Council announces highways programme for 2024/25

City of York Council has announced its programme of road and footpath repair and renewal work for the 2024/25 financial year.

Disappointingly, Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward will see £0 invested this year by the council to make local roads and footpaths safer. Badly potholed roads such as Middlethorpe Drive, Lycett Road, Hob Moor Terrace, Alness Drive and Acomb Wood Drive will continue to deteriorate, making it less likely that residents will choose to cycle rather than drive.

Hob Moor Terrace is a well-used route for cyclists

Footpaths across Woodthorpe in particular continue to deteriorate, with the top layer of tarmac crumbling away on streets such as Annan Close.

The local Lib Dem team will continue to report in locations in need of attention, though more often than not the response from the council is that no action is required.

Cattle set to disappear from Hob Moor

The sight of cattle grazing on Hob Moor is likely to be absent this year after City of York Council confirmed that the area will be mown for a hay crop instead.

The council has also confirmed that there will be no cattle on Walmgate Stray either, though it is understood that cattle will be kept on Bootham and Monk Strays.

Cattle grazing on North Lane Pasture

Cllr Stephen Fenton was told the news in an e-mail from a council officer after rumours had circulated locally that cattle would not be returning to Hob Moor this year:

“With the loss of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), the largest rural payment scheme providing financial support to the farming industry, farmers are increasingly having to diversify their operations to meet lost income. With the associated difficulties of managing stock on Hob Moor, the 24/7 availability of a nearby staff member is essential. However this will not be possible with the loss of BPS and the loss of income from the refused planning application.

“From a nature conservation point of view ideally we’d want both cutting and grazing, to better reduce the nutrient status of the land. The cutting and removal of vegetation in summer should keep bulky species in check and allow the more delicate species to flourish. Flowering heads are fewer on grazed land, so with the absence of cattle more wildflower seed could be set.”

The planning application referred to relates to a farm diversification project under which storage units would have been permitted to remain on a farm at Strensall, generating income for the tenant farmer. The application was however refused by members of the council’s Planning Committee.

In recent years Hob Moor has been mown as well as grazed, though there have been concerns from residents that mowing at the wrong times of the year could destroy the nests of any ground-nesting birds.

Cllr Fenton has asked council officers whether any attempt will be made to find a farmer who would like to keep cattle on Hob Moor this year and has asked for further information about the proposed mowing regime.

Bus shelter upgrades get underway

Improvements to local bus shelters have got underway, with digital displays and audio installed at the bus shelters on Moorcroft Road (near the shops) and Eason View (near the junction with Chaloners Road).

The work has been made possible thanks to the £17.4m Bus Service Improvement Plan funding that was secured by the previous Lib Dem / Green administration which ran City of York Council before May 2023.

Where the display shows minutes, eg ’11 minutes’ then that is a real time estimate based on location information sent by the bus. When the bus is approaching (less than 1 minute away) it will display “Due”. If the display does not receive information from the vehicle it will display the scheduled timetable departure from that stop eg ‘12.25’.

The display may not receive information for a variety of reasons such as the equipment on the bus is missing/faulty or it is passing through an area with poor network signal. It is only as good as the information provided by the operators.

It is planned to roll out these features to more bus shelters over the coming months.

Council confirms scaling back of Tadcaster Road improvement scheme

City of York Council has published an ‘Officer Decision‘ setting out the details of the £600k overspend that will mean that some of the measures to support walking, cycling and bus use along the Tadcaster Road corridor have been dropped. The report states….

“The ground conditions issues arose from an early stage in the project and have been monitored from early in 2023. The project team initially instigated a ‘value engineering’ exercise in conjunction with the contractor. This is an exercise to identify where proposed works can be removed from the scheme without detriment to the outcomes, and also where time can be reduced by approaching the work in a different way.

When it was realised that ‘value engineering’ on its own would be insufficient to meet the needs of reducing costs, a second process of more difficult decisions was undertaken. This involved cutting back to the absolute minimum where proposed works would be allowed to go ahead.

However it should be borne in mind that some items of work have gone past a point of no return and have to be completed. Likewise, finishing off processes such as carriageway surfacing, have to address the requirements of surface regularity and therefore have to be scheduled in.”

There is understandable dismay that the section of the route which is arguably most problematic for cyclists and pedestrians – the very narrow shared path near to Dringhouses Cemetery – will see no improvements, at least in the immediate future.

In better news, council officers have shared with local councillors details of a separate scheme to improve the spiral path at the entrance to the Solar System Way.

Cllr Ashley Mason at the entrance to the Solar System Way

The long-awaited improvements at this location were required as a condition of the planning permission that was granted for the construction of the Bishopthorpe White Rose football pitches which have been in use for some time.

Council officers have indicated that they do not believe that planning permission is needed for the path improvements here, as they are discharging a planning condition associated with the football pitches. It is understood that the works will get underway in March or April.

The plans shared with local councillors are set out below.

Wains Grove to be resurfaced

The council has announced that Wains Grove is to be resurfaced, with work starting on 23 January for three days.

The road – which has a tarmac layer on top of concrete – has deteriorated significantly in recent years, posing a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists in particular.

Councillors and residents have been campaigning for the road to be resurfaced

The works will be carried out between 8am and 5pm.

In order to carry out the work safely, the use of a full road closure will be necessary whilst works are taking place. All on-street parking will be suspended during the hours of the works for the full duration, but specific access requirements can be arranged by speaking to the site Traffic Management Operatives, who will coordinate with residents (and business requirements) around the ongoing work operations.

Emergency services will be permitted through the works in any situation.

Tadcaster Road scheme behind schedule and over budget

As reported in the recent Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Focus newsletter, the scheme to deliver improved drainage and ‘active travel’ measures along the Tadcaster Road corridor will not be completed before Christmas. Initially the end date was advertised as September 2023.

Tree roots and unmapped gas pipes have led to more hand digging than had been anticipated, and an archaeological ‘watching brief’ has also apparently slowed the pace of work.

The scheme is jointly funded by the Department for Transport (£5 million) and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (£1.4 million).

Local councillors had raised concerns about confusion caused by the failure to install markings on the new cycle by-pass opposite the Slingsby Grove shops, but we are pleased to report that markings have now been painted – including a ‘mini zebra’ where the footpath intersects the cycle path.

A report tabled for discussion at a meeting of the council’s Executive on 16 November confirms that the scheme is £600,000 over budget and that some elements of the scheme are likely to be dropped. The report states: “A formal approach to WYCA as one of the existing funding bodies to see if additional funding can be secured has been made. If additional funding cannot be found to support the project then decisions on value engineering to bring the project within budget and slip elements of the current project into consideration for future phases.”

The project team has held two recent ‘drop-in’ sessions for residents, with further sessions planned in December and January.

Meanwhile the project team has published an information / FAQ document with details of forthcoming resurfacing work, which will require some overnight road closures. The document is reproduced below.

Nighttime Resurfacing Schedule for Tadcaster Road

Each night-time road closure will be undertaken between 9.30pm to 6.00am and will be from Sunday evening to Saturday morning, with no works taking place on Saturday daytime or night-time.


Wednesday 22 November, until Friday 8 December, working Sunday evening to Saturday morning only between the hours of 9.30pm to 6.00am.

Approximate durations for each closure are as follows:
• Wednesday 22 November until Friday 24 November: between Knavesmire Road and Dalton Terrace
• Sunday 26 November until Friday 1 December: between St Helen’s Road and Knavesmire Road
• Sunday 3 December until Thursday 7 December: between Moor Lane and St Helen’s Road


Wednesday 3 January until Saturday 13 January, working Sunday evening to Saturday morning only between the hours of 9.30pm to 6.00am.

Approximate durations for each closure are as follows:
• Wednesday 3 January until Friday 5 January: between Knavesmire Road and Dalton Terrace
• Sunday 7 January until Tuesday 9 January: between St Helen’s Road and Knavesmire Road
• Wednesday 10 January until Friday 12 January: between Moor Lane and St Helen’s Road


Monday 15 January until Sunday 28 January: working Sunday evening to Saturday morning only between the hours of 9.30pm to 6.00am.
• between Sim Balk Lane and Moor Lane (please note the roundabout will remain operational for all other roads).

FAQ List

Q. My home is just off Tadcaster Road, how do I gain access to and from my address?

A. There will be five operatives one positioned at each of the road closures/access gates and a supervisor in the middle to escort vehicles through the closure when safe to do so. Anyone needing access in or out of the closure will need to drive to any one of the closure point where they will be approached by a gate man that will ask where they need access too so that the gate man can radio through to the supervisor to come and escort the vehicle in or out of the closure when safe to do so.

Q. What happens if an emergency vehicle requires entry?

A. In the event of an emergency please contact the emergency services as normal. Our traffic management team will provide access for emergency vehicles in all cases. Should you wish to contact our dedicated nighttime road closure supervisor, Lolly Hook, please contact her on 07971 840150, so our team can make any necessary arrangements in a timely manner.

Q. How much noise will occur whilst the resurfacing takes place?

A. A curfew of 11:30pm has been imposed for any breaking out of the road. These restrictions will be adhered to each night. The noise from any machinery will be infrequent.

Q. What will be the diversion routes to access my property?

A. Our traffic management will set up signage to indicate the most convenient diversion routes around where the resurfacing works are taking place.

Q. What if I can’t get out of my driveway?

A. If this is the case please contact our dedicated nighttime road closure supervisor, Lolly Hook, on 07971 840150. Lolly will be able to engage with our traffic management team to find any appropriate solution for you.

Q. What if I see anything that is unsafe practice?

A. Again, if this is the case please contact our dedicated nighttime road closure supervisor, Lolly Hook, on 07971 840150. Lolly will be able to action any practice you find unsafe or, in most cases, be able to answer your queries accurately.

Travellers move on – but leave trail of destruction

The large group of travellers who were camped on playing fields to the south of York College departed on Wednesday 25th July, but there is now a big clean-up and repair job to do,

Fencing has been damaged, playing fields have been churned up, cut vegetation has been flytipped and there is evidence of the nature reserve having been used as a toilet.

Local councillors have requested a meeting with York College, All Saints School and Council officers to discuss what steps can be taken to reduce the risk of further traveller incursions.

Police Commissioner to hold road safety online meeting

North Yorkshire Police, Crime & Fire Commissioner Zoe Metcalfe is to hold an online public meeting on Thursday 25th May on the issue of road safety.

Residents of York and North Yorkshire are invited to join the online meeting which will include allotted time for the Commissioner to ask questions of the Chief Constable that have been sent in by the public.

Questions relating to road safety are encouraged but questions for any area of policing and crime are welcome and should be submitted using the online form on the Commissioner’s website:

The purpose of these regular online public meetings is to hold the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police to account for their delivery of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan, to ensure the force is achieving its objectives and generating positive outcomes in the interests of the public.

The online public meeting will be streamed live on Thursday 25 May at 14:30 and can be accessed via:

  1. Commissioner’s website
  2. YouTube Channel
  3. or Facebook page

The meeting will also be recorded and become available to watch on the same channels.

Date set for library re-opening

Explore York have announced that Dringhouses Library will re-open on 16th March after heating upgrade work has been completed.

The library closed on 13th February in response to concerns about the low temperature in the building, caused by a combination of winter weather and ineffective heating. A new boiler is being installed along with new convector heaters and new radiators. It has been confirmed that Listed Building Consent is not needed for these internal improvement works.

Cllr Stephen Fenton has welcomed the news, commenting “I was grateful that the Chief Executive of Explore agreed to meet with me when news of the closure broke, which came as something of a surprise. It is encouraging that the council’s Facilities team has been able to work with Explore to agree the specifications and get the equipment ordered and ready for installation.”

Tadcaster Road scheme – additional information on traffic control measures, drop-in sessions announced

In response to a request from local councillors, officers managing the Tadcaster Road highway / drainage / active travel scheme have made more information available on the location and duration of temporary traffic lights.

The implementation of temporary traffic lights at the junction of Tadcaster Road and Knavesmire Road has understandably led to delays, and whilst there is useful information on the council website, a number of residents pointed out that there was no mention of where temporary traffic controls would be used.

This has now been rectified, with information added at detailing where temporary traffic lights will be used.

The project team will also be holding two further drop-in sessions for local residents at St Edward’s Church on Thursday 2nd March 5-8pm and Sunday 5th March 12:30 – 4pm.