road route that links key parts of the city. Notwithstanding this support, the campaign has the following comments to add about the scheme proposed.

Landscaping Plans

The hard landscaping plans show both the footpath and cycle path as the same type of permeable block paving (type 3). LTN 1/20 states that ‘cycle tracks in all forms should be clearly distinguishable from the footway. The preference among visually impaired people is for a level difference between the cycle track and footway as this is the most easily detectable form of separation Colour and tonal contrast, and different surface materials also help.’ There is concern that if the cycle track has the same material as the footpath adjacent, and elsewhere on the site, this will blur the distinction between the spaces leading to pedestrians using the cycle path but also cyclists believing they are allowed to cycle on other footpaths around the site. We would suggest that an alternative material, or tonal variation, is proposed for the cycle track surface.

A separating feature between pedestrian and cycle track is shown but it is not clear what it is. It appears it could be ’Proposed Natural Buff Loose Decorative Aggregate’ from the key. This would pose a safety risk to cyclists as it would be inevitable that gravel will end up spilling onto the cycle track which will then pose a skid risk with the potential for serious injury.

The width of the cycle paths shown on the plan is not declared, however LTN 1/20 states that for two-way cycle tracks the width should be a minimum of 3.0m.

Cycle parking is shown as regular Sheffield stands, these are the most accommodating type of cycle parking. A variation of the Sheffield stand, the ‘M’ stand should also be considered as it offers more opportunity for the locking of cycles with non-standard frames.

The width between strands is not declared and spacing between rows. LTN 1/20 provides details of the minimum and recommended spacing between racks which should be conditioned on the submission of full parking details.

An amount of parking should be designated for accessible use. LTN 1/20 recommends that ‘a proportion of the cycle parking (typically 5%) should be provided for non-standard cycles to accommodate people with mobility impairments.’ It also recommends that; ‘specific areas should be set aside for three-wheel cycles, which are problematic to secure to traditional upright hoops, in the most accessible parts of a large cycle park so that they can also be used by disabled people with adapted cycles. Accessible cycle parking should normally also be placed close to accessible car parking spaces. Isolated cycle stands for short-term parking should be configured to bear in mind the length of cargo bikes and tandems, and the width of tricycles and side-by-side cycles.’

The staff parking appears to be external without any weather protection. Providing a canopy to protect parked cycles will encourage greater uptake of cycling year-around.

Transport Statement

Section 3.3 of the Transport Statement states that; ‘Given the nature of the proposed land use, it is anticipated that the number of future residents cycling from the site will be limited and the cycling facilities will be mostly used by staff and visitors to the site.’ This is misleading and should not be used as justification for reducing the cycling facilities for residents. The rise in availability of e-bikes and adapted cycles means cycling into older age is becoming more viable as an activity, which will bring numerous benefits to the health, wellbeing and independence of the residents. The scheme should be facilitating this by ensuring that parking for resident’s cycles is adequate, allowing flexibility for the storage of adapted cycles and charging for e-cycles.

The measures and incentives given in section 5.4.2 to encourage cycling are welcome, and the campaign will be interested to know the success of these measures as a benchmark for other schemes. The campaign would also like to offer to start a dialogue with the developers and end-users of the site to understand if there are any ways which we can assist.  

D&A Statement

Page 9 of the D&A statement mentions that ’new bicycle and buggy stores for staff and residents’ will be provided. To avoid conflict of use of the space, separate stores should ideally be provided.

Page 32 mentions that the proposed scheme will improve way-finding, permeability and safety for the local community. To avoid confusion and maximise legibility the wayfinding for the cycle route should use standard and widely recognised symbols and formatting as shown in the TSRGD rather than a site specific branding approach.

Page 79 states that tactile paving may also be implemented at key crossing points as well as surface treatments to slow cyclists along the boulevards. Whilst there are no particular issues with this approach where there is a reasonable need, attention is drawn to LTN 1/20 guidance that states ‘because these can create high levels of discomfort, in particular for disabled cyclists, older and younger cyclists, they should be used sparingly.’ The sparing use of such treatment will also highlight attention to those areas where extra caution or reduced speed is required.

Construction Methodology Statement

The CMS states that ‘a pedestrian and cycle route will remain available and unobstructed through the site enabling public thoroughfare from Bootham to York Hospital 24/7.’ This is welcomed however the statement doesn’t provide details on how the public will be protected during the works. Construction traffic poses a significant risk to pedestrians and cyclists, especially when manoeuvring into the site or on the narrow access streets. Further details should be provided and should follow best practice. A particular issue point will be Union Terrace where Annex A shows an overlap of the public access and construction access routes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s