Still work to do at Poppleton Bar
The York Council issued a statement on Friday claiming that work at the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride site had finally been finished – 5 months behind schedule.
But as our photos reveal, this is far from the truth with both landscaping and white lining work still outstanding. The site compound is also still in place.
Sadly the City has become all too familiar with weed growth in gutters, public spaces and even bridges around the City over the last 6 months.
However claiming a site is finished while it is still covered in 3 foot high weeds is surely a bit too disingenuous for even the Councils Labour Leadership.
It is after all the first point of call for some tourists and their impression of the City is likely to be coloured by their early experiences.
Low flying cyclists?
More seriously, from a safety perspective, is the Councils decision to encourage shared cycle/pedestrian use of the path from the A1237 underpass to the Park and Ride site.
unsegregated cycle/pedestrian path
Apart from one sign – which we suspect most pedestrians will not recognise – there is no reminder of the need to take extra care because of possible conflicts.
At the very least there needs to be repeater signs and warnings painted on the surface of the path.
At the moment, there not even a white line separation.
Organisations represented partially sighted people have been very critical about this kind of arrangement in the past.
No doubt they will be knocking on Cllr Levene’s door before very long!
At the last Council meeting Councillors were told that all work on the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride project would be completed by the end of July.
No end to Poppleton Bar works
However there is still a considerable amount of work outstanding with periodic impacts on congestion levels in the area.
While the final May deadline for conclusion of the whole Access York contract is long past, it is unclear why there are continuing delays at Poppleton (other than the obvious one that the contractors are simply not fully resourcing their contract obligations).
Cycle tunnel in use but no lane marking on paths
Councillor Ann Reid is now pressing for answers and some have emerged as responses to Freedom of Information requests
One (click to download) confirmed that the whole Access York project – of which the Poppleton works form part – was due to be completed by 23rd May.
Details of the road closure orders have also been published on the Council’s web site
Meanwhile, the permanent traffic signals at the A59 junction with the Park and Ride access road are now in place, but the following work is still outstanding
- Considerable surfacing and landscaping work
- White lining (e.g. on the cycle path exit from the A1237 pedestrian/cycle tunnel. (If this is intended to be a shared cycle/[pedestrian space then it does not seem to comply with the specification agreed with the Blind and Partially Sighted Association)
24 hour lighting on new roundabout
Yesterday (Thursday) the street lights in the area were permanently lit. Taken with the decision to exclude the provision of on-site electricity generation from the project, this does seem to fly in the face of the Councils environmental policies?
Drivers now want a realistic completion date for the project.
Residents would also like to be reassured that there are penalty clauses in the contract which will be invoked to compensate the Council, taxpayers and drivers for the inconvenience and additional expense that they have suffered over the last few months.
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.
On site wind turbine scheme jettisoned
Councillor Leven has now given a absolute commitment that all works connected with the Poppleton Bar park and ride site – plus associated works on the A1237 and the A59 will be completed by 31st July.
In an answer published to a question tabled at the last Council meeting he says,the contractors are scheduled to leave site by the end of the month.
The premature opening of the Poppleton Bar site has also been under fire although the numbers using the service are claimed to be similar to the figures at other Park and Ride sites immediately after their introduction.
||Month 1 trip numbers
||Month 13 trip numbers
||Month 25 trip numbers
|Grimston Bar (1994):
|Designer Outlet (2000):
|Monks Cross (2004)
|Poppleton Bar (2014)
||9,148 (8/6/14 – 1/7/14)
From opening, the number of cars parked at the new Poppleton Park & Ride site is between 70 – 100.
On a Saturday this increases to 200.
With many of the electric buses running empty, the Council has been criticised for unnecessarily increasing CO2 emissions.
In response to a written question the responsible cabinet member has revealed that the provision of an on site wind turbine was aborted at the last minute. He claimed,
“the electric buses charge overnight at the First Depot in York. The electricity grid is off-peak at this time and of lower carbon intensity. There was a wind turbine in the design for Poppleton Bar however the supplier went out of business a month before installation. Officers are currently exploring alternative suppliers of renewable generation equipment for Poppleton Bar which could supply sufficient power for the on-site Rapid chargers which boost the range of the electric buses”.
Labour Councillors have claimed that the decision to open the Poppleton Park and Ride site was taken by “officers” implying that they had no influence over the blunder.
Despite this 3 Labour Councillors were featured in a media photograph which covered the sites official opening.
Poppleton Bar Roadworks
It could be June 2014 before the A59 Park and Ride site near Poppleton opens.
The Tour de France is due to go through the junction on 6th July.
The work was initially held up because of delays in re-routing underground services
Askham Bar (Tadcaster Road) roadworks
The first main traffic management change has just been brought into operation to enable commencement of the subway construction.
The junction changes at Askham Bar will be completed in December with the main site opening in May 2014.
Both opening dates could be delayed if we have a bad winter.