New Park and ride contract may bring changes at Askham Bar

Park and Ride network

It seems that the council has finally received a bid to run its park and ride service. When the contract was first advertised no bids were forthcoming.

In the main the service will continue at it is today.

Key changes include

  • a facility to use contactless bank cards to pay for journeys.
  • Motorists will be able to park overnights (for up to three days) at the Askham Bar and Monks Cross sites (involving the provision of barrier access).
  • New Euro IV compliant buses including the replacement of some articulated single deck buses with double deckers
  • 11 single deck fully electric buses will be retained together with 3 fully electric double deckers

New Alexander Dennis Enviro 400MMC buses proposed

However users face a fare hike from £2-90 to £3-10 with a 10 minute frequency.

A number of enhancements including a late night service are on offer but are unlikely to be accepted for cost reasons.

The new contract will reduce the council’s income to an estimated £80,000 a year.

The Council have refused to disclose the name of the proposed operator.

The new contract will start next year.

Askham Bar clean-up

Cllr Stephen Fenton led a team of volunteers in a litter pick of the area around the old Askham Bar Park & Ride site on Sunday 20 November. As with previous litter picks, food and drink packaging from items bought at Tesco were strewn around the area.

24 bags of rubbish were collected

24 bags of rubbish were collected

The stretch of pavement and verge on Tadcaster Road between the cemetery and the new Park & Ride site was particularly bad, and yielded three full bags of litter.

There is a growing band of volunteer litter pickers who look after their street. If you would like to join them, please call Stephen on 787988 or email cllr.sfenton@york.gov.uk . All volunteers are provided with training and equipment.

 

New free Sunday bus service from Woodthorpe

Service 500 will launch on Sunday 13th November and will run free of charge

In the run-up to Christmas, First York are trialling a Sunday service which will take passengers from Foxwood, Woodthorpe and Bishopthorpe, direct to Askham Bar Park & Ride, where they can connect with a direct, frequent buses on Park & Ride service 3 to York City Centre.

The service will also serve stops at Askham Bar Tesco.

At the time of writing First haven’t published a timetable for the service on their web site

The company says that recent changes by City of York Council have meant that residents of Woodthorpe and Bishopthorpe have been without a Sunday bus service. “We’re now launching a free shuttle bus service to Askham Bar Park & Ride to help you travel into York, and enjoy the Christmas shopping opportunities and festivities”.

First York  Managing Director, Marc Bichtemann, comments: “At First York, we’re dedicated to providing our customers with the best service possible. We wanted to ensure that our customers in Bishopthorpe, Woodthorpe and Foxwood who want to travel into York in the run-up to Christmas, have the opportunity to do so. We will therefore be offering a free shuttle bus service to the Askham Bar Park & Ride from this Sunday, and look forward to welcoming our customers on board.”

The service, numbered 500, will run with an electric bus, subject to availability, to reduce noise and emissions. The trial will end on Sunday 18 December. We’ll then assess demand for the service before deciding if it can be extended into 2017.

‘Creative Arts Academy’ plan gets Government approval

The Ebor Academy Trust’s bid to establish a ‘Creative Arts Academy’ free school in York has been approved by Government, it was announced today.

When the Ebor Academy Trust announced its plans, it identified the council-owned former Askham Bar Park & Ride site as a possible location for the proposed new primary school, which would serve the whole city. In the recently-published Local Plan proposals, the council has earmarked that land for housing.

The Ebor Academy Trust say that they will now work closely with City of York Council to secure a site, and are aiming for a September 2017 opening.

Askham Bar Park and Ride college boost

The Construction Division at York College has worked alongside main contractor Balfour Beatty to produce a fitting sculpture for the new Askham Bar Park&Ride site, owned by City of York Council and operated by First bus.

Askham Bar bus waiting area

Askham Bar bus waiting area

The sculpture, a medieval stone window in a brick surround, depicts the heritage of the city as the site is situated on the original roman road leading to the gateway to the City of York.
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Askham Bar Park and Ride site attracting more users

Askham Bar cycle parking in use

Askham Bar cycle parking in use

The new Askham Bar park and ride site on Tadcaster Road has proved to be popular with drivers.

Many have transferred from the, now closed, site adjacent to Tesco – making the most of the additional spaces now available.

At 11:00am today a small queue of bus passengers had formed.

However work on the site has still not been completed.

Official estimates say that it could be another 2 weeks before all the work is done.

Well used car park at Askham Bar

Well used car park at Askham Bar

Still the Council were right to bring the site into service as soon as practical. It has reduced the number of vehicles on Tadcaster Road and buses are taking advantage of the reduced congestion to run into the City centre more quickly.

The situation at the other new site at Poppleton Bar couldn’t be a bigger contrast.

Fewer than 100 vehicles were using the car park there this morning.

A substantial amount of work needs to be done both on the car park and on the nearby highway network.

Askham Bar bus waiting area

Askham Bar bus waiting area


Sources at the Council say that the project – which is 3 months behind its original schedule – will be finished in 3 weeks time. The contractors have apparently been given until the weekend of the Tour de France (5th July) to complete the works.

Unfortunately, by then, damage to the park and ride site’s reputation may be beyond repair.

Buses continue to be mired in a web of temporary traffic lights and lane restrictions.

Electric bus at Poppleton Bar

Electric bus at Poppleton Bar


Today, rather than a queue of passengers waiting for buses, there was a queue of buses waiting for passengers.

Ironically one of the major improvements yet to be commissioned is the cycle underpass on the A1237. This was to be used to encourage cyclists to pedal to the park and ride site before boarding a bus to complete their journey.

It will not be used by the Tour de France competitors!

Askham Bar new park and ride site opens on Sunday

Poppleton Bar park and ride site

Poppleton Bar park and ride site

The Council re claiming that battery powered buses will run from the Poppleton Park and Ride site from Sunday.

If they do, then it will be due to the efforts of workers on the car park and Poppleton roundabout improvements which were still far from finished earlier today.

Battery powered buses were first proposed by the, then LibDem controlled, Council in 2010.

The introduction of seven zero emission buses on the new park and ride route now is due to a grant from the coalition government.

It is a step in thr right direction.

However, there will be some concern that the new service is being introduced before works at the car park site (opposite the Wyevale garden centre) and on the A59/A1237 junction have been completed.

The new service needs to be a showpiece for the City – not just in terms of appearance, but also in providing a swift journey across a junction which has often been congested in the past.

We seem to be some days away from being able to guarantee that kind of improved visitor experience.

The new Park and Ride site at Askham Bar seems to be further advanced and should be ready for service on Sunday.

Approach to A59/A1237 roundabout

 

Night time road closure near Poppleton

City of York Council will be carrying out overnight works in the area surrounding the A59 in preparation for the new Poppleton Bar Park & Ride site.

The works will take place in two phases from Monday 31 March until Thursday 17 April and from Tuesday 6 May until Friday 23 May.

To allow the council to undertake overnight works temporary traffic signals or, in the second phase, overnight closures will be in place. The working hours will take place generally between 7pm until 6am, although some operations will be shorter than this.
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Askham Bar roadworks from next week

Askham Bar (Tadcaster Road) roadworks

Askham Bar (Tadcaster Road) roadworks

Working in partnership with Balfour Beatty, City of York Council will be carrying out night works for the revised junction at the new Askham Bar Park & Ride site from next week.

A series of night-time closures will be in place from Monday 18 November until Thursday 28 November on the inbound and outbound carriageways along the A1036 from the A64 to Sim Balk Lane.

The carriageway will be closed from 9pm and will be re-opened at 6am. The closures will not take place on the evenings of Saturday 23 November and Sunday 24 November.

Alternative diversion routes will be in place and signed. Access to the Esso Petrol Station will be maintained at all times from the York side of the junction.
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