Local Lib Dem councillors are continuing to push for proper reinstatement of grass verges in Dringhouses following the completion of UFO cable laying.
Many verges on Leven Road have failed to recover due to the very poor quality soil used – in places there is more rubble than soil!
Following a joint TalkTalk / City of York Council walkout last week, it was agreed that additional topsoil was required, which will put down over the next few weeks.
TalkTalk have issued an updated timetable setting out when tarmac strips in concrete driveways will be replaced with concrete.
Meanwhile local Lib Dem councillors are continuing to keep up the pressure for proper reinstatement of grass verges where damage has been caused by UFO cable laying. The dry weather has meant that very little of the grass seed put down has grown, and in some places the lack of mowing has allowed large weeds to grow.
A damaged verge on Leven Road
In response to a question about plans to reinstate verges, TalkTalk told us that “We are required to ensure that a reasonable amount of growth has happened within 12 months following being reseeded, which we will make sure is the case. At this time there are no signs of concern as the current weather may have impacted any immediate grow.”
TalkTalk has published a timetable setting out when tarmac strips across concrete driveways will be replaced with concrete, and other repairs made to footpaths and verges following the UFO cable installation work.
Dates correct as at 31 May 2018
Lib Dem councillor Andrew Waller met with representatives of TalkTalk and contractors FNS on Friday 1 June to visit locations across Westfield and Dringhouses & Woodthorpe wards where there are concerns about the reinstatement works done so far.
Residents on the Middlethorpe estate have rejected a suggestion that concrete bollards could be installed at some junctions in the hope of protecting verges from being overrun by heavy vehicles (such as at the junction of Whin Road and Middlethorpe Grove, pictured below).
In response to a request for feedback in the Spring 2018 edition of Focus, all but one respondent said that they did not favour bollards being installed. Reasons given included that they would be ugly and would be difficult to mow around.
One alternative suggestion put forward was for template letters to be drafted which residents could be put on the windscreens of vehicles parked inappropriately, asking them politely to park elsewhere.
This suggestion chimes with a recommendation coming out of the grass verge scrutiny review in 2016, which was that:
“The Communications Team produces a pro forma letter to further promote community and neighbourhood pride and advise that it costs council tax payers £35 per square metre to repair damaged verges, which can:
- Be made available to ward councillors for distribution to drivers and residents when a particular problem is identified or reported;
- Be circulated to residents online or by text message via the new My Account system;
- Form the basis of a poster to be displayed in local libraries, community centres, other public buildings and included in relevant council publications.”
Local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton is taking action in response to residents’ concerns about the damage being done to the grass verges in front of 302 Tadcaster Road, the site of the former Knavesmire Manor Hotel.
There is significant renovation work being done to the building, and a new property has been constructed to the rear, which is now on the market. The verges to the front of the former hotel have ben turned into a mud bath.
Stephen has asked council officers to take action that will lead to the verges being reinstated to their former state.
New parking bays are taking shape on Wains Road, which have been jointly funded by the Ward Committee and the Estate Improvement Grant.
The parking bays are being built outside the flats at the top end of Wains Road. The nature of the bend in the road has created parking difficulties at this spot, which the new bays will help to alleviate.
Unfortunately, some nearby grass verges have been badly damaged at the same time as the works have been done (pictured below). We will be asking that the contractors make good the damage that has been done (if vehicles are found to have been responsible).
Local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton has secured a scrutiny review into the state of grass verges across the city.
Stephen called for the review in response to local concerns about damage being done by vehicles parking or driving on the verges, particularly in suburban streets.
His call for a review was approved at the council’s Economic Development and Transport Policy and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 16th March. Details of the proposed scope of the review can be found here.
The cross-party review will look at the council’s current policies and legal procedures. It will also explore how the council can work in partnership with residents to protect and improve the condition of verges. A council survey in 2000 found that just over 11 miles of verges across the city were considered to be in a ‘poor’ condition.
‘Grass’ verges around Dringhouses are taking a hammering
Stephen commented: “Since being elected last May, residents have raised concerns with me about the state of grass verges. Parking and driving over verges makes some areas of our city look like badly ploughed fields and these verges can cause problems for other motorists and pedestrians. However, there often seems to be a lack of clarity whether parking is allowed and what enforcement work currently takes place.
“With continued national funding cuts the council does not have money to throw at the issue so we need to look at what currently happens and how we can work in partnership with residents. I also want to look at what other councils have done to tackle the issue whether this be trees, posts, grass filled plastic cells or other solutions.”
Stephen is asking residents to e-mail him with examples of verges being destroyed by inconsiderate motorists, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent wet weather, coupled with the inconsiderate behaviour of some motorists, has led to grass verges around Dringhouses taking a hammering.
On many streets, such as Wains Road, Swale Avenue, Eason Road and Gower Road, verges are badly churned and rutted – see pictures below.
‘Grass’ verges around Dringhouses are taking a hammering
Local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton is asking motorists to avoid making a bad situation even worse.
“Nobody wants to walk out of their front door to be confronted by a mud bath. With the ground sodden, it’s obvious that persistently parking on the verge will cause significant damage,” Stephen said. “I’d ask motorists to show some respect for our area, and not make a bad situation even worse.”