‘Call-In’ of Clifton Green cycle lane decision

Councillor Keith Hyman, Liberal Democrat spokesman for City Strategy, has joined forces with the two Green Councillors to ‘call-in’ the Labour Cabinet’s decision to scrape a cycle lane.

Labour formally agreed to remove the Clifton Green/Water End cycle lane and reintroduce a left-hand traffic lane this week despite a consultation that saw 106 out of 178 people– together with all three emergency services – say the junction should stay as it is. Council officers have admitted that the changes would make it less safe for cyclists and cost £12,000.

A ‘call-in’ means that the decision can not now be implemented until a further scrutiny debate takes place to look at the reasons why the decision was made.

Cllr Hyman commented:

“To reinstate a left turn lane for motor vehicles puts cyclists and pedestrians at more risk than they are now. The report on the issue shows that the Emergency Services and a Safety Audit of the junction are unanimous in saying that the current layout is the safest.

“I am at a loss as to how the Cabinet can ignore this evidence. I realise they stated in there promises to York that they would alter the junction, but surely having seen the report they should have reconsidered and accepted that the decision they have taken is wrong.

“They should now accept public opinion and expert opinion, swallow their pride, and change their policy.”

Beckfield Lane recycling centre decision meeting: Monday 16th April?

It looks like the crunch Council meeting, which will determine the future of the Beckfield Lane recycling centre, will take place on Monday 16th April starting at 6:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Guildhall. Members of the public are able to register to speak at the meeting.

The number of residents “signing” the Epetition on the Councils web site has grown to 272. This is the largest number ever – by a large margin – recorded on a Council web petition.

See http://tinyurl.com/Save-the-recycling-centre to add your support. The petition will be available until 11th April.

The paper petition now has now attracted 2736 signatures.

York garages to offer free catalytic converter marking

On Wednesday 11 April, Safer York Partnership is launching Operation Bonafide to tackle increases in catalytic converter theft in the city.

Developed through the Partnership’s vehicle crime task group this is a joint initiative involving City of York Council Trading Standards and North Yorkshire Police. Following a successful pilot event in February, the partnership are now working with a number of local businesses to offer free catalytic converter security marking for York residents and businesses.

Members of the public can now contact any of the participating garages below to arrange a suitable time for them to take their vehicle along. In addition to security marking they will be given a distinctive window sticker indicating that the catalytic converter on their vehicle has been security marked. Participating garages marked with a * will also provide a free ‘health check’ of the vehicle.

Participating garages:
•North Eastern Tyres & Autocare* Centurian Park, Clifton Moor. Tel. 692500 (CARS ONLY)
•Glen Garage*, 12 Hawthorne Grove, Heworth, York. Telephone 425000 (CARS AND VANS)
•A.G. Motors*, Wheldrake Lane, Crockey Hill, York, YO19 4SN. Tel. 625890 (CARS AND VANS)
•Barker’s Garage*, Keswick Way, Huntington, York, YO32 9QP, Tel. 760020 (CARS AND VANS)
•Huntington Garage*, 67 North Moor Road, Huntington, York, YO32 9QN. Tel. 768808 (CARS ONLY)
•Halford’s*, Foss Islands Road, York (CARS ONLY)
•Drydals Garage, Hospital Fields Road, York YO10 4DZ, Tel. 633809 (CARS ONLY)

The garages will join local scrap dealers in working to disrupt catalytic converter theft by ensuring that any stolen catalytic converters attempted to be sold can be clearly identified through distinctive the distinctive security markings.

Between the 1 November 2011 and 9 March 2012, 40 catalytic converters were stolen in York forming part of a general increase in scrap metal theft. The most commonly targeted vehicles are Mercedes Sprinter vans. Owners of these vehicles are particularly encouraged to take this opportunity to get their catalytic converter marked. This project contributes to police activity under Operation Tornado, a national initiative to reduce metal theft.

Any garages interested in joining this initiative are asked to contact Dawn Clarkson, City of York Council Trading Standards on 01904 551827

Companies with multiple vehicles should first contact PCSO Kathryn Bean, Business Adviser, via e-mail: kathryn.bean@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk to arrange a venue and time for their fleet to be marked.

For more information please see www.saferyork.org.uk

Queens visit to York

Today’s Royal visit has clearly been a huge success with the highlight for many being a being a meticulously organised service at York Minster. Some Maundy money recipients were visibly moved to tears at the end of the ceremony.

On the streets, excellent weather brought out more than the expected 15,000 onlookers with public transport systems at full stretch in the morning period.

Many streets were choked with visitors by noon.

A memorable day for many and one that should help to boost the City’s tourist economy

More at:

HM The Queen in York: 15,000 people expected to visit for Maundy ceremonial

With over 15,000 people expected to visit York tomorrow to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Party visiting the city, motorists are being advised to avoid driving in the city centre and use public transport where possible.

There will be a blanket road closure of the city centre on Thursday 5 April between 10am and 1.30pm. The closure will mean certain areas of the city centre will be closed during this time.

Visitors are being advised to use Park and Ride services, public transport or alternative travel such as cycling into the city centre. All public transport services will be affected and delays are expected throughout the day.

Blue Badge access and accessible parking will be limited. Only accessible parking in Colliergate and King’s Square will be unaffected.

Restrictions will also be in place on the evening of Wednesday 4 April throughout parts of the city centre. Shop deliveries, loading and unloading will be affected on Thursday 5 on Blake St, Duncombe Place and High Petergate, which are closed from 9am.

The City Walls between Baile Hill and Lendal will be closed all morning and will reopen at 11am; and the City Walls between Monk Bar and Bootham Bar will reopen at 1.30pm.
Access to Micklegate will be restricted until 7pm, as residents and retailers hold a street party to celebrate The Queen’s visit.

Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward planning applications

click to enlarge

No particularly significant planning applications have been received by the Council over the last few weeks.

Most are routine home extensions and tree management work.

The latter does include some thinning of Oak and Silver Birch in Acomb Wood.

The National Trust are hoping to convert an office at their Tadcaster Road premises into a “visitor attraction”.

The decision notice on the Turf Tavern site has now been issued. 12 houses are to be built there.

Further details of the applications can be accessed via the Councils web site

Ann Reid supports The Grove residents

Existing restrictions on The Grove

Requested restrictions on The Grove. Click to enlarge

Cllr Ann Reid is backing residents living in The Grove who are experiencing problems with indiscriminate parking by drivers mainly associated with the nearby York College campus.

Although Tadcaster Road has – because of the park and ride site – one of the most frequent bus services in the region, a small minority of staff and students still chose to drive as close to the College as possible. The practice not only adds to congestion, but contributes to increased levels of litter and noise in the residential area.

Now Ann Reid has written to officials urging them to agree to the additional parking restrictions requested by residents.

In her Email she says,
“The residents in The Grove have been asking for parking restrictions since at least 2007 and although we did put some in they still feel aggrieved at the amount of disruption that they experience.
From observation I would say that when cars are parked in all the remaining spaces it can cause a problem. Because of the rise in the road, if you at the bottom, you cannot see if any cars are coming down.
Although I supported the Councils position in the past this complaint will not go away. I would support the residents in their request for more restrictions and specifically those that they have suggested”.

Details of the requested restriction are shown right.

It is likely that a decision will be made on the request within the next month although the meeting will probably be held behind closed doors.

Green Lane, Ryecroft Avenue & Beckfield Lane on Police mobile safety (speed) camera locations 4 – 10 April 2012

North Yorkshire Police will be carrying out mobile safety camera enforcement on the following roads between Wednesday 4 April and Tuesday 10 April 2012.

•A64 Malton by-pass Malton east and west-bound
•A64 Seamer by-pass Scarborough
•A64 Seamer Road, Scarborough
•A64 between Whitwell Hill and Barton Hill
•A64 between Barton-le-Willows and Jinnah
•A1039, Filey Road at Flixton
•B1427 Queen Margaret’s Road, Scarborough
•B1249 at Staxton Wold near Staxton, Scarborough
•A165 Reighton by-pass between Sands Road and Hunmanby Road
•Stoney Haggs Road, Scarborough south-bound towards Seamer
•B1249 Foxholes to County Boundary
•A64 east-bound carriageway Bowbridge Farm Tadcaster
•A64 west-bound carriageway, Bowbridge Farm, Tadcaster
•Millfield Lane, Poppleton, York
•Beckfield Lane, York
•Green Lane, Acomb, York
•Ryecroft Avenue, Acomb, York
•Temple Lane, Copmanthorpe, York
•A1036 Tadcaster Road, York
•A1237 Monks Cross, York
•Strensall Road, Huntington, York
•York Road, Haxby, York

The mobile safety cameras will be in operation at the above sites at various times during the dates stated. Cameras will not be in use on the above routes all day, every day

“We don’t know when low emission buses will come to York” admits transport chief.

The momentum generated in December 2010 by the launch of a trial low emission bus service in York, has disappeared following an admission at the last Council meeting from the York Councillor – with responsibility for the bus service – that he doesn’t know when similar vehicles will run regularly in the City.
The problem can be traced to deteriorating relations over the last year between the Council and bus operators.

Already we have seen the ftr withdrawn from the City and with lead-in times on new low emission vehicles at over 12 months, there seems little chance of seeing an eco bus fleet on the York streets much before 2015. Other City’s are working in partnership with bus operators and are already securing slots in the manufacturing pipeline.

It is ironic that the setback comes at a time when the Council is saying that it wants to reduce pollution levels in the City centre. It agreed a strategy for doing so at a meeting yesterday. However, it will have little impact unless new technologies are harnessed.

Labour are saddled with a public transport policy which relies on the franchising of bus services across the City. This is an expensive and time consuming option which could come to nothing if affordable tenders are not provided by bus companies.

In the meantime partnership working is breaking down with investment leaving the City and heading for the easier trading conditions which can be found in West Yorkshire.

Labour Leadership confirm plan to close Beckfield Lane recycling centre on 16th April

At tonight’s “cabinet” meeting the Council’s Leadership confirmed their plan to close the Beckfield Lane recycling centre on 16th April.

8 speakers attended the meeting to ask for the centre to stay open but none of the Labour Councillors present were prepared even to discuss the option.

So the scene is now set for a special Council meeting to take place at which a final decision will be made.

The meeting also decided to remove the cycle lane from the Clifton Green Junction. The decision will mean around £20,000 more being spent on remodelling a junction to introduce a layout markedly more likely to increase the number of accidents, according to professional advisers