Andy D’Agorne on a York Wheels bus.
York Greens have expressed support for a ‘cross party grown up discussion’ of options to cut traffic congestion and pollution in the city and boost alternatives to the car. The new Labour administration has confirmed the existing aim of reducing car journeys in the city by 20% by 2030, but needs to follow through with policies that can help achieve that aim.
At a meeting of the Transport Scrutiny Committee, Andy D’Agorne (who was the executive member for transport in the previous administration) called on the new executive to face up to the ‘tough choices’ on bus priority which are needed to ‘stabilise reliability and attractiveness of York’s bus services’ that have had to be baled out with short term council funding over the past year just to keep them running.
Andy also called for implementation of the agreed plan to allow overnight parking at park and ride sites, as well as suggesting that bespoke a park and ride service to the station could be a better option than the current LNER plan to build a multi storey car park right beside the railway station.
Andy also expressed Green support for the ideas of allowing longer time for pedestrians to cross busy roads and the York Civic Trust idea that Gillygate might be designated bus and access only during daytime hours. Residents Parking might be extended to all terraced streets within the ring road, but with a discounted permit for the first vehicle owned by residents with no off street parking.
As Andy’ pointed out:
“Policy ideas are great, but need to be costed and quantified against clear, specific short-term targets. Tough choices on bus priority are needed to secure quick wins to stabilise reliability and attractiveness of our bus services. Specifically, ref 4.2 the city centre bus study recommendations need to be actioned, alongside changes around the Castle Gateway and Eye of York public realm and a managed reduction in parking as we aim to achieve 20% fewer car journeys. …
“Our local neighbourhoods need to become safe walking wheeling and cycling zones, with everything from 20mph and school streets to more covered cycle parking and early morning and evening bus services. These can help to remove barriers to independent travel for young people and the significant proportion of residents who either cant afford a car or prefer alternatives. …
“I welcome the focus on parking policy, notably 7.6. Respark areas should be focus for car share, ebike hire, cycle hanger secure storage, and such initiatives that help reduce parking pressures as we cut car dependency. We need to revise the respark process so that terraced streets within walking distance of the city centre can all become protected by the scheme, perhaps with a reduced annual charge for the 1st vehicle where there’s no option of off-street parking.
These are just some of the bold changes we need now to see embedded by 2027 (half way to 2030).”