Clean Air Day, Thursday 21 June 2018

It’s Clean Air Day, which is an opportunity to find out more about air pollution, share information with friends and colleagues, and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone. There is information and resources available at

City of York Council is about to start a consultation on plans to set up a Clean Air Zone for the city centre. You can find out more at

Local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton said “Clean Air Day is a chance for us to focus on what more needs to be done to encourage cycling and walking in York. Better air quality is key to that, as are improvements to cycle lanes, both on and off road.”

Stephen out and about on his bike!

New cycle path takes shape

Progress is being made with the construction of the long-awaited cycle path linking the Revival estate (on the old College site) with the green lane path. The new path, which will run alongside the College playing fields, will provide residents with quicker and safer access to Bishopthorpe and the Knavesmire.

Nearly there!

Nearly there!

Construction of the path could not begin until the local newt population had been trapped and relocated.

Sky Ride route for 13th September revealed

Sky-Ride-Cycling-York-2013-5-©-OneOther-345x230The York Council has announced that on Sunday 13 September 2015 Sky Ride York will take to the city’s historic streets in partnership with British Cycling.

Due to the size and scale of the event there will be a number of temporary traffic and transport changes to ensure the safety of everyone taking part.

To view the 2015 Sky Ride York route go to

The Route

The traffic free route has been extended for 2015 to allow residents and visitors to see more of York whilst taking in some of the city’s most historic landmarks such as Clifford’s Tower and The Minster.

The 7km route starts at Clifford’s Tower and will see cyclists head up Castlegate and Coppergate before joining onto Pavement and passing York’s most famous street, The Shambles.

Riders will then turn left onto Colliergate and briefly see King’s Square before turning right onto St Andrewgate. They will then head onto Aldwark, Goodramgate, and Deansgate when York Minster will come into view. Riders will then head across the Minster Piazza and onto Duncombe Place before passing over Lendal Bridge onto Leeman Road.

The route will then see cyclists turn right past Memorial Gardens and along Wellington Row, Skeldergate and Terry Avenue where they will follow the Ouse until Rowntree Park.

Cyclists will then head along Butcher Terrace and turn left onto Bishopthorpe Road before turning left on the cycle path to bring them back down to the river and over Millennium Bridge. They will then follow the riverside cycle path back to Clifford’s Tower.

Traffic and Travel

The Sky Ride York route will be closed to all traffic from 10.30am until approximately 5pm, or as soon as possible after the event has finished to ensure the safety of everyone taking part. The inner ring road will be closed at Lendal Bridge for general traffic for the duration of the ride.

Residents and visitors are urged to make use of the city’s extensive Park&Ride network on the day, particularly by using the Park&Pedal facilities at any of York’s six Park&Ride sites.
Bus travel

Bus routes will be altered to ensure that access into and out of the city centre is maintained, whilst avoiding those roads closed as part of the route.  Revised timetables will be put into place to ensure the smooth running of bus services. Residents and visitors are being encouraged to check their travel plans in advance and allow extra time for their journeys on the day. A complete list of bus route diversions will be available to download from:

Car Parks

Castle car park will continue to be open on the day, however there will be reduced capacity to allow for one of the Sky Ride ‘activation zones’ featuring activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. A traffic management stop/go process will be in place here to assist the smooth flow of traffic. Esplanande car park will also be open and will have a traffic management stop/go system in place. St George’s Field car park will be open but will have a reduced amount of spaces during the day.

Rowntree Park car park will be closed on both Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September due to the Festival of Cycling taking place, as in previous years. For safety reasons there will be no access to parking inside the route.

For more information on Sky Ride York, or to register for the ride visit

Dust off your bike and join Sky Ride York

City of York Council is encouraging residents to dust off their bikes this summer and register for Sky Ride York, a traffic free bike ride for all abilities on Sunday 13 September.

City of York Council is encouraging residents to dust off their bikes this summer and register for Sky Ride York, a traffic free bike ride for all abilities on Sunday 13 September.

A circular route taking in some of York’s most historic landmarks, including The Minster and Clifford’s Tower, will be closed to traffic between 10.30am – 4pm, allowing cyclists of all ages and abilities the chance to celebrate cycling on traffic-free streets.

The route will also take in the York Festival of Cycling in Rowntree Park where riders will be able to stop off and take a look around. There’s something for everyone with have-a-go sessions, an AirBag for BMXers to try tricks on and professional cyclists will also be giving a breathtaking display in stunt cycling.

Spin class

Spin class

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “Sky Ride York gives residents and visitors the rare chance to ride a stunning traffic free route around York. After the amazing turnout of over 10,000 people in 2014 I hope even more people will get on their bikes and come along to Sky Ride York.”

Residents who want to hone their cycling skills ahead of the event can also register to join a Sky Ride Local bike ride, with many different rides taking place. There are rides to suit all abilities with steady rides from 7 miles up to challenging 30 mile rides. For more information visit

York launches new cycling club for disabled

A new, Inclusive Cycling Club is launching in York which will allow disabled residents who would like to enjoy cycling on specialised bicycles to take up this popular activity.

The club sessions, organised by City of York Council, will take place at York Sports Village and start on Thursday 9 April from 2pm to 4pm. The sessions are suitable for young people and adults over the age of 11 years and will continue three times a week at the following times:

  • Wednesdays from 5pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm
  • Sundays from 3pm to 5pm

A range of different specialised bikes will be on hand to enjoy, including three wheeled bicycles and ‘steer from the rear’ tandems which help improve balance and cycling confidence. Flat bed bikes with platforms for wheelchairs at the front, mountain bikes and road bikes will also be available. The new club welcomes the support of local cycling organisations Get Cycling and Open Country, who are bringing additional bikes and with a fleet of 30 cycles available to the club everyone attending will be able to have a go.  

This new Inclusive Cycling Club is one of the ways in which the council is working to reduce health inequalities in the city, help improve physical and mental health and provide financially sustainable health and wellbeing opportunities for everybody across the city.

The cost for club sessions is £5 per hour (free for carers), payable on the day at the Sports Centre Reception.

For more information on this and other disability sport opportunities call Glyn Newberry on 01904 553377, email or visit

For more information on cycling in York visit

Labour in York to impose 20 mph speed limits on all roads in York?

In the wake of decisions in London Labour Councillors in York are now advocating, on social media, the introduction of a default 20 mph speed limit across the whole of York.

Crash map York

Labour were accused of sneaking through their proposed “wide area”  20 mph limits when voters last went to the polls in 2011. Their plan was in the small print of a manifesto with most residents never saw.

Evening standard headline

The scheme in London is apparently aimed at “reducing cycling casualties”. Ironically a previous study in the capital revealed that the introduction of 20 mph limits there had resulted in an increase in average speeds.

 In York, most cycling accidents in result in slight injuries, occur on roads where vehicle speeds are already low and often at road junctions (click for map). Accident levels have reduced in recent years to a total of 144 in 2013 (the last full year for which figures are available) following the introduction of more “off road” cycle tracks. There were no fatalities.

Cycling was 61% safer in 2012 than it was in 2002 (per mile travelled) according to the CTC.

Labour has spent £600,000 on implementing “wide area” 20 mph limits since 2012.

Out of the 535km of roads within York’s Outer Ring Road / A64.

  • 333km (62%) of road are subject to a 20mph limit.
  • 202km (38%) have a speed limit of 30mph or more.

Of the 333km of roads with a 20mph limit, 275km (51% of the total) have been created as 20mph ‘signed only’ limits during the last 3 years.

Prior to this the majority of 20mph limits were traffic calmed 20mph Zones.

The council has refused FOI requests to provide information on “before and after” accident rates on the “signed only” streets in west York or to provide information on the actual effect – if any – that the signs have had on driver speeds.

It is to be hoped that all candidates contesting the Council elections on May 7th will make their policies clear on how cycling can be encouraged and made safer.

 In addition electors need to know which Party’s will extend 20 mph limits and which would focus resources at accident black-spots.

Lack of pride bllghts Tadcaster Road entrance of cycle path

Appalling litter problem on cycle path at Tadcaster Road underpass

Appalling litter problem on cycle path at Tadcaster Road underpass

Leaves and detritus pose hazard for cyclists near Tesco

Leaves and detritus pose hazard for cyclists near Tesco

We’ve asked for a litter clean up on the York – Selby cycle track. It is badly littered with graffiti adding to the problems.

Further long Tadcaster Road the dedicated cycle track is covered in leaves representing a hazard to users.

York Council plans to spend £250,000 on “Tour de Yorkshire” cycling event as

More cuts to local environment planned

It looks like Labour Councillors want to spend another £1/4 million on a 3 day cycling event next May. One of the stages of the new “Tour de Yorkshire” will finish in York with several local sprint races planned.

Taxpayers will be expected to pick up the bill, from the commercial rights owners, for a whopping £100,000 “hosting fee” for the event,.

A report which is being considered tomorrow, by the Councils Cabinet, shows no sponsorship or admittance fees aimed at offsetting the bills.

A decision will apparently be made before the Inquiry into the disastrous Grand Departy flop is completed.

Organisers were forced to admit a couple of months ago that the Huntington Stadium event – staged separately from the Tour de France start – had lost over £186,000. An inquiry into the event was subsequently ordered by the Council’s scrutiny committee.

More Cuts

The same Council Cabinet agenda talks of major cuts to basic service standards.

Road surfaces in Queenswood Grove breaking up

Road surfaces  already breaking up

£1.3 million a year will be cut from social care budgets.

As well as the much publicised proposals to charge for green bin emptying and move to 4 weekly residual waste collections, Labour are now admitting that more cuts are planned to open space maintenance.

Volunteers will apparently be expected to maintain bowling greens, tennis courts, flower beds and undertake rose planting. The report says that the “replacement of bedding plants with ornamental grass at 18 sites could potentially save 1,519 hours of labour”.

Ominously the report talks of York’s roads and footpaths being “better than average” suggesting that further cuts in maintenance standards are planned.

Many residents will view with incredulity any proposals which would allow a further deterioration in the standard of highways surfaces.

Free cycle lights scheme launched in York

cycle lightsNorth Yorkshire Police and City of York Council have joined forces to help keep cyclists safe this winter.

During the dark nights, North Yorkshire Police’s Cycle Response Team are handing out free LED cycle lights to people who they stop riding without them while out on patrol.

Officers are giving the lights, which have been supplied by City Of York Council’s Road Safety Team, to people cycling alone to help keep them safe.

Not everyone officers stop will be entitled to the cycle lights. They will be given to youngsters or other vulnerable people who would otherwise have to walk home if they were forced to continue their journey without lights.

Officers are also giving out reflective back pack covers.