Further details shared on Tadcaster Road cycling / walking scheme

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward councillors have welcomed the publication of further details of measures designed to support cycling, walking and bus use along the Tadcaster Road corridor and a commitment for further engagement with residents and modal groups on ‘light segregation’ proposals designed to improve cyclist safety.

These proposals will be considered at a public Executive Member for Transport Decision Session on Tuesday 18 January at 10am.

The report being discussed at the meeting is available HERE.

The proposed £1.4m scheme is funded from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transforming Cities Fund and will be delivered as part of a wider package of measures funded by the Department for Transport’s Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund. The £1.4m funding can only be used on measures to promote cycling, walking and bus use, and cannot be diverted into general highway maintenance.

The Tadcaster Road proposals have been informed by feedback from residents

The latest draft of the proposals take into account feedback from residents that was submitted during a consultation exercise held in August and September 2021, which informed revised proposals set out in a report to a Decision Session held in October 2021. The October report stated that work would be undertaken to explore options for ‘light segregation’ along sections of Tadcaster Road to offer cyclists better protection. It also committed to looking again at proposals to relocate an inbound bus stop near to Slingsby Grove and the positioning of a proposed new pedestrian crossing in that area, both of which had attracted comments and concerns in the consultation.

The report to be considered at the 18 January meeting contains further revised proposals – summarised below – which reflect feedback received and detailed design and costing work undertaken:

  • Widening of the footpath / cycle path at the corner of Tadcaster Road and Knavesmire Road.
  • Confirmation of the proposed pedestrian crossing near to the junction with Nelsons Lane.
  • The pedestrian crossing proposed for The Horseshoe area is to be moved to just south of Slingsby Grove (nearer to the shops), retaining a pedestrian refuge to cater for crossing movements near Middlethorpe Grove.
  • The proposal to relocate the inbound bus stop near Slingsby Grove 75 metres south has been dropped. Instead, it is proposed to retain the bus stop within the shopping area, placing it approximately 20 metres north of its current location. This would create a continuous parking / loading bay outside the shops and provide an opportunity to take steps to improve sight lines for vehicles turning right out of Slingsby Grove. The report commits to localised consultation with residents and businesses in the Slingsby Grove area about the proposed changes from the plans presented last year.
  • Work is to continue to identify measures to improve the very narrow shared cycle / foot path opposite the Sim Balk Lane junction – known as ‘cemetery corner’ – with funds set aside to accommodate a scheme at this location.

Some sections of ‘light segregation’ are proposed as a means to improve cyclist safety on the corridor. The report notes that a variety of different techniques are being used by different local authorities. It states that design options should be considered carefully to minimise maintenance and visual intrusion while protecting users in the lane.

The various constraints along Tadcaster Road are summarised in the report, and these mean it is not possible to provide segregation all the way along the corridor but it is proposed to use segregation (in the form of bolt-down ‘rails’) at a number of locations where cyclists are most vulnerable. It is also proposed to introduce some light segregation in the form of a ‘stepped cycle lane’ on a section of Tadcaster Road in the Hunters Way area, where the road is wide enough to accommodate this.

The report commits to further engagement to refine the approach to light segregation which is proposed and to identify and address any issues or concerns that may be raised. Local councillors will ensure that residents are kept informed and have the opportunity to raise any comments or concerns.

Date set for West Thorpe resurfacing work

City of York Council will be carrying out road resurfacing work on West Thorpe starting on Monday 29 November for 5 days (weather permitting). The works will be carried out between 9.00am – 5.00pm.

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 operations.

The road surface on West Thorpe has been in a very poor condition for many years, despite frequent patching and pothole filling.

Public Health team coming to Woodthorpe

The City of York Council’s Public Health team will be going door-to-door in Woodthorpe on Wednesday 27th October offering residents free lateral flow tests and talking about the importance of symptom free testing to prevent the spread of the virus.  The staff are also trained to have conversations about the Covid vaccine and to give information about why and how people can access the vaccine. Details of the streets being visited can be found on the council website at https://www.york.gov.uk/information-covid1-9/symptom-free-coronavirus-testing/6 The team will also be out in Woodthorpe on 1st and 8th November.

Gas works on Tadcaster Road from 18th October

Northern Gas Networks, the gas distributor for the North of England, is carrying out further work on Tadcaster Road to replace ageing metal gas mains with new, more durable plastic pipes. Work starts on Monday 18th October and is expected to last for eight weeks.

So that engineers can carry out the work safely, and to protect the public, some traffic management measures will be put in place. From 18th October, temporary traffic lights will be in place on Tadcaster Road for approximately four weeks. These will start at the junction with Slingsby Grove and move in sections to finish near the junction with Middlethorpe Drive. There will also be excavation work on The Horseshoe and Old Moor Lane.

Signs will be displayed for motorists and shops and businesses in the area will remain open as usual while the work is underway.

The gas works will be carried out on the inbound carriageway only. As these works will affect 50% of the road that was resurfaced in summer 2020, the affected section will be resurfaced again by recycling the material on site as part of a £5m package of Government-funded improvements to drainage, lighting, footpaths and road surfaces along the Tadcaster Road corridor.

The council was not made aware of the need for major gas works before the resurfacing work that took place in summer 2020.

E-scooters and e-bikes installed at Moor Lane Youth Centre

Three e-scooters and two e-bikes have been installed outside Moor Lane Youth Centre on Wains Road and are available for hire. This is the second location in Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward at which e-scooters and e-bikes have been installed, with the other being on Tadcaster Road near the Holiday Inn.

The e-scooters – provided by the operator Tier – are part of a Government trial in which York is currently participating. Users need to download an App in order to use the e-scooters and e-bikes. More information is available HERE

E-scooters and e-bikes must not be used on footpaths. If any residents see them being used in an illegal manner, or being damaged, they should call Tier on 0808 164 9486 or e-mail support@tier.app Each e-scooter and e-bike has a registration number.

New 12A to restore half-hourly daytime bus service

Councillor Stephen Fenton has welcomed the restoration of a half-hourly bus service between Woodthorpe and the city centre.

First York have announced that from Monday 27 September there will be a new 12A service which will run Monday to Saturday daytime on an hourly basis between Piccadilly, Foxwood and Woodthorpe, This means that, with the continuing hourly number 12 service between Woodthorpe and Monks Cross, there will in effect be a half-hourly daytime service between Woodthorpe and the city centre.

The new timetable is available on the First York website HERE  

Some points to note:

  • The 12A will operate between Woodthorpe shops and Piccadilly but will not stop at Askham Bar
  • It will go round the ‘Woodthorpe loop’ once, as the 12 does at the moment
  • There’ll still be an hour’s gap between the 6.25am and 7.25am departures from Woodthorpe shops, as the first 12A departure from Woodthorpe shops to Piccadilly will be at 7.55am

Stephen commented “I would like to thanks the many residents who sent me e-mails and messages explaining the impact that the temporary reduction in the frequency of the number 12 has had on them – this feedback has been very helpful in demonstrating to First that the service needs to be restored to its previous frequency as soon as possible. And I would like to thank First York for listening to and acting on this feedback from residents.”

Residents have their say on Tadcaster Road proposals

On Saturday 18 September Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward councillors held two drop-in sessions for residents to have their say about proposed cycle, walking and bus improvements along the Tadcaster Road corridor, as part of a consultation which closed on 19 September.

Ward councillors were also joined by a member of the council’s iTravel team

The morning session was held on Little Hob Moor and the afternoon session on Hunters Way. Set out below is the feedback received from residents who wrote their comments on post-it notes and stuck them onto the relevant maps.

A1 – The Mount near Dalton Terrace

Afternoon session:

  • Priority for cyclists at outbound junctions with Mill Mount Court and Mill Mount
  • The current off-road provision outbound is difficult to use, many cyclists use the road

A2 – Mount Vale to near Knavesmire Road

Morning session:

  • Existing segregated cycle / foot path should be retained in its current layout – don’t remove the white line
  • All pedestrian crossings should be on raised platforms to slow traffic
  • Concern that having too many crossing points will worsen traffic congestion and air pollution, which affects cyclists and pedestrians
  • Oppose removal of Trentholme Drive filter lane
  • Removal of sections of bus lane on The Mount is pointless and unsafe
  • Oppose loss of central areas which provide safe space for right-turning cyclists
  • Please add traffic lights back to the bus lane at the top of The Mount as congestion is awful with taxis rather than buses halting traffic
  • Need yellow lines on Knavesmire Road

Afternoon session:

  • Protected cycle lane needed inbound from St Georges Place

A3 – Tadcaster Road near Pulleyn Drive

Morning session:

  • For Pulleyn Drive, and for Nelsons Lane, please reinstate the central area for outbound right-turning cyclists – move kerbs back to allow
  • Cycle path from Knavesmire Road outbound should be two-way
  • Need to educate road-users on why the changes have been made and the benefits
  • Clear signage to indicate where paths are shared use
  • All good for me

Afternoon session:

  • Fill in potholes in existing cycle paths
  • Keep cycle lane around the corner from Knavesmire Road onto Tadcaster Road
  • Why not create an off-road cycle path on the inbound side of the road?
  • Happy with shared used proposal, just like Sustrans routes which are shared with no markings
  • No segregation will put pedestrians at risk from ‘racing’ cyclists
  • Could northbound and southbound cyclists be segregated?

A4 – Tadcaster Road near Nelsons Lane

Morning session:

  • Will proposed new pedestrian crossing be a toucan?
  • Need right-turn box for outbound cyclists turning into Nelsons Lane
  • Maintain cycle /pedestrian segregation markings on ‘shared’ path
  • Not enough space for two-way cycle and walking
  • Nelsons Lane crossing is a great idea
  • Refresh off-road cycle markings

Afternoon session:

  • Will there be access points onto the proposed extended shared cycle / foot path for cyclists joining from the streets opposite, eg Chalfonts, Nelsons Lane
  • Will the new shared path be two-way for cyclists?
  • Could the new path be for cyclists only?
  • Pavements could be made more fit for purpose by cutting back vegetation

A5 – Tadcaster Road near St Helens Road

Morning session:

  • Move bus stop on St Helens Road further away from the junction
  • ‘Bypass’ for bikes outside St Edwards church for bikes to continue outbound when lights on red?
  • Need decent-width off-road cycle lane all the way along the route. Inconsistent, patchy cycle route will not tempt drivers to cycle

Afternoon session:

  • Pedestrians and cyclists need to be segregated on the proposed new path from the Tyburn to the Marriott
  • Widening the footway will encroach onto the Knavesmire. Has this been discussed and agreed with the council’s Ecology team? Does it set a precedent? The land on the other side of the fence drops down quite a bit – has this been factored in, eg have civil engineers been consulted?
  • Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation (MOVA) at the St Helens Road junction will cause more traffic hold-ups

A6 – Tadcaster Road near Slingsby Grove

Morning session:

  • At Royal Chase junction need central space for right-turning cyclists
  • Moving the bus stop would mean access to driveways at 96 & 98 Tadcaster Road would be blocked
  • Encourage school families to use the St Helens Road crossing rather than the refuge near the Fox & Roman pub

Afternoon session:

  • Multiple residents very unhappy about the proposal to relocate the bus stop to the end of their driveways (these driveways serve 3 or 4 houses set back from the road)
  • Proposed new bus stop location would be too near to the existing bus stop at the end of The Horseshoe
  • The bus stop in its current location is well-used by residents of the Royal Chase estate – leave it where it is
  • Need to think strategically about bus stop and pedestrian crossing locations in this area. Is this stop needed?  Could it be relocated further up, eg nearer the library?
  • Suggestion of a cycle lane inside the parking bays at the shops and the library
  • Why remove the trees?
  • What happens to the (Grade II listed) Pinfold?
  • The proposed short stretch of off-road cycle path behind the parking layby on the east side of Tadcaster Road will destroy green space
  • Support for the proposed cycle path behind the layby, will make it safer for cyclists
  • Whatever the outcome with the bus stop, the build-out at the junction with Slingsby Grove needs to be extended to push parking away from that junction and improve sight lines for motorists turning right out of Slingsby Grove
  • Layby and bus stop in front of the shops is a death trap – do we need a stop here so close to the stop at The Horseshoe?
  • Take bike path onto the pavement inbound – enough room for a segregated path
  • Introduce 2-hour parking limit outside shops

A7 – Tadcaster Road near The Horseshoe

Morning session:

  • Oppose removing central / hatching – safe space for right-turning cyclists
  • Retain verge width
  • Tree roots make pavement uneven near here
  • Do we need a new signalised crossing here? Maybe consider a zebra crossing or perhaps a refuge
  • Consider 20mph limit

Afternoon session:

  • Divert footpath away from the road at the Hunters Way junction to improve sight lines for motorists and cyclists pulling out onto Tadcaster Road
  • A signalised crossing here will help pedestrians and also reduce traffic speeds
  • A signalised crossing is not required here, will lead to more stationary traffic. A refuge is fine. What are the footfall stats in support of a signalised crossing?
  • The footpath width is fine as it is
  • Don’t remove right-turn filter lane for Middlethorpe Grove – useful for cyclists as well as motorists
  • Cyclists don’t just cycle in and out of town – they cycle into and out of streets off, and this needs to be factored into the thinking

A8 – Tadcaster Road near Moor Lane roundabout

Morning session:

  • An option to stay on the road for cyclists should be included and visible to drivers as not all cyclists will want to use the path
  • Are the proposed changes to the footpath / cycle path arrangements between the Moor Lane roundabout and York College really needed?
  • Move the Old Moor Lane bus stop further up Tadcaster Road
  • Other parts of the city would benefit more from cycling infrastructure improvements
  • Need to widen the segregated cycle path where Moor Lane turns left onto Tadcaster Road – blind corner and overhanging hedge
  • Do we need to remove trees from the verge in the area around the bus stop opposite York College?

Afternoon session:

  • Direct students to use the pedestrian crossing near to Yorkcraft, rather than the crossing at the College
  • More significant intervention needed at the Moor Lane roundabout to improve traffic flow and in particular to support better bus reliability

A9 – Tadcaster Road near York College

Morning session:

  • Support for widening shared cycle / foot path at ‘cemetery corner’
  • An underpass (or footbridge) for York College should be a priority. Could the existing underpass to the solar system cycle path be adapted / extended?
  • Could cycles use the Park & Ride road through to Tesco?
  • Could the Park & Ride site become a bus interchange, which would allow the bus stops on that section of Tadcaster Road to be removed
  • Need hatching on Tadcaster Road at the top of Sim Balk Lane to stop people coming from the A64 blocking the road
  • This is just an enhanced version of the current poor layout
  • How about a two-way off-road cycle lane on the racecourse side?
  • The scheme continues to put cars first

Afternoon session:

  • If trees are to be removed, new trees should be planted
  • Put the existing pedestrian crossing at York College on a speed table and make that area a 20mph zone
  • Ask Tesco to set up a small shop on the campus site to help reduce the footfall across Tadcaster Road
  • Need a pedestrian crossing at the top of Sim Balk Lane – currently no provision there
  • Support proposal for bus layby opposite York College
  • Oppose proposal for bus layby as it will delay buses
  • Close the ramp leading down to Tesco

Comments not specific to specific elements of the scheme

  • More frequent bus services would encourage greater usage
  • Scheme needs to be designed by urban design specialists, not traffic engineers
  • Look at good examples elsewhere, eg Denmark, Netherlands
  • Need a city-wide strategy, reduce space for cars if necessary, and be brave
  • Action is needed to tackle cyclists who go through red lights or cycle on footpaths. A lot of anti-cycle sentiment (a fair bit of which we heard at the drop-in sessions) stems from the perception that many cyclists flout highway rules and endanger pedestrians with no consequences

Update from councillors’ meeting with First York

Following the announcement of the introduction of an emergency temporary timetable for the services 1, 4, 6 & 12, Liberal Democrat councillors representing the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe, Westfield and Huntington & New Earswick wards met with First York Managing Director, Ian Humphreys, on Wednesday 25 August.

It was a constructive meeting in which Mr Humphreys set out the challenges that have led to the temporary reduction in service frequency on some routes. We stressed the importance of these service for local residents, for many of whom the bus is their only way to get around, and that residents need to have confidence in the service.

We heard that the timetable changes being made are an emergency response to the current driver shortage and are designed to build in more reliability, albeit with reduced frequency, as an attempt to overcome the need to cancel services at short notice as has happened recently.

We received an assurance that the number 12 service will be a priority for restoration to the previous timetable when there is resource available. In response to concerns we raised about the ability of a reduced service to cope with demand in the morning peak period in particular, we were assured that the number 12 will be a priority for additional capacity to be added in these peak periods if demand indicates that this is needed.

We asked that the operation of the temporary timetable for the number 12 – and the changes which see the ‘Woodthorpe Loop’ removed from Foxwood-bound journeys and Woodthorpe Shops established as the new terminus – are carefully monitored and changes considered where it becomes apparent that this is needed.

We stressed the importance of clear and timely communication, for example explaining the changes being made rather than just issuing a timetable with no accompanying explanation.

Councillors seek urgent meeting to discuss First bus cuts

Liberal Democrat councillors representing the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe and Westfield wards are seeking an urgent meeting with the Managing Director of First York to discuss a sudden reduction in the frequency of some key services.

In a briefing note from the City of York Council’s Transport team, councillors were informed on 23rd August that First is making temporary ‘emergency’ service reductions on routes 1, 4, 6 and 12 from Saturday 28th August. The move has been prompted by a severe shortage of qualified driving staff due to the effects of Covid and Brexit.

The briefing note suggests that these emergency service reductions will be for 3 to 4 weeks initially, but adds that “even with First’s recruitment drive, the time taken to train new driving staff makes it likely that staff shortages will persist well into the autumn/winter, so this issue is likely to remain problematic beyond the initial 3-4 week timescale.”

The worst affected service will be the number 12, which connects Foxwood, Acomb Park, Woodthorpe and Askham Bar with the city centre and then on to Monks Cross. It will run every hour, rather than every 35 minutes. The frequency of the number 1 (Chapelfields to Wigginton) will reduce from 12 to 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime, with minor reductions to early morning and evening journeys. And the number 4 (Acomb to the city centre) will run every 20 minutes Saturday daytime, rather than every 15 minutes.

Stephen Fenton, Lib Dem councillor for Dringhouses & Woodthorpe, has written to First York MD Ian Humphreys asking for an urgent meeting to discuss the situation.

Stephen commented: “The number 12 provides a vital service for many residents in Woodthorpe, Acomb Park and Foxwood. Many users of the service are elderly residents, key workers and students who have no realistic alternative means of getting to shops, work or school. And with Woodthorpe’s GP surgery currently shut, the bus is a vital link for residents who are having to travel to the York Medical Group’s surgery in Acomb.

“We all know that the driver shortage, caused by Brexit and Covid, has had a severe impact on many sectors such as logistics and waste collections, and it is good to hear that First are taking steps to recruit new drivers. But I am concerned at the suggestion that residents are likely to face a much diminished bus service for many weeks – possibly months.

“At a time when we need to encourage more people to choose sustainable transport options, I fear that the loss of bus services will make this shift even more difficult to achieve and will hit hardest those residents for whom use of a private car just isn’t an option.”