20 mph speed limits – Hamilton Drive issue

20mph speed limits were introduced on most roads within York about 10 years ago. They were the brainchild of a then Labour Councillor. The project was hugely expensive to implement.

The police said they were simply weren’t able to enforce widescale restrictions of this sort, but rather they would continue to focus their speed cameras at known accident black spots.

Ironically “before and after” speed checks revealed that average speeds on some roads had actually increased after a 20 mph limit was introduced. Changing kerbside parking patterns contributed to the changes in vehicle speeds that were noted on other streets.

The Labour Councillor involved stood down from the Council at the subsequent election.

One feature of Labour’s plan was to maintain the 30 mph limit on bus routes. The justification behind this was the need to continue to make public transport a relatively speedy and reliable transport option in York.

However, the plans did reveal some anomalies. In several cases, very short cul de sacs which connected with roads which retained a 30 mph speed limit, had to have 20 mph restriction signs erected at their entrances. In some cases, the cul de sacs were so short (e.g. School Street from Front Street) that it would have been impossible for a driver to reach more than 10 mph in the space available.

Campaigners wanting speed restriction modifications – and a pedestrian crossing – on Hamiton Drive have rightly pointed out the confusing changes in speed limits on the road. The cul de sacs which lead to the rear entrance to Acomb School (Carrick Gardens & Nursery Drive) both have a 20 mph limit. A 400-metre stretch of Hamilton Drive does not. 20 mph limits apply to the sections of Hamilton Drive which are close to the Hob Moor and Our Lady’s schools.

This is an obvious anomaly and exists because the number 16 bus service operates on Hamilton Drive. We doubt if that service averages much more than 20 mph anyway because of parked vehicles on what is a relatively narrow carriageway.

Nevertheless, it is surprising that Councillors representing the Holgate area have only recently challenged the logic behind the inconsistent speed limits on Hamilton Drive.

Establishing a 20 mph limit -although these are in practical terms not likely to actually change the average speed of vehicles using the route – would be less confusing. It would also be relatively cheap to implement, requiring only the removal of the derestriction signs at the limits of the existing 20 mph sections.

Of course, the 20 mph signs on adjacent cul de sacs would also then become superfluous

NB. The catchment area of Acomb school is such that many pupils walking to school will never have to cross either Hamilton Drive or Acomb Road. They already live on the school side of both roads. Some of the others have a pelican crossing near Manor Drive South

Acomb School catchment area

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

26 Tennent Road York YO24 3HF

Single storey side extension

Ref. No: 23/00460/FUL 


13 Otterwood Lane York YO24 3JP

Conversion of garage to living accommodation with single storey extension to front – retrospective

Ref. No: 23/00452/FUL 


52 Green Lane Acomb York YO24 3DL

Single storey side extension following demolition of existing garage

Ref. No: 23/00417/FUL 


99 Front Street York YO24 3BU

Erection of 2no. dwellings to the rear of 99 Front Street with associated accesss

Ref. No: 23/00325/FUL 


Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Council does not routinely consult neighbours by letter when an application is received

Hob Moor cycle track

It looks like work has begun on repairing some of the cycling infrastructure on Hob Moor.

The rotten way markers have gone to be replaced by poles which presumably will shortly each get a direction sign fitted.

Hopefully, there will be a better maintenance regime in place this summer to ensure that overgrowth is cut back and that the disabled access gates remain unobstruicted (and oiled).

Coronavirus York updates: 18th March 2023

Patients and deaths There is currently a spike in the number of COVID+ patients being cared for by the York Hospital Trust. The total currently stands at 133 with 2 in the ICU. The cumulative number of fatalities among York residents has risen to 613.

Cases and infection rates There are now 121 cases in York. The infection rate in the City has risen to 57.3. This is the highest seen since 9th January 2023. The majority of cases in York continue to be first time infections. 

Neighbourhoods There are now three neighbourhoods with fewer than 3 cases in each They are Strensall, the City centre & Poppleton/Rufforth. The highest infection rate (120.5) can currently be found in New Earswick.

Tests The proportion of positive PCR test results in York is fairly stable at around 12%


Make a difference in this Great British Spring Clean

City of York Council is appealing to residents, schools, businesses and community groups to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean 2023.

One local group has already scheduled a litter pick

This year the eighth annual Great British Spring Clean will take place from 17 March to 2 April 2023.

During the Great British Spring Clean, the council will lend a hand to support anyone taking part, including:

  • loaning equipment, to help make jobs quicker and easier to do
  • collecting bagged litter
  • promoting community events
  • offering practical advice 
  • sharing health and safety guidance
  • offering public liability insurance for litter pick events on council-owned or maintained land.

As well as encouraging everyone to organise their own litter picks, this year we are also supporting pre-organised community litter picks and ‘tidy ups’ in areas across the city. The events will be taking place in: Haxby, Walmgate, Bur Dyke Beck, Scarcroft Green, Westfield Marsh and the Viking football field. For more information on locations visit our website.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change, said:

“We all love our city and the annual spring clean gives us a great chance to spruce up the city ready for the summer months.

“Litter is an ugly problem that affects us all. The cleaner we can keep our city the more we all enjoy it. So, get involved, whether it’s your school, your park, your street, or your favourite green spot you can arrange a litter pick. Let’s all show some pride and do our bit to make Our City shine.”

Find out more at www.york.gov.uk/GBSpringClean.

Still issues at, and near, Poppleton Bar Park and Ride site

With the reopening of the Park and Ride site less than 2 weeks away, there is still a lot to be done to tidy up the Poppleton Bar site.

It is currently a poor advert for York lying as it does on a major entrance into the City.

The boundary is overgrown with the fence adorned with a mixture of commercial advertising boards. Ironically there is still no direction sign to the Hyperhub. The hub was a huge investment for taxpayers.

Today only a single Council van was charging there.

It seems that GPS systems only direct EV drivers to the Park and Ride site .Today one driver was trying to use the, much slower, charger which was fitted when electric buses were first located at the site.

The scrub land to the side of the car park and A59 is still untidy while the four “day burner” street lights – one of which was reported over 6 months ago – continue to burn away..

Clearly there is still some work to do before the site is recommissioned

£504,000 more for road maintenance in York

As part of this weeks budget annoucement the government has allocated an additional £1/2 million “to repair potholes in York” Similar allocations have been made to other local authorities.

York Council 2022/23 large patching programme

While any boost for road maintenance is to be welcomed it would be wrong to think that such a sum will make much difference.

What is needed is a large programme of patching and resurfacing.

Filing potholes simply delays the eventual collapse of the highway

York 2022/23 highways budget

Details of this years programme (which ends on 31/3/23) can be read by clicking here. The programme for the new financial year has not yet been published

An example of what £1/2 million buys by way of highway repairs, was the resurfacing of the lower end of Foxwood Lane (opposite Chesneys Field) which last year cost around £160,000.

Resurfacing the equally poor – and longer – upper section is likely to cost over £400,000.

Independent inspectors report criticises North Yorkshire Police

A worrying report into the North Yorkshure police has been published today. It particularly criticises “strategic management and value for money”..

The main responsibility for the failures rests with the Police Fire and Crime Commisioner Zoe Metcalf, who was parachuted into the post when her predecessor quit.

It seems that she has yet to get to grips with the responsibilities of her £74,000 a year job

Click to read

The Commisioner has been criticised for her semi detached approach. An application for more CCTV cameras in one of Yorks anti social behaviour hot spots were vetoed by the Commisioner last year.

The attitude does contrast with the work of local police force officers who have been generally supportive of community anti crime initiaitives. They have attended multi agency meetings .and provided high profile reassurance patrols when they have had resources available.

Now the Commisioner has put a recruitment ban on Community Support Officer posts. This has prompted a local Councillor to table a motion for the next York Council meeting. The motion reads:

click to read

However, the main obstacle to progress recently has been the unhelpful attitude of various York Council departments.

The Council was very slow to repair and bring empty property back into use last year There are now fewer empty properties in the City. .

In the same anti social behaviour estate hot spot, requests for more CCTV coverage, the closure of problem snickets, better tenancy conditions enforcement and the remodeling of vulnerable spaces have gone unanswered.

Even a request for a reduction in the height of hedges – which are obstructing street lights and causing black spots on narrow paths – has not been addressed.

Repairs to empty homes and public street furniture items like seats have been delayed..

Crime and anti social behaviour levels have been lower in York over the winter period. Whether this will continue when the evenings get lighter, remains to be seen

Problems with drug misuse – needles have been found near to where children play – and problems with youths riding scooters on footpaths are already on the increase.

It is time for a fresh approach.

A1237 essential bridge maintenance works

City of York Council will be carrying out essential maintenance works to bridges on the A1237, from Monday 22 May.

Works will be carried out on the Rawcliffe Ings Bridge (over the River Ouse) and Millfield Railway Bridge (over the East Coast Main Line). The works will not impact railway services.

To help ease traffic flow, works will take place at night, between 9pm and 6am, working 7 days a week over a five-week period. Weather permitting the scheme will be completed by Friday 30 June 2023.

To help further ease traffic, and in order to carry out the work safely, the scheme will be split into four phases so that the single lane closure will only be in place on shorter sections of the carriageway at a time.

Work will be carried out under temporary traffic signals to minimise disruption and marshalls will be on-site during the works to assist pedestrians and cyclists.

During the day, provisions will be put in place to ensure the road is fully reopened (but covered by ramps to protect the surface). For safety reasons the speed limit will be reduced to 30mph from each roundabout for the full duration of the work.

The £200k refurbishment, funded by the annual structures allocated highways budget, will include resurfacing sections of the bridge and drainage replacement. It will ensure that the structure of the bridge will be better protected.

Emergency services, cyclists and pedestrians will permitted through the works at all times.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption and inconvenience to the public. However, everything will be done to keep this to a minimum.

The council remains committed to an improved bridge crossing on the A1237 for both pedestrians and cyclists forms part of the scheme that the council has lodged with the Department for Transport.

Plan Ahead

These works form part of significant investment in the city over the next 10 years, including developments to build new homes and attract more well-paid jobs to the city.

For York’s transport network, this means work to achieve: 

  • Improvements and changes to roads, footpaths and cycle ways 
  • developments to build new homes and attract more well-paid jobs to the city  
  • more increased safety measures in York City centre 

Residents and visitors are urged to plan ahead in advance, which could help to reduce time spent in traffic.

For more information about current roadworks in York, or to get ‘One Network’ alerts on roadworks happening in your area.

York is one of the best cities for sustainable travel, which is central to our emerging Local Transport Strategy as well as our recently adopted Economic, Climate Change and Health and Wellbeing 10-year strategies

Advice for planning community Coronation events in York

Residents and community groups are being encouraged to organise and list their celebration events ahead of His Majesty King Charles III’s Coronation on 6 May.

The Coronation will bring people together across the UK and the Commonwealth, and there are many ways individuals, groups and organisations can get involved.

Community groups can list their Coronation events on the Live Well York website to share the event details and show how the city is celebrating together. Local events can also be added to the national map of Coronation events.

Ways to get involved

Street parties
Communities are being encouraged to host their own street parties in celebration. To make this easier, the council is offering free road closures for community street parties being held on the day. Groups can borrow ‘road closed’ signs from the council for a small deposit, by completing a request form. Fees will therefore only apply to those events charging admission, and event licenses will only be required for events which include the sale of alcohol.

Big Lunch
The Coronation Big Lunch takes place on 7 May and will encourage neighbours and local communities to come together to share food and get to know each other better. Both individuals and community groups can make the most of their connections and organise a get-together, with the help of free resources to help plan the event.


The Big Help Out
The Big Help Out is a national day of volunteering held on Bank Holiday Monday 8 May. This will give everybody the chance to try volunteering out for themselves and make a difference in their community. Community groups can get involved by hosting volunteering sessions and encouraging people to join the group and help the cause. The council’s Environment and Community team can be reached at environmentandcommunity@york.gov.uk to help out, promote sessions and loan tools.

Leader of City of York Council, Councillor Keith Aspden, said:

“As we get closer to celebrating His Majesty’s Coronation, we want to support residents and community groups to get involved. There are plenty of ways to bring our communities closer during the Bank Holiday, such as hosting or attending street parties and volunteering sessions. To help local communities, we are not charging for temporary traffic orders so you can arrange street parties with one less expense.Our city has a long and proud association with the Crown, and we want to make it easy for everybody to join in and celebrate this historic occasion together.”

Find more details and guidance about all upcoming Coronation activities at www.york.gov.uk/Coronation