York to Consult on New Local Transport Strategy
City of York Council is to launch a consultation on a new Local Transport Strategy starting next week. Respondents will also be asked for their views on a draft Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan.
The decision was taken by the Executive Member for Transport Cllr Pete Kilbane at a meeting on 14th November 2023.
York’s Local Transport Strategy (LTS) is essentially the city’s contribution to a Local Transport Plan which will sit with the York & North Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, and cover both York Council and North Yorkshire Council.
A Vision and Objectives had already been set out. At the latest meeting, more detail was added to the proposed LTS, in the form of ten Policy Focus Areas, and detailed policies within those Policy Focus Areas.
These are the Policy Focus Areas, and some of the policies relevant to cycling.
Policy Focus Areas
Cycle parking at significant trip attractors – within 50m, and closer if possible. At least 5% to be accessible for non-standard cycles.
Removing barriers on cycle routes so they accommodate all.
2) Improve Walking, Wheeling and Cycling
Upgrade crossings on the walking, wheeling and cycling network to give active modes greater priority and reduce delay at signalised crossings. Countdown signals at major crossings, and priority at crossings of side roads.
Create a connected cycling network, which will be comprehensive and continuous. Upgrade cycling facilities, drawing up a Movement and Place Plan and seeking funding to deal with missing links and problem areas in the cycle network.
3) Shape Healthy Places
Seek to ensure that each area of York or village has key facilities within walking, wheeling or cycling distance.
Embed the Healthy Streets approach into guidance and decision-making. Adopt Vision Zero, to eliminate fatalities on the roads.
‘Our approach to transport planning for the future will use the Decide and Provide approach which decides on a preferred future, assessing what travel needs that will generate and providing a development path best suited to achieving this. This is to mitigate against development which increases vehicle traffic in York’.Policy idea 3.8
4) Improving Public Transport
This is largely focused on the bus network, including reliable early and late services.
There is also mention of better access to the railway station by sustainable modes (York Station Gateway), and enabling multi-modal trips.
Possible water taxi service from Rawcliffe Bar to the city centre.
5) Safeguarding the Environment
The aim here is to encourage take-up of EVs and reduce the number of car miles travelled.
One of the policy ideas is to take all carbon impacts and induced travel demand into account when assessing infrastructure projects and calculating their carbon impact and contribution to York’s net zero carbon goal.
6) Manage the Road Network for Movement and Place
It seems as though York wants to reallocate road space to sustainable modes, but if so it is badly expressed:
‘We will develop a Movement and Place Plan which reallocates road space to create safe and connected networks for walking, wheeling, cycling, public transport, cars and freight for residents, businesses and visitors alike…’policy focus area 6
If you’re going to reallocate road space, it has to be from private cars to sustainable modes. It’s not possible for everyone to get more.
One of the policy ideas is to promote and prioritise walking, wheeling, cycling and public transport. Another is to adopt 20mph as the default limit in residential areas, near schools, in villages, and at retail parks.
7) Reduce Car Dependency
This is focused on making alternatives to the car the obvious choice, therefore discouraging car use for journeys which could easily be made by sustainable modes.
The target is reduce vehicle miles travelled by 20% by 2030.
Policies include travel plans (unlikely to have much effect), School Streets, and ‘park and stride’. Also, car-free days and car clubs.
Another policy is to set parking charges at council car parks so that Park & Ride or other sustainable means of travel are clearly more attractive.
Maximum levels of parking in new developments.
8) Freight and Logistics
Develop plans for last-mile logistics and provide a consolidation area on the edge of the footstreets zone.
9) Maintenance and Enforcement
Increase maintenance and renewals of footways and cycleways. Greater enforcement of traffic offences.
10) Monitoring and Financing the Transport Network
Work with the future Mayor to monitor and appraise the transport system, access funding, and have a pipeline of schemes for consideration by the Mayoral Combined Authority.
Professor Tony May
Among the public speakers was Professor Tony May, representing York Civic Trust.
Targets and Timetables
He said that targets and timetables are missing from the policies. Respondents to the consultation won’t know what is to be achieved, and when.
Modelling and Appraisal
The carbon target for transport (-71% by 2030) is very challenging, and it is not clear from the information provided how the package of policies put forward will achieve it.
Modelling and appraisal would link the targets and the policies.
There is no indication of the likely costs of the measures, and no indication of where the money might come from, nor whether York should be looking for third party funding.