York Green Councillors action on cycling

Bicycles in front of Minster

What have you done to help increase walking and cycling in York over the last 4 years?

Fishergate
ward:

Green
councillors were keen to promote safe crossing provision on Cemetery Rd between
the Cemetery, Playground and walking route through Howard St but the council’s
feasibility study said there was no possibility of a refuge within the
constraints of highway widths and sight lines. We did however use ward funding
to refresh the safety markings near the crossing point at the Fulford Rd end of
Cemetery Rd, restore markings and ‘Slow’ signs around Broadway shops, new
signposting walking/cycling routes from the Millennium Bridge through the
allotments, installing more benches eg at Danesmead Wood and a new covered bike
shelter at Fishergate School. Andy has set up a Community speedwatch group for
the ward which has operated since summer 2018 at Broadway and Heslington Rd
(still need more volunteers!) Controversially, ward ‘Highways’ money was used to
completely resurface about half of New Walk riverside path (which was in a poor
state) and convert the whole length to shared use rather than segregated,
initially as a trial.  ‘Care with share’
signage was added and a consultation carried out with hundreds of responses,
with slightly more preferring the new layout. Overall this has been more
popular with walkers than cyclists – apart from at peak morning and evening
travel times there are now many more pedestrians than cyclists. The whole issue
of pavement cycling and shared use provision is a bit of a hot topic, with
strong views on both sides!

Guildhall ward

Ward councillor meetings with residents and officers on the Fossgate proposals, pushing for full pedestrianisation of the top part of the street. Denise and Andy worked hard to argue for the full pedestrianisation of Fossgate as part of the footstreets in order to encourage more attractive, sociable and traffic free city centre streets. The scheme that is currently being implemented is not perfect but the Council has committed to further consultation on pedestrianisation once the engineering work has been completed.

  • Casework dealing with issues of pavement parking, lack of cycle parking or cycle lanes etc Denise has worked actively to increase the number of drop kerbs on streets around the ward, eg. along Lowther Street.
  • Denise produced (independently) a special brochure distributed to all Guildhall ward residents highlighting free and cheap things to do for families with children during the 2018 summer holidays – this included encouragement to walk the city walls, walk to St Nick’s for the playground, pond-dipping and other activities and walk to other parks in the vicinity of the city centre to make the most of the natural environments we have in or near the city centre.
  • Denise worked hard to ensure that the transport modelling currently underway as part of the Groves Regeneration Project includes a wide remit including the option of closing off Lowther Street and/or Townend/Penley’s Grove Street to through vehicle traffic – the aim is to create a pedestrian and cycling friendly neighbourhood no longer blighted by constant streams of through traffic.
  • Denise took the lead, working with other ward councillors, on getting better crossing facilities (paid for out of ward highways funds) across Haxby Road to make it easier for residents including families with children from the Groves area to access Clarence Gardens and the play area. The scheme is definitely going forwards and hopefully we will soon see a new zebra crossing and a new refuge.
  • Worked with other councillors to contribute ward funding to York Health Walks.
  • Worked with Sustrans, the Cycling Officer and councillors in other wards to improve the Foss Island Cycle path for cyclists with better management of vegetation.
  • Encouraged the Council to look at joining up the gaps in the cycle route across Scarborough Bridge (when the new bridge opens) via Marygate car park, Bootham Park, the hospital grounds and Wigginton Road. This work is now being progressed with underspend from the bridge work.
  • Andy proposed the ‘cycle advanced’ signal recently installed on the new Walmgate junction to increase cyclist safety when turning right from Walmgate.

Micklegate

  •  Lars has been involved in discussions with the other ward councillors and officers looking at options to reduce through traffic in the shopping street and improve pedestrian priority at the junction of Scarcroft Rd and Bishopthorpe Rd when the lights are replaced.
  •  Andy supported the setting up of the Community Speed Watch team on Bishy Rd and now Rosie and Sam are part of the team. This raises awareness of how important this stretch of road is for families and older people especially to feel safe walking, crossing, cycling along in the knowledge that a caring team of volunteers is monitoring vehicle speed in a 20 mph area.
  • Andy has supported the protests and moves to improve the crossing near the junction with Campleshon Rd – in fact about a year ago he said that the measures to ensure visibility for those crossing were not enough and additional parking restrictions are now being proposed to address this!

York Cycle campaign re-launch.

Greens joined discussions that led to the formation of the walk cycle forum and the re-launch of York Cycle Campaign which is now much more than a defunct contact point for council consultations!

Responding
to council transport project consultations: Cllr
D’Agorne comments on most proposals that impact on cycling or walking eg need
for better facilities to be included in ring road roundabout ‘upgrade’ plans.

Andy
has been a regular attender at walk cycle forum and met Sheridan several times to discuss
priorities for progressing the objectives within York
. Denise has attended
one. Promotion of York Bike Belles ‘cake confidence’ events?

Have you supported York Bike Belles and other community groups/ organisations such as York Health Walks, St Nicks, Get Cycling etc, that encourage walking and cycling in York over the last 4 years? If so, how?

We have used ward newsletters,
noticeboards etc to promote initiatives such as the ‘cake confidence’ cycling
events,rides, Walk Cycle festival etc. We have also supported ‘pop up’ pavement
café events such as in Micklegate and Cliffords Tower car park. Andy has been a
Sustrans volunteer for over a year and has completed ride manager training to
enable him to lead guided rides for novice cyclists. Denise is a
trustee of St Nicks! One Planet York active supporter.

 In
Micklegate
we have attended and took part in the family events where Get Cycling have been
showcasing their range of bikes in Rowntrees park. We recommend Get Cycling
social enterprise to residents and tourists.

What do you intend to do to increase walking and cycling in York over the next 4 years?

Budget
proposals for walking cycling and disability would form basis of negotiations
with any party wanting our support to run the council. If we get the chance
would increase spending and change focus away from roadbuilding to creating
dutch style cycle routes and high- quality walking routes, with major changes
such as the ‘supercrossing’ proposed in Castle Gateway Project linking St
Georges Fields car park and the riverside path directly over Fishergate and
across the Foss on a new dedicated bridge.

We want to
see a complete re-think on winter maintenance of off road cycle routes, and
bridges so that the most popular direct routes (including Millennium Bridge)
are maintained in a safe condition on a par with major city centre footways and
all priority roads. We will continue ‘Snow warden’ arrangements, provision of
grit bins and the prompt cleaning of riverside routes after flooding. The
itravelyork website will be maintained and enhanced to give up to date timely
advice for cyclists and pedestrians (as well as motorists) in adverse weather
and periods of flooding.

Following the agreement to make Micklegate Bar one way (except for
cycles) which we support, we would like to see far more pedestrian priority on
all the city’s ‘peripheral streets’ including Gillygate – this would improve
air quality, encourage more footfall for traders and create a more pleasant
environment for residents

Have you listened to and taken on board the views of local residents when making policies and decisions about walking and cycling in the last 4 years? If so, how?

See
comments above about the changes made to New Walk which was controversial so we
produced response cards distributed at a ward meeting to local schools and shops
etc.

Always talking to residents about their views and
concerns – trying to take these issues forward and acting on them – for example
supporting the Refearn Community Group (Heslington Rd terraced area) in their
efforts to make their streets and back alleys more pedestrian friendly with
planters, etc, (also Greening the Groves project) Speedily responding to residents
requests eg for a Grit Box on Paragon St at a particularly treacherous spot for
ice. Persistent councillor complaints about things like idling ice cream vans
and parking on walkway under Skeldergate Bridge in response to residents
concerns.

–  Lars recently made a
call-out to all Tadcaster Rd cyclists who wanted to make comments and
suggestions for how to improve cycling conditions in that area.When
we carried our 60 Second Surveys in the southern Clementhorpe / surrounding
Bishopthorpe Rd areas we listened to and took note of many residents’ concerns
over road safety and wrote to each person highlighting our work on 20s Plenty
Campaign and taking part in Slow Down Day, gathering more people’s views on the
street.

Have you worked collaboratively with other parties, organisations, groups and individuals across the city to increase walking and cycling in the last 4 years? If so, how?

Involvement
in a range of groups eg Environment Forum Transport subgroup, York Bus Forum.
York Cycle Campaign, Walk Cycle Forum, Quality Bus Partnership. Rosie spoke about her ideas
for ‘clean air’ walking routes to schools, networking with other groups at a
One Planet York mingle and using the Living Streets materials as a guide. 

Why should people who walk and ride a bike around York vote for you/ your party?

We have
always championed better provision for walking and cycling, even when
controversial as for example when roadspace was taken at Clifton Green to
improve provision for cyclists on the newly created ‘orbital’ route. When the
proposed council ‘congestion commission’ was dropped we set up our own
‘people’s congestion commission from which the York Bus Forum was formed as the
most urgent transport issue of those residents participating. We have also
championed concerns about clean air and cycle safety in council policies and
decisions.

We are the
only party to propose a cap on the growth of traffic in York and a shift of
spending away from dualling the ring road towards sustainable transport, We
have leading activists who dont drive a car at all or walk/ cycle a lot of the
time, giving us  daily experience of the
challenges for those wanting to do the healthy green option.

We also have
very experienced party members who understand some of the more technical
aspects of transport provision and planning and are able to engage with
planning issues, travel planning for businesses etc  to improve the quality of sustainable
transport in York, and challenge car-focussed thinking in council decisions. We
have members who take an active part in transport and environmental lobby
groups, and actively encourage them to contribute to consultations. We also
draw on the technical expertise of other group members and council officers to
inform our representations to complex policy documents such as the Local Plan and
the Local Transport Plan, advocating for sustainable transport to be given
higher priority within high level strategies for York.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Font Resize
High contrast