UPDATE – Woodthorpe Post Office closure

We have today received a response from Post Office Ltd about the sudden closure of Woodthorpe Post Office:

“Thank you for your recent email about the Woodthorpe Post Office.

The provision of Post Office services to our customers in your community is important to us, and I’m really sorry we weren’t able to provide any advance warning of this closure.

I can confirm that this branch has been closed on a temporary basis due to circumstances outside of Post Office Ltd’s control. We can’t disclose any further details about the closure as this information is private and confidential, and I’m unable to confirm when the branch will re-open, I can however assure you that our internal teams are working to minimise this disruption in service as much as possible.

We are fully aware of the importance the Post Office has for the customers who depend on us, and I want to assure you that we remain committed to ensuring essential services remain accessible for customers in your community.

Our Area Management Team are also aware of the situation at this branch, and are working hard to identify a solution for the short-term and long-term future of Post Office services in this area. Updates will also be circulated locally as soon as possible.

I can appreciate the inconvenience and frustration this closure may have caused yourself and the local community, and in the meantime I’d advise that you use Post Office services at an alternative branch.

You can use our Branch Finder to find your nearest alternative branch and the services that they offer. Just head over to http://www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder and enter your address or postcode.

Once again, please accept my apologies for the temporary closure of this branch and any concern caused. If we can be of any further assistance please don’t hesitate to get back in touch with us again by replying to this email or emailing us at customercare@postoffice.co.uk directly.”

Concern over sudden closure of Woodthorpe Post Office counter

Local Lib Dem councillors have asked Post Office Ltd for urgent answers on why the Post Office counter in Woodthorpe has closed, and for how long it will remain shut.

There is a notice on the door stating that it is closed for a ‘routine stock take’, but a number of residents have heard that it may be closed for up to five weeks.

Cllr Ashley Mason at Woodthorpe Post Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Post Office counter is a valuable facility for many local residents, and as Christmas approaches is likely to be particularly busy as residents send parcels to friends and family.

We will post further updates as and when we receive answers from Post Office Ltd.

Traffic survey results revealed

Traffic surveys undertaken on Thanet Road and Moorcroft Road have provided evidence to support calls for action to tackle problem parking and speeding concerns.

The surveys were supported by local Lib Dem councillors though funding from the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Ward Committee budget.

Residents’ concerns about speeding traffic and parking provision on Thanet Road have been backed up by the findings of the survey. The aim of the survey undertaken between 21st and 27th June was to gather evidence to support calls for safety measures to be put in place, following a number of accidents and incidents where residents’ cars have been damaged.

Thanet Road survey zone

Findings from the survey included:

  • Ten near misses between two cars
  • One near miss between a car and a HGV
  • One near miss between two HGVs

Councillor Ashley Mason said “The findings from the survey will further strengthen our calls for action to improve road safety. We have written to the council’s Transport chief, including the survey findings, to ask that options be considered for an engineering solution.”

Parking problems on Moorcroft Road outside the doctors and dentists prompted the survey at that location, which was undertaken between 17th and 23rd July. The aim of the survey was to gather evidence on the nature of the parking problems which can cause the bus to get stuck and footpaths to be obstructed.

A previous proposal for extending double yellow lines outside the doctor’s surgery attracted some criticism, with the suggestion that double yellow lines outside the dentist would have more impact. However council officers opposed this suggestion.

Moorcroft Road survey zone

Some headline findings from the survey included:

  • Three near misses between two cars
  • Four near misses between a car and a bus
  • One near miss between a car and a moped
  • One near miss between a parked car and a mobility scooter

Councillor Stephen Fenton said “We will keep residents informed and engaged on further developments. In the meantime we recently arranged for the existing double yellow lines on Moorcroft Road to be re-painted, as they had almost faded away.

“We have been in contact with the new owners of the shops and car parks to ask that ‘Customer Parking Only’ signs be installed, in response to complaints about the car parks being used a ‘Park & Ride’. We have also asked for the overgrown vegetation to be cut back.”

 

Councillors keep up the pressure on grass verge reinstatement

Local Lib Dem councillors are continuing to push for proper reinstatement of grass verges in Dringhouses following the completion of UFO cable laying.

Many verges on Leven Road have failed to recover due to the very poor quality soil used – in places there is more rubble than soil!

Following a joint TalkTalk / City of York Council walkout last week, it was agreed that additional topsoil was required, which will put down over the next few weeks.

 

Talks on Balloon Fiesta traffic chaos

A meeting has been held to discuss the traffic chaos caused by the Balloon Fiesta on the Knavesmire on Saturday 29 September.

There were numerous examples of illegal parking, like here on Ainsty Grove

The meeting, on 4 October, involved City of York Council transport officers, Make it York, the Police and the event organisers. We understand that they discussed what happened and if there were any possible solutions to avoid a repeat of the problems caused.

Importantly, the council has told the organisers that they have to submit a full traffic and parking management plan early in 2019, drawn up by a fully qualified company, which will need to be approved by the Head of Transport before any decision is made to allow the event to take place again on the Knavesmire.

Local residents have asked why the race day traffic arrangements weren’t used for this event. The response we have received is that a wider traffic management plan such as the one in place for race meetings was not considered appropriate for this event owing to the extended and flexible arrival and departure times. In addition, the use of this type of plan could have created further problems given the poor management of the car parking by the event organisers.

 

Askham Bar litter pick success

Cllr Stephen Fenton led a team of local volunteers on a litter pick in the Askham Bar area on Sunday 7th October. Most of the 30 bags of litter collected came from the old Park & Ride car park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The team also tackled the ‘orphan’ concrete bin near to the petrol station, which both City of York Council and Tesco deny responsibility for.

 

Call for answers on Balloon Festival fiasco

Local Lib Dem councillors are demanding answers to why the Balloon Festival on the Knavesmire held from 28 to 30 September led to gridlock on local roads.

Nose to tail traffic jams and inconsiderate and illegal parking meant that many residents were trapped in their homes, or were unable to get back home. Buses were also stuck, leading to lengthy delays.

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Cllr Stephen Fenton has asked Make it York to explain why the volume of traffic was not foreseen, what traffic management plans were in operation, and why there were no Police or stewards in evidence.

Information provided by council officers in recent days has confirmed that a traffic management plan such as the one used for race meetings was not considered appropriate for the event, due to the extended and flexible arrival and departure times.

Council officials are to meet with Make it York, the Police and the Festival organisers on 3 October to look at what went wrong and what lessons can be learned.

Councillor Fenton commented  “I saw for myself what happened on Tadcaster Road and surrounding streets on Saturday afternoon. It was a chaotic, and at times dangerous situation.

There were numerous examples of illegal parking, like here on Ainsty Grove

“Both local residents and visitors to the event were badly let down. When word of the £5 parking fee spread, many visitors seemed to decide to park in residential streets off Tadcaster Road, leading to chaos in many streets.

Irresponsible parking meant that the exit from Whin Road onto Bracken Road was blocked

“The event organisers need to take their share of responsibility and explain why they put in place the parking arrangements that they did, and why they did not do more to promote the use of Park & Ride.

“There is absolutely no way that this event should go ahead next year on this site unless plans are put in place – and publicised to visitors and communicated to residents and local councillors – that will avoid a repeat.”

 

Residents volunteer for street tidy-up

Residents of Gower Road joined local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton for a ‘tidy-up’ session on the afternoon of Sunday 23 September.

City of York Council loaned some ‘half moon’ edging tools which were used to cut back grass verges which had started to grow over the footpath.

Any residents who would like to take part in similar tidy-up sessions on their street should contact Stephen to arrange for the loan of some tools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save Askham Bog! Open Day on Saturday 15 September

On Saturday 15th September from 10am to 3pm there is an Open Day at Askham Bog, hosted by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

There’ll be activities for all the family including guided nature walks and pond dipping.

It’s part of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s drive to raise awareness of the importance of this nature reserve, and gather support for the campaign to oppose proposals that would see 500 homes built on land off Moor Lane next to the Bog.

Cllr Stephen Fenton met with representatives from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at the Bog on Friday 14 September and pledged his support for the campaign.

You can find out more about the campaign Here