Moorcroft Road parking woes continue

Local Lib Dem councillors are calling on City of York Council officials to recognise the problems being caused by inconsiderate parking on both sides of Moorcroft Road in Woodthorpe.

Parking outside the doctors surgery and the dentist is causing difficulties for the number 12 bus, which serves Woodthorpe, which on occasions has been unable to get through.

An officer report to the Decision Session of the Executive Member for Planning and Transport on 17 May noted that residents who had objected to the proposed double yellow lines outside the doctors had said that the restrictions would be better placed on the other side of the road, outside the dentist. This suggestion was rejected by officers, who responded in the report by saying that “parking here [outside the dentist] is thought to be more intermittent.”

Cllr Ashley Mason attended the 17 May meeting to make the case for parking restrictions outside the dentist, but this was refused. Instead, it was agreed to defer the installation of double yellow lines outside the doctors surgery to enable more evidence to be gathered via a 7-day video traffic survey, which the councillors propose to fund from the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward budget.

Cllr Stephen Fenton commented  “We first made the case for parking restrictions outside the dentist at a Decision Session of the Executive Member for Planning and Transport held on 14 September 2017, but this was refused. It is disappointing that the same has happened again. Parking outside the dentist is not ‘intermittent’ as the officer report suggests – it is persistent. The photograph below, taken on 6 June, demonstrates this.”

Moorcroft Road – dentist on left, doctors surgery on right

 

TalkTalk publish timetable for repair work

TalkTalk has published a timetable setting out when tarmac strips across concrete driveways will be replaced with concrete, and other repairs made to footpaths and verges following the UFO cable installation work.

Dates correct as at 31 May 2018

Lib Dem councillor Andrew Waller met with representatives of TalkTalk and contractors FNS on Friday 1 June to visit locations across Westfield and Dringhouses & Woodthorpe wards where there are concerns about the reinstatement works done so far.

Residents reject bollard suggestion

Residents on the Middlethorpe estate have rejected a suggestion that concrete bollards could be installed at some junctions in the hope of protecting verges from being overrun by heavy vehicles (such as at the junction of Whin Road and Middlethorpe Grove, pictured below).


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In response to a request for feedback in the Spring 2018 edition of Focus, all but one respondent said that they did not favour bollards being installed. Reasons given included that they would be ugly and would be difficult to mow around.

One alternative suggestion put forward was for template letters to be drafted which residents could be put on the windscreens of vehicles parked inappropriately, asking them politely to park elsewhere.

This suggestion chimes with a recommendation coming out of the grass verge scrutiny review in 2016, which was that:

“The Communications Team produces a pro forma letter to further promote community and neighbourhood pride and advise that it costs council tax payers £35 per square metre to repair damaged verges, which can:

  • Be made available to ward councillors for distribution to drivers and residents when a particular problem is identified or reported;
  • Be circulated to residents online or by text message via the new My Account system;
  • Form the basis of a poster to be displayed in local libraries, community centres, other public buildings and included in relevant council publications.”

Askham Bar litter pick success

A team of volunteers joined councillors Ashley Mason and Stephen Fenton for a litter pick on Sunday 27 May at the old Askham Bar Park & Ride site and surrounding area. Over 25 bags of litter were collected.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worryingly, a large number of discarded small silver flasks were found, which it is thought are being used for recreational ‘highs.’ The Police have been notified.


 

Middlethorpe Grove footpath work to get underway

City of York Council has issued letters to residents on Middlethorpe Grove confirming that footpath reconstruction work will get underway on 11 June, and is expected to last for 16 weeks. The hours of work will be 8am to 3.30pm.

The scheme involves installing a pin kerb to the front of the footway, relaying the flags and replacing broken ones. Vehicle crossings will be reconstructed in concrete. Tactile crossing points will be installed across junctions. Residents within the area to be reconstructed are being offered a discounted extension or new vehicle crossing to be constructed as part of this scheme, at cost.

The map issued with the letter indicates that the footpaths on both sides of Middlethorpe Grove will be reconstructed from the junction with Hunters Way to the junction with Dringthorpe Road. This is welcome news, as it had been suggested by the council recently in a footways map accompanying an Officer Decision Report that only the even numbered side of the street would be reconstructed.

 

 

Talks on UFO restoration work

On 8 May Cllr Ann Reid joined fellow Lib Dem councillor Andrew Waller to meet with representatives of TalkTalk and council officers. The meeting followed a letter sent by Cllr Waller to TalkTalk last month expressing concerns received from residents with respect to the work being conducted as part of the Ultra Fibre Optic roll out.

A summary of residents’ issues raised were:
• Verge conditions – stones and gravel prevent grass growing or safe cutting by machines
• Tarmac on concrete driveways –uncertainty as to when tarmac will be replaced with concrete
• Cutting of other cables in the highway
• Bus routes blocked
• Pedestrians put onto the road due to closed footpath

There are concerns about the state of verges across Dringhouses

On communications, a new leaflet has been developed to encourage residents to call the Careline if there are issues and to reinforce the message that the crews will be returning to streets after the initial engineering works. There have been instances of other utilities having cables in the ground where they are not meant to be and this has resulted in some residents having telecoms cut (there is a BT Openreach worker with the teams at all times)

It was accepted that there needs to be a clearer communication of plans to residents and ward councillors in relation to:
• Replace temporary tarmac in concrete driveways with concrete (on like for like basis)
• Restoration of verges with re-soiling (replacing the rubble) and grass seed (within the timeframe when it is not too warm/dry for seed to successfully germinate)
• Step up tool box talks to gangs to reinforce customer service requirements
• Review pinch points where there are so many crews and vehicles that it starts to impact on transport in an area
• Review locations where pedestrians needed to go onto the road due to the works

There will be a new inspection regime to respond to residents’ concerns and ward councillors will be asked to check that issues raised by residents have been addressed before final sign off.
It is planned to have a web page for updates, and Frequently Asked Questions, and a summary of the position with roads which have been completed through the process.

Representatives from TalkTalk will give an update at the joint Dringhouses & Woodthorpe and Westfield Ward Committee meeting on 5 June at 6.30pm at the indoor bowls club on Thanet Road.

Tree roots thought to be cause of Tadcaster Road drain problems

A number of blocked drains on Tadcaster Road are thought to have been caused by tree roots.

Cllr Stephen Fenton recently reported three blocked drains near to the entrance to Little Hob Moor. Investigations by council officers have indicated that a likely cause of the blockage is tree roots in a Yorkshire Water sewer.


We’ll be pressing for action that will enable the drains to be unblocked  as soon as possible.

Wilberforce Trust planning application approved

On 19 April the council’s Planning Committee approved the application by the Wilberforce Trust to build three three-storey blocks accommodating 30 apartments, and a two-storey office and community element, on its land to the east of St Leonards Hospice and The Square.


The full text of the decision, and conditions attached, will be made available in due course on the council website Here.