Plans to take advantage of Government funding to introduce cycle lanes between Holgate and Acomb centre, and running up to Beckfield Lane, look set to be ditched by ruling councillors next week (7 February).

A replacement scheme will now cover less than half the length of the original scheme in a move Labour councillors representing Holgate and Acomb have labelled short-sighted.  The original scheme was the subject of a bid to the Department for Transport for funding, which was ultimately successful.

Acomb ward councillor Katie Lomas said:

“It’s unclear where this leaves the council now as it looks set to scrap a scheme for which it has been awarded funding.  Once again under this Lib-Green council Acomb ward misses out, as it did when play area funding was skewed towards Lib Dem wards that already had better quality play areas. 

“This replacement scheme will not provide a safe cycling route for residents of Acomb ward to the shops and services in the Front Street area and will not support families living in Acomb ward in choosing active travel to get to school. The most dangerous stretch for cyclists, alongside Acomb Green will not be addressed at all. This is really disappointing, if not entirely surprising”.

Successive Lib Dem council administrations have overseen dramatic decreases in rates of cycling, and had no plan to reverse that trend until the Government’s active travel fund presented funding opportunities for schemes to encourage more cycling.

Cllr Rachel Melly, councillor for Holgate ward and Labour spokesperson for transport said:

“This is a key transport route through Holgate to and from Acomb, in serious need of improved cycling infrastructure. For over a year I have been calling on the Transport Executive Member to prioritise this scheme and to include local councillors and keep us fully involved. But instead of it being made a priority it has been delayed and now decimated. Instead of local representatives being kept informed we have not been told about this drastic cut or the reasons for it.”

Holgate councillor Kallum Taylor said he was pleased to see the ward he represents expected to get cycle lanes between the Fox pub and the Police station in Acomb, but also frustrated to see the strategic gains from having a coherent, thought through approach to cycle lanes on the west side of the city lost.

Cllr Taylor said:

“Holgate councillors sat in a meeting only two weeks ago discussing this and now find in the space of days that much of this scheme has been deleted, with no explanation as to why.

“The main attraction of the initial scheme was its length and its coherence, rather than just another limited and isolated scheme that York is so used to.  Cllr D’Agorne needs to explain what the point of him being a Green Executive Member for Transport actually is if he’s going to backslide over decisions which would get more people cycling.  It may be time he got on his bike.”

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