York Central Access

On the 12th of November, CoYC planning committee approved the reserved matters application for the access road into the York Central development north of the station. York Cycle Campaign spoke at the meeting to welcome the changes that had been made to the design for cycling and walking, but also highlight some remaining concerns about parts of the design. Below is a copy of the statement the Campaign delivered, and you can watch the committee meeting in full on the Council’s Youtube page.


York Cycle Campaign welcomes that York Central access proposals have been revisited to improve their provision against the new LTN 1/20 guidance that came out earlier this year. We believe that the outcome is a generally better scheme more suitable for sustainable travel to and through the site

The Campaign has tested the proposals against the Cycling Level of Service Tool and Junction Assessment Tool provided in the LTN. We have calculated a score for the scheme as a whole as 76%, with some sections such as Millenium Green to Park Street scoring 93% due to the near textbook implementation of the guidance. The DfT pass mark is 70%

There are however, other parts of the scheme which only just meet minimum requirements.

Severus Bridge features a shared pedestrian and cycle path, which the LTN guidance recommends against, except in low speed and low traffic environments. Anyone who stands on Water Lane in the evening rush hour will know that even now this is a popular cross city cycle route. The high parapets of the bridge mean the effective width of this shared path is at its absolute minimum, leading to discomfort of all users.

Concerns have also been raised by Campaign members of the personal security of bridge users, on both this bridge and the East Coast Mainline bridge. The high parapets prevent any natural surveillance from the surroundings – members have already said that they would avoid the route at night due to the concerns.

As conditions 3 and 4 require further design details of both bridges; we would ask that appropriate segregation along Severus Bridge is revisited, and personal security of users for both bridges is considered as part of these conditions.

The plaza area in front of the National Railway Museum has also scored comparatively poorly, only just meeting the pass threshold. This is due to the sudden termination of cycle tracks into a high use pedestrian plaza. This will undoubtedly cause issues. The route through York Central will become a primary city centre to northwest cycle route, and this is being asked to contend with pedestrian access to one of the city’s major tourist attractions. 

We ask that under proposed condition 2; proper and legible segregation of cycle traffic from pedestrian users is considered and implemented around the National Railway Museum for the safety of all.

We support the adoption of option 2 for segregated cycle provision through the Leeman Road Tunnel, as this is the only option of the three proposals to meet LTN guidance. But ask the applicants to improve provision for connections to the rest of the cycle network, particularly in the area outside the Royal Mail Depot.

Finally, whilst we recognise that they are not included within this particular application, we would like to see a commitment to  the principles of the new LTN 1/20 guidance being applied to other aspects of York Central, such as the Wilton Rise access and connection through to the Salisbury Terrace area.

Summary of LTN scores for reference

Water Lane Access

Scores 78% on the CLOPS test. The weakest scores are as a result of Severus Bridge adopting a shared cycle/pedestrian path rather than having proper segregation, and the design of the bridge preventing overlooking security of pedestrians/cyclists using it.

Scores 71% on the JAT test. Loses points due to segments where shared cycle/pedestrian paths are used rather than proper segregations.

Millenium Green through to Park Street

Scores 93% on the CLOPS test. Weakest score comes from personal security concerns due to large parapets on ECML bridge blocking any overlooking.

Link to Leeman Road Tunnel

Scores 85% on the CLOPS test, score is reduced due to ends of link where it transitions to on-road provision.

Hudson Boulevard

Scores 97%, only loses 1 point due to assumption that 85th percentile motor traffic speeds would be between 20-30mph.

Cinder Street

Scores 59% on CLOPS, the worst scoring section, due to the lack of dedicated cycle infrastructure. 

Foundry Street

Scores 40% on CLOPS, due to lack of proper cycle provision. Road is identified as only initially closed to motor traffic, so has been tested as a future open state.

Adjacent NRM & Coal Drops

Scores 70% on CLOPS. Biggest losses are due to the potential pedestrian conflict around the NRM.

Leeman Road Tunnel

Scoes 68% on CLOPS, would score highly if provision as that through the tunnel was consistent through the section, but loses points because of shared sections in front of Royal Mail Depot. 

York Outer Ring Road Proposals

City of York Council have been holding a consultation on the proposed dualling of the A1237 (Northern Outer Ring Road) between Clifton Moor and the A64 Hopgrove Roundabout. As well as dualling the road along the existing route, the proposals include a shared cycle/footpath running parallel to the road and enlarging existing roundabouts along the route. More information about the scheme can be found on the Council’s consultation page, where you can also lodge a comment up until Monday 16th November 2020.

The proposed dualling section and roundabouts
Map data © Google

Below is a copy of the Campaign’s response to the consultation.


York Cycle Campaign is significantly concerned by the proposals put forward for the dualling of the A1237 and their lack of safe provision for pedestrians and cyclists. Whilst the proposed shared cycle track to run parallel to the scheme meets most the requirements in the latest cycle infrastructure design guidance, all but one of the roundabouts along the route fall woefully short. This is particularly pertinent as 20% of cyclists KSIs occur at roundabouts.

The Department for Transport’s Gear Change document is Government policy and needs to be embedded in City of York Council’s standards. In particular the following principles from Gear Change are not fully met by the current proposal:

1. Cycle infrastructure should be accessible to everyone from 8 to 80.

2 Cyclists must be treated as vehicles and physically separated from pedestrians, with separate parallel routes at crossings and junctions.

3. Cyclists must be physically separated and protected from high volume motor traffic.

6. To receive Government funding for highways investment where the main element is not cycling or walking there will be a presumption that schemes must deliver or improve cycle infrastructure to the standards of the LTN1/20.

18. Cycle routes must flow, feeling direct and logical.

20. Designers of cycle schemes must experience the roads as a cyclist.

21. Schemes must be consistent.

The cycle campaign has undertaken an analysis of each roundabout using the Junction Assessment Tool provided within the DfT’s Local Transport Note 1/20, a tool which rates each potential movement through the junction for cyclists in order to give the junction an overall score in the form of a percentage. The document identifies 70% as the minimum acceptable score, and that there should be no zero scoring movements – only Haxby Road Roundabout passes these thresholds.

For all roundabouts, other than Haxby Road, the need to cross multiple lanes at once is the greatest issue against the guidance. Whilst not identified within the documentation, it is assumed that speed limits through the roundabouts would remain at 40mph, Table 10.2 of LTN 1/20 identifies the only crossing types suitable for any traffic flow at these speeds as being signalised or grade separated. 

Paragraphs 10.7.5 and 10.7.13 of the LTN identifies the safe way of accommodating cyclists at roundabouts with high volumes and speeds as providing protected space away from the carriageway, as is proposed, but accompanying this with signal-controlled crossings at entries and exits, or grade separation.

The document also specifically identifies in paragraph 10.4.8 ‘at higher speeds and traffic volumes uncontrolled crossings (such as those shown in the design proposals) are unlikely to meet the needs of all users’.

The Campaign believes that all crossings should be revised to provide signal controlled cycle crossings alongside pedestrian crossings for the safety of all vulnerable users in navigating the roundabouts, or further grade separation such as those used at Haby Road Roundabout and Strensall Roundabout.

Where grade separation such as tunnels is provided, a minimum head height of 2.7m should be maintained to enhance lighting and personal security, and gradients leading to and from should be within the parameters set in table 5.8.

Throughout the scheme, for the safety and comfort of both pedestrians and cyclists, the Campaign believes that shared paths should be amended to segregated cycle tracks of a minimum 3.0m wide kerb separated from a footway as recommended in sections 6.2 and chapter 8.

We also note that York’s Local Transport Plan follows guidelines set down in National Policy Guidelines, particularly seeking to reduce car usage and make greater use of walking, cycling and public transport. At the heart of York’s Transport strategy lies its commitment to a hierarchy of transport users, placing pedestrians at the top, followed by people with mobility problems, then cyclists, and placing motorists at the bottom. The current proposal fails to uphold this commitment.

Whilst the suitability and effectiveness of dualling the northern ring road is up for debate, the Campaign believe that any dualling scheme that does not provide adequate pedestrian and cycling facilities represents a waste of resources and funding for the people living and travelling to York regardless of how they would be using the ring road. By not providing adequate facilities the dualling scheme locks in the residents of the outer villages, current and future, to not being able to choose active travel modes to travel to the York Inner. This lack of choice embeds car dependency for residents and leads to increased pressure and strain on the road network, which will eventually erode attempts to increase capacity and fix in congestion and delays for those that choose to drive around the northern ring road.

Below is a summary of the results from each Junction assessment:

Clifton Moor Roundabout

Clifton Moor Roundabout scores 38% on the LTN 1/20 Junction Assessment Tool with twelve zero scoring elements out of 24 tests, all as a result of having to cross the ST14 Garden Village arm. 

All maneuvers that didn’t involve the ST14 arm scored full points when tested against roundabout criteria because of the ability to use the underpass.  When tested against generic junction criteria these movements only scored one point, as crossings are shared with pedestrians.

Wigginton Road Roundabout

Scores 15% on the LTN 1/20 Junction Assessment Tool, with only left hand (first junction) manoeuvres scoring a positive score which in themselves are limited to one point because of sharing with pedestrians.

All other maneuvers required crossing multiple lanes of traffic which leads to a score of zero.

Haxby Road Roundabout

The only roundabout to pass, scored 75% on the LTN 1/20 Junction Assessment Tool, scoring two points for each movement when tested against roundabout specific criteria. Like others when tested against general junction criteria the score was limited to one point due to shared path sections.

Strensall Road Roundabout

Scores 25% on the LTN 1/20 Junction Assessment Tool, mostly using points due to the need to cross multiple lanes of traffic without protection.

Monks Cross Roundabout

The lowest scoring roundabout, Monks Cross scores only 6% because of the amount of junctions that require crossing multiple lanes. Only two maneuvers score positive marks out of twenty.

Winter Riding: Ten Top Tips

As the nights draw in, we asked members their best tips for riding through the autumn and winter. All these seasonal tips are valuable, but at this time perhaps pay most attention to number ten:

  1. When it’s bad weather, brake earlier and before the corner – you won’t know if that corner’s icy or covered in diesel until you get to it.
  2. Be careful riding on wet leaves & mud which can be as slippery as ice. Along with puddles they can also hide potholes which always get worse at this time of year.
  3. When riding in snow, it’s best to reduce the pressure in your tyres to their minimum as this gives better grip – don’t forget to pump them back up again later.
  4. Keeping a good pair of waterproof trousers in a pannier can save you (or your trousers at least) if you get caught in the rain.
  5. A snood is great for keeping your neck warm and can easily adjust whilst riding, it also doubles as a handy face covering when you’re in the shops.
  6. Check that your lovely warm coat doesn’t hang over your rear light if it’s on your seat post, if you’ve got a rear pannier rack try fixing the light to this to keep it clear.
  7. If you’re off the road and on a shared path, switch from flashing to steady lighting for everyone’s comfort.
  8. Get in the habit of charging lights on a regular schedule so you know they’ve got charge, rather than waiting for them to go flat. Having in two pairs of lights, not only will you be more visible you’ll have a backup if one goes flat whilst you’re out.
  9. Do away with batteries altogether and invest in a wheel that has a hub dynamo.
  10. Most importantly, enjoy it. Whilst cycling you’re best placed to take your time and appreciate the seasonal delights of our city.

November 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, and whatever else late autumn has to throw at us. However it turns out, let’s carry on cycling when and where we can. To help with that, we’ve got some seasonal riding tips for you. Also some spectacular Scottish scenery from a wild camping cycle trip as well as more local stories. And more about our AGM on 24th November – you don’t have to go out in the cold or rain, it will come to you. Plus we have a fantastic guest speaker. So what’s not to like?

Wheel Spiels: Midge mayhem

He may have misjudged the midges (yes, they are still there and biting in September), but Jon Phillip tells us about his otherwise fantastic wild camping foray to Scotland and provides tips for anyone wanting to emulate him.

Ten top tips: cycling in winter

A person standing next to a tree  Description automatically generated

As the nights draw in, we asked members their best tips for riding through the autumn and winter. All these seasonal tips are valuable, but at this time perhaps pay most attention to number ten:

  1. When it’s bad weather, brake earlier and before the corner – you won’t know if that corner’s icy or covered in diesel until you get to it.
  2. Be careful riding on wet leaves & mud which can be as slippery as ice. Along with puddles they can also hide potholes which always get worse at this time of year.
  3. When riding in snow, it’s best to reduce the pressure in your tyres to their minimum as this gives better grip – don’t forget to pump them back up again later.
  4. Keeping a good pair of waterproof trousers in a pannier can save you (or your trousers at least) if you get caught in the rain.
  5. A snood is great for keeping your neck warm and can easily adjust whilst riding, it also doubles as a handy face covering when you’re in the shops.
  6. Check that your lovely warm coat doesn’t hang over your rear light if it’s on your seat post, if you’ve got a rear pannier rack try fixing the light to this to keep it clear.
  7. If you’re off the road and on a shared path, switch from flashing to steady lighting for everyone’s comfort.
  8. Get in the habit of charging lights on a regular schedule so you know they’ve got charge, rather than waiting for them to go flat. Having in two pairs of lights, not only will you be more visible you’ll have a backup if one goes flat whilst you’re out.
  9. Do away with batteries altogether and invest in a wheel that has a hub dynamo.
  10. Most importantly, enjoy it. Whilst cycling you’re best placed to take your time and appreciate the seasonal delights of our city.

Ward pedal: Rawcliffe and Clifton Without

The latest in our member-organised rides round council wards to show local councillors the good, the bad and the ugly took place in October. Two ward councillors joined Tom, Robyn and David on the route, and you can read about it here. We welcome more ward pedal volunteers – please get in touch if you’d like to get involved.

The Missing Link

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We’ve got some promising news about the proposed walk/cycle route between Heslington and Wheldrake. Cllr Christian Vassie (Councillor for Wheldrake Ward) has been hard at work, talking to landowners and council officers, and costing up materials. Earlier this month Christian met with one of the key landowners and talked through concerns about security and access. They agreed that these could be solved by planting a hedgerow, keeping people on the straight and narrow and enhancing biodiversity! There are a couple of other minor landowners that Christian intends to talk to and he is setting up a meeting with Forest England (who own Wheldrake Woods). Council officers has previously estimated that it would cost £500,000 to create this route, but Christian has found a way to significantly reduce costs. “The Surfacing Guide for Path Projects produced for the Scottish Government says that a 2 metre wide semi-bound path costs around £35 per metre length of path. Scale that up to 1000 metres and you get £35,000 not £500,000. I am now working with officers to confirm that if we dump the dream of a tarmac covered path and go for something like the current wide path through Wheldrake Woods – which I think we cyclists would all agree is fine – then it is more within our reach than people have previously told us!” he said. The proposed route is indicated in the map below with the fuzzy pink line showing the missing link. Do join the ‘Supporters of a York to Wheldrake & Elvington Cycleway‘ Facebook page if you’d like to receive updates.

ReCycle in running for award

ReCycle York, the bike shop on Walmgate, is on the shortlist for Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2020. The award is run by the Independent Retailers Confederation, a trade association of about 100,000 independent UK retailers. As well as buying, selling and repairing bikes, ReCycle (as its name suggests) supports waste reduction. It recycles more than 5,000 bikes annually and donates many to local causes.

Good news: cycling between Bridge and Bootham

A Council Transport meeting on Tuesday 4th November is set to approve a project to improve the journey between Scarborough bridge and Bootham. Key proposals are to: construct a ramp to address the level differences between St. Mary’s and Marygate Lane; widen the path alongside Marygate car park; put traffic lights at the top of St Mary’s; and revamp the crossing near the old Bootham hospital. You can read more on the YorkMix website.

Many thanks to all of you who responded to the consultation. There were 96 responses in total, so your voice can really make a difference.

Councillors get briefing on new government guidance

So what does the new Government guidance on cycle infrastructure mean for York? That’s the question we’ve posed to Phil Jones, transport consultant at Phil Jones Associates, and co-author of the new LTN1/20 guidance. And we’re delighted to report that Phil has agreed to do a webinar for York’s councillors this week, to help bring them up to speed on the new guidance and empower them to make optimal active travel decisions. This invite-only event will be hosted by York Cycle Campaign, but we hope to record the webinar and share it with members of the cycle campaign’s ‘Better Infrastructure Group’ afterwards.

AGM

Saving the best till last! No excuse for not knowing that the AGM is on 24th November. The guest speaker is journalist and hand cyclist Ellis Palmer from BBC Radio 5 Live. Ellis lives with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around on a day-to-day basis. But he’s recently taken up (and become obsessed with) hand cycling. It promises to be a fascinating talk. We’ll also elect the Committee for the coming year (let us know if you’re at all interested) and vote on some refinements to the Campaign’s Constitution. Exact time and Zoom link to be confirmed, all you have to do for now is put the date in your diary.

Cycle ride with Councillors in Rawcliffe and Clifton Without

A ride was organised by members of York Cycling Campaign for councillors in the ward in order to view some of the problems and some of the good provision within the ward.

Two of the ward councillors were able to attend: Sam Waudby and Daryl Smalley.  From YCC the participants were Tom Franklin, Robyn Jankel and David Hirst. A big thank you to Sam and Daryl for taking the time and trouble to join us, and especially to Sam who hasn’t cycled for a long while.

The Route taken is shown on the map below:

© Google Maps 2020

This differs from the original proposal by going into Clifton Moor and cutting the route to 8.25km. 

The following highlights some of the issues raised. Most of which can be found at the flags on this map.

Some of the cycle routes in the area are difficult or dangerous to use (or both). Problems that we encountered include:

  • Cycling without any protection on a main road eg (Shipton Road – A19) where there is no provision for cycling South of Loweswater Road.
  • Narrow cycle paths eg much of the route 65 past Rawcliffe Country Park, the path round Rawcliffe Lake.
  • Dangerous footpath/cycleway eg along the A1237 over the Ouse and railway.
  • Dangerous junctions eg Shipton Road / A1237, cycle path emerging from Shipton Road onto Manor Lane, Roundabout at Stirling Road/Clifton Moor Gate etc.
  • Difficult to negotiate barriers eg between Manor Lane and Hurricane Way, at the end of the cycle path along Manor Lane.
  • Impossible to negotiate barriers (except for fit cyclists with no or small panniers) eg Oakdale Road just North of Loxley Close on the cycle path, from Staindale Road to the Rec.
  • Lack of signing eg by Rawcliffe and Clifton Allotments either to the Ings or onto the quiet Shipton Road, on any of the entrances to Rawcliffe Rec (to say cycling allowed)
  • Routes disappearing eg onto Tesco where route takes you to petrol station and then it is unclear what bicycles are even supposed to do, Southern end of quiet Shipton Road (south of Loweswater Road).
  • Kerbs to cross eg at Southern end of quiet Shipton Road (south of Loweswater Road) to rejoin main carriageway.
  • Complete lack of provision eg within Clifton Moor where although technically there are little bits much of it is not signed

The key messages from this were:

  • Cycling is only as safe as the most dangerous part of the route.  For Instance, many parents will be wary of their children cycling to Manor CofE Academy because of the seriously dangerous path over the river.
  • Cycling is only as accessible as the least accessible point. 
    • While we could get past most of the barriers some of these are impossible for disabled cyclists who cannot easily get off and manoeuvre their bikes round the barriers

Cyclists with trailers, or on tricycles are unable to navigate some of the barriers rendering that whole route useless

  • Kerbs to be ascended are again problematic for disabled cyclists, bikes with trailers and many tricycles.
  • More imagination is needed in design. We all understand that there are places that motorbikes may be a problem, but often this can be handled with methods other than barriers, and where there are barriers they need to enable access by children, disabled cyclists, tricyclists  and bikes with trailers.
  • Cycle routes need to be continuous. As already noted, a cycle route is only as safe as the most dangerous part. Cycle routes therefore need to be designed to get to places and not just inserted where easy as these do not offer cycling for everyone.
  • Better provision is needed in Clifton Moor. This is a major employment site and so needs provision of both cycle routes and parking to encourage people to make a modal shift to cycling. (it should also be noted that bus provision is very poor except to Tesco).
  • Alternatives to barriers are needed. Even a reduction would be welcomed eg they cannot be needed at both ends of the Manor Lane / Hurricane Way snicket. 

We have not explored the entire ward and it was agreed to have a second cycle ride to look at the South West of the ward.

Many thanks to both Sam and Daryl for coming and listening.