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YORK'S£50M LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN UNVEILED

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A£50m local transport package including a radical shake-up of bus services, three new park and ride sites, four ne...
A£50m local transport package including a radical shake-up of bus services, three new park and ride sites, four new commuter railway stations and outer ring road improvements has been unveiled by City of York Council.

The proposals form part of the council's first-ever, five-year local transport plan, driving the city's transport strategy into 2006 and including the development of 'Metro' a new, high-speed, high-frequency bus service in and out of the city centre.

Also included in the plan are a series of bus priority measures, new cycle and pedestrian routes, new safety schemes and a whole host of TravelWise initiatives, including company and school travel plans.

The package has been drawn up after two separate surveys, staged as part of the council's city-wide local transport plan consultation, backed the most expensive and far-reaching option. The so-called 'Option Three', at up to£10m per year, is designed to have the biggest impact on congestion limiting any rise in traffic to just 3 percent by 2006.

Option Three was the preferred choice of those questioned in both the postal survey of 76,000 homes (52 percent for Option Three) and a representative face-to-face survey of 500 people (50 percent).

Proposals for the council to investigate local transport charges - backed by 56 percent in the postal survey and 46 percent in the face-to-face survey (with 45 percent against) are also included in the Local Transport Plan. However, the council is stressing that any proposals for road pricing or workplace car park charging will only be investigated if Option Three cannot be fully funded by other means.

The main details of the local transport plan were outlined to councillors in a special presentation at the Guildhall. The LTP will now be submitted to the government for approval.

Dave Merrett, the council's executive member for planning, transport and the environment, said: 'Thanks to the backing of people in York our very first local transport plan will herald an exciting new era of transport in the city.

'In some places it would rightly be hailed as a transport revolution but in York we will be building on the successes of the past such as park and ride and public transport measures which have already been having a positive impact on tackling congestion and pollution levels.

'We would also like to think there is something for everyone in this - including motorists, who will benefit from significant expenditure on items such as the several key ring road junction safety improvements, more real-time travel information and the additional park and ride sites.

'Obviously, funding the programme is a key issue but we will be working in partnership with citizens, bus companies and rail firms to try to achieve what we have set out.

Notes:

Under the forthcoming Transport Act every local authority with responsibility for transport and environmental issues will have to draw up a five year Local Transport Plan

There proposals will form part of the plan up to the end of the 2006 financial year and a new plan will be prepared for the period 2006-2011

A variety of funding options will be explored to supplement council and government cash

Some 8,000 residents returned their postal surveys on the second part of the LTP consultation and a representative sample of 500 people were involved in the face-to-face survey

The first part of the consultation, again involving a postal survey, was used by the council to set the scene and generate ideas from members of thepublic to guide the drafting of the three options

Some 90 percent of part one respondents wanted more action to reduce traffic congestion and 70 percent wanting action to reduce traffic to 1991 levels.

Ideas from part one incorporated into the options included opening more park and ride sites; public transport improvements and more and safer cycle routes.

The three options were spending£3m a year funding to keep the traffic increase to 10-11 percent by 2006;£5-6m a year and a 6-8 percent in traffic and£7-10m a year for a 2-3 percent increase

Three new park & ride sites at Designer Outlet, Monks Cross/ Malton Road and serving the A59 corridor

Four new rail stations at Haxby, Strensall, York District Hospital and Copmanthorpe

New 'Metro' bus service featuring:

- a high frequency (at least every 10 minutes) services

- incorporating park and ride into network

- limited stops on main trunk routes.

- Metro 'super stops' with clear signing, raised kerbs for level access, high quality shelter where possible, seating, adequate lighting, clear and comprehensive passenger information displays, cycle parking where possible

- Investment in new high quality, low floor buses

- Supported by a network of 'Easylink' services into suburban areas covering those areas not served by a 'Metro' service, and giving good penetration into housing areas

Rationalisation and simplification of bus fares.

Improvements to outer ring road junctions to improve safety, relieve congestion and reduce severance for communities outside the ORR Bus priority measures at key points where buses are currently experiencing delays, in order to guarantee reliable journey times - this to be mainly priority for buses at signals, with short lengths of bus lane where necessary and appropriate

Active real time management of the highway network to maximise the use of existing highway capacity and alert drivers to congestion and air quality problems

New dedicated cycle routes linking the city to suburban York and larger communities outside the outer ring road

Pedestrian programme to improve the network, including access and safety measures, such as dropped crossings, zebra crossings

Local road safety schemes and the extension of the safe routes to school programme

Increasing funding of the council+s structural highway maintenance programme by 250 percent.

TravelWise Initiatives

More than 18000 employees across the city included in travel plans currently in progress

Asda have chosen York to be their first store travel plan in Britain.

15689 school students, from primary, secondary and independent schools,

participated in the school travel survey, which will inform the development

of school travel plans in York. The survey found that 60% of York's primary

school children walk to school, compared to 54% nationally.

York primary school GB primary schools* York sec schools

GB sec schools*

walk 60 54

5.9 42

cycle 2.8 less 0.1%

8.5 2

car 33.6 37

15.2 21

PT inc sch bus 2.4 9%

29.8 35

(*National Travel Survey average 1995-1997)

Recyclist project - cycle maintenance and repair training course for young disaffected people. Cycles are donated by the Police. Young people repair the bikes. Benefits: new skills for young people, young people own a cycle at the end of the course, which also improves their access to jobs and training opportunities, reduces waste through recycling unwanted cycles

Joint CoYC/North Yorks Health Promotion travel awareness campaign to be launched in September 2000 'In York Without My Car'

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