Motorcycle safety awareness week

In a continued effort to reduce motorcyclists’ deaths on our regions roads North Yorkshire Police are launching a series of biker events as part of the National Police Chiefs Council Motorcycle Week of Action.

White Horse 5

Starting on Bank Holiday Monday and continuing throughout the week, BikeSafe events will take place in a number of locations popular with bikers.

BikeSafe is a nationwide police-led motorcyclist casualty reduction initiative that is run by the majority of forces throughout the country.

A BikeSafe workshop explores the main riding hazards that face bikers on a daily basis. We know that unfortunately 70% of motorcycle collisions are down to rider error; such as taking the wrong line through bends or inappropriate overtaking. By delivering theory based presentations and observed rides, the workshops aim to help riders discover their strengths and weaknesses and also where to go next to develop and get more from their biking.

The BikeSafe scheme is also supported by 95 Alive partnership colleagues who regularly visit venues popular with bikers, promoting Bikesafe and distributing other potentially lifesaving informationBikeWreck2(1)

Events are scheduled to take place throughout the week at the following times and locations:

  • Mon 31st Aug – Helmsley Market Place from  12 to 6pm
  • Weds 2nd Sept – Manor Café,  Bellerby  from 4pm to 8pm
  • Thurs 3rd Sept –  Whistlestop Café, Whitby from 4pm to 8pm
  • Sat 5th Sept – Squires Café, Sherburn in Elmet from 10am to 7pm

Police advanced motorcycle officers will be on hand to provide advice and information. Riders will also be able to pick up a copy of the Biker’s Guide to North Yorkshire which has been produced by the 95 Alive York and North Yorkshire Road Safety partnership. The guide provides invaluable advice about riding in North Yorkshire, highlighting hazards and high-risk locations on the most popular riding routes.

Traffic Sergeant Sean Grey, who is the Regional BikeSafe Coordinator said:

“BikeSafe is an invaluable scheme which provides constructive advice to enable riders to get the most out of their biking. By improving skills, knowledge and hazard awareness it makes riding safer and more enjoyable. The events are open to all to come along, have a chat with us to learn more about the training and enrol on a course. ”

As part of the week’s actions, the regions high risk locations will also receive increased police attention with support being provided by the NPAS helicopter on key routes.

Police will also be using a range of other enforcement methods, combining high visibility patrols, unmarked patrols, covert patrols, unmarked motorcycle equipped with speed detection and video recording equipment and mobile safety camera vans.

DCC Tim Madgwick, who is the NPCC Lead for Motorcycling said:

“The BikeSafe scheme offers riders a great opportunity to improve their skills, get more from their riding and ultimately keep themselves and other roads users safe – we know that the more training you get, the better and safer the rider you become.

“From the extensive research conducted by the 95 Alive partnership, five strong themes have been identified which cause the majority of collisions – filtering, junctions, cornering, overtaking and group riding. If we can assist riders in improving their handling of these hazards, this will lead to less tragedy on our roads.

Use of electric buses in York to be suspended

New electric bus fleet launched last week

New electric bus fleet launched last month

As we said yesterday, it would be prudent to suspend the use of electric buses in York until the cause of yesterdays vehicle fire had been established.

It seems that, after some dithering, First intend to do just that.

UPDATE: First say that the vehicle manufacturers are undertaking precautionary checks on the fleet. Park and Ride services are unaffected

Safety must come first and we were concerned that comments from the York Council (which lets the contract for the Park and Ride services on which the buses are used) and local bus managers implied yesterday that the buses would continue in use.

In petrol powered engines, fires were not uncommon. Fires are comparatively rare in newer vehicles and, those that do occur, can usually be traced to faulty electrical components.

New technology – like that deployed in the battery powered bus fleet – is another matter. The technology is in its infancy and , although inherently safer than the internal combustion alternative, deployment needs to be cautious.

A quick investigation should reveal the cause of the fire.

If, for example, it turns out that a spanner was left by maintenance staff in the engine compartment, and this led to the short circuit which caused the fire, then that would  be one thing. A relatively easy fix (count the spanners!) and get the buses back on the road!

If a component has been incorrectly fitted then again the remedy is obvious.

Only if faulty components or – heaven forbid – a design flaw is revealed would an extensive and debilitating delay become inevitable.

We are after all just going through the first sustained period of warm weather since the large scale introduction of the buses in the City and who knows whether that might be factor?

So full marks to First for adopting a cautious approach, albeit a little late in the day.

They, and the Council, now face the headache of back-filling the gaps in the Park and Ride fleet.

Hopefully the York Council will now be open and transparent about the incident and the action that is being taken.

New pedestrian crossing for Heslington

The York Council is considering installing a new pedestrian crossing on University Road in Heslington.

The have been four injury accidents on the road in recent years.

The scheme could cost £70,000 and also involves introducing a 20 mph speed limit.

The Council has so far not revealed why this area is apparently being omitted from its wide area speed limit plan for the eats of York.

The University is also going to invest around £150,000 in off carriageway works some of which may encourage students to use a footbridge to cross the road.

Details of the plan can be found by clicking here


Click for detail

Click for detail

Safer cycling videos

A series of informative videos have been created to promote cycling in a safe and courteous manner around York.

The videos, which are part of the i-Travel York initiative, feature an alien cycling along some of York’s well known cycle tracks, giving tips and advice to cyclists along the way.

The videos encourage cyclists to ride with lights, lock their bike securely and ride on the road and designated cycle paths.

The project is supported by the council’s four-year i-Travel York initiative, made possible by £4.6 million of government funding which the council successfully bid for in 2011.

The videos can be viewed at

Road works in New Earswick

Pedestrians and cyclists will benefit from works to improve access and crossing points in and around Joseph Rowntree School in New Earswick.


Construction of a new zebra crossing and off-road cycle links to the south of the school will start from Monday 28 October for approximately two weeks. To enable this work to be carried out safely and quickly, there will be a road closure on Sunday 3 November

A key aim of the scheme, part of the wider School Safety Programme, is to facilitate and encourage walking and cycling on school journeys, reduce the number of cars on the network at key times, and promote sustainable travel habits at an early age.


Vehicle damage claims against York Council increase by over 400%


The number of claims for damage to vehicles in York, as a result of poor road surfaces, has increased by over 400%.

In 2011/12, 13 drivers made a claim against the York Council

This spiralled to 70 in 2012/13

The value of compensation paid, however, reduced from £1455 to £333.

The Council had halved the amount that it was investing in highways maintenance in 2012/13.

A Freedom of Information response has identified the road in poorest condition in York.

Moor Lane, near Murton, attracted 10 damage claims between 23-12-2012 and 06-01-2013

The Council says that, generally, a road has a surface design life of 15 years.

At any one time there are around 40 potholes on the York road network requiring attention. This increases in the winter as a result of the impact that ice has on poorly maintained carriageway surfaces.

Potholes can be reported here