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How to Change the Way People Travel to Clifton Moor

How to improve cycle infrastructure serving Clifton Moor
How to improve cycle infrastructure serving Clifton Moor (click to enlarge)

Clifton Moor is a car-dominated retail park on the edge of York, with bad cycle infrastructure.

Current Situation

On Tripadvisor, Chris M sums the current situation up quite well (even if we might not agree about the best solution to the problems he describes):

‘There is plenty of parking but the area is adjacent to the single carriageway A1237 York northern ring road, and this does become very congested at busy shopping and travelling times. There is a further large retail development on the same road a few miles to the east of Clifton Moor and the combination exacerbates the congestion. We are selective over our visiting times in an attempt to minimise delays.’

chris m on tripadvisor

Chris M is describing suppressed demand – people who avoid travelling on certain roads at certain times because they are too busy.

The ‘Obvious’ Solution

Another Motorway - No Thanks, by JL57, Licence CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Another Motorway – No Thanks, by JL57, Licence CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The ‘obvious’ solution to the problem of congestion and suppressed demand might be to increase capacity.

If City of York Council (CYC) duals York Outer Ring Road (YORR), Chris M and others like him would no longer time their trips to Clifton Moor for the quietest periods – they would have no qualms about going at rush hour.

Suppressed demand plus existing demand = more traffic, but not only that.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)’s report on the Impact of Road Projects shows that road schemes generate traffic:

  • + 7% over 3-7 years, and
  • + 47% over 8-20 years.

The extra traffic increases CO2 emissions.

In buoyant economic areas like York, road schemes result in development in car-dependent locations, causing rapid traffic growth and congestion on the new road scheme and the pre-existing network.

A new drive-thru Costa on YORR anyone?

What is York’s Local Transport Strategy and Does the City Want More Traffic?

York’s Local Transport Strategy involves a 71% reduction in transport emissions by 2030. This means a reduction in driving – moving away from the car. A 3% trip reduction and a 25% reduction in distance driven are needed, according to CYC.

York LTS Carbon Reduction 2
York LTS Carbon Reduction 2

You’d have thought there was no chance at all that CYC would implement this strategy by doing something than runs completely counter to all the aims, like dualling YORR – but apparently that is their intention. It is bonkers.

Meanwhile Rotterdam understands that if you want less traffic you have to reduce capacity.

What would you do at Clifton Moor Instead?

1) Improve Cycle Provision on YORR

As indicated on the map at the top of the page, build a proper continuous cycle track on YORR, at least from the A59 to Huntington.

2) Eliminate Through Traffic from Green Lane and Water Lane

When you’re not in a car, Clifton Moor feels very noisy and hostile. A large part of that is traffic to/from Clifton Moor on Green Lane and Water Lane. Cut that out with a modal filter (as shown on the map), and you instantly reduce the number of motor vehicles at Clifton Moor.

Bollards could go down to let buses through.

People travelling from Clifton and Rawcliffe could walk, cycle, or bus the short way; or drive the long way round on the main roads. LTN 1/20 says cycle routes should be more direct than those for motor vehicles.

It might sound radical, but in reality it is only an implementation of CYC’s own stated ambitions – it’s just that they don’t have the policies to achieve those ambitions:

  • move away from the car? Tick
  • reduce car trips and miles? Tick
  • more streets for place and fewer for movement? Tick

3) Restrict Parking to a Smaller Area

How to reduce traffic at Clifton Moor
How to reduce traffic at Clifton Moor

You could reduce parking to just the area in the centre and nearest YORR. The areas freed up could go to bike parking, caf├ęs, parklets and play areas.

Part of the aim of reducing parking would be to encourage people to get to Clifton Moor on foot, by bike or by bus.

Some staff-only parking would be retained on the rest of the site, but customers would not be allowed to park anywhere else, and modal filters on either end of Kettlestring Lane would stop people using it as a through route.

Delivery vehicles could still access businesses.

4) Electric Shuttle Buses

Electric shuttle buses would ferry customers from the parking to the rest of the site – or people could walk or cycle, or e-scoot. There could be e-bike and e-scooter docking stations.

5) Clifton Moor Gate & Stirling Road Made One Way

Make Clifton Moor Gate and Stirling Road one way. (Or maybe Stirling Road could be closed to all motor vehicles except buses and deliveries).

With the space freed up, widen the pavements, and create cycle tracks separate from the pavement.

What Do You Think?

Obviously, this is only broad brush brainstorming – but I believe it actually does what CYC say they want to do but aren’t doing.

What do you think?

How to Change the Way People Travel to Clifton Moor

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