Summer evening Park & Ride service from Askham Bar extended

Users of York’s popular Park & Ride service will be able to enjoy the attractions in the city centre for longer this summer after it was agreed that the timetable should be extended into the evenings for a ten-week trial period.

City of York Council and bus operator First York have agreed that Service 3 buses from the Askham Bar Park & Ride site will operate until 10.20pm on summer evenings.

The move will give visitors to the city more time to enjoy its diverse range of attractions, as well as making it possible for those attending Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, which will be open next to Clifford’s Tower from Monday 25 June to Sunday 2 September, time to catch the last bus back to the Park & Ride site after evening performances.

The last Service 3 Park & Ride bus from Tower Street currently departs at 8.05pm from Monday to Saturday and at 6.05pm on Sundays. For the duration of the ten-week trial, there will be additional departures every half hour up to 10.20pm. The buses will also stop at Rougier Street and at the Railway Station in the city centre.

Another day, another missed deadline!

Continuing road works, lane closures and car park construction at Poppleton Bar 1st August 2014

Continuing road works, lane closures and car park construction at Poppleton Bar 1st August 2014

Poppleton – Road works continue

Despite absolute guarantees given at the last Council meeting -that the A59/A1237 road works and Park and Ride construction would be finished by the end of July – work is still in full swing today.

There are lane restrictions, big tail backs on the A59 and temporary traffic signals.

Footpaths have still to be completed and there is no sign of the permanent traffic lights which were due to be installed at the Park and Ride site junction.

The Park and Ride site itself is also far from finished.

The Council can’t blame poor weather for a project which is now over 4 months behind its scheduled (final) completion date.

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!